Wattpad has fascinated me and scared me since I started getting serious about my writing. Even before I knew what it was, I liked the idea of serially posting a story online. The problem was, traditional publishing just holds too much allure.
Now that I have one book signed with a small press and another being subbed to agents, it’s safe to pull Like Birds Under The City Sky from my “shelf” of misfit manuscripts and share it with the internet.
It’s a story near and dear to my heart, one that explores the intersection of the LGBTQ identities and Christianity, but it is not a linear novel. It jumps time and tenses and points of view as Micah tries to reconcile his faith with his identity, and explores the hypocrisy of his parents while helping his boyfriend, Charlie, run from cyber spies and robots who want to pressgang him into service.
Every time I try to rein that jumping around in per beta reader feedback, it just doesn’t work. I still have two stories trying to be one. I still have a story that unfolds out of order.
And that is just how it has to be.
In my last revision, I tried to blend the feedback with want I want the book to be. I changed the format so it was told through blog posts, letters, journals and transcribed recordings.
Books like this do exist in print, but for now, I think this one is just better online. Readers don’t have to go through it in my recommended order, and don’t necessarily have to read the whole thing. Someone more interested in the realism of it can just read the parts set in Micah and Charlie’s past, and those who are more into the science fiction could just read about their present. Someone could read them in the order I’m posting them — the order I see the story unfold in, or read the chronologically.
Once the whole book is on Wattpad, I’ll post a few guides giving people navigation options, but those who read it while I’m posting it will see it in the order I do.
I considered building a website to post it on, but decided Wattpad would work fine since it is free, has readers, and an established community. I still have a lot to learn about Wattpad, but I’ll work through that as I go, and hopefully, once I get a chance to participate, I’ll get feedback from the community.
The first three sections are up now, and I plan to post one or two a week over the summer until they are all online.
This will be an interesting experiment, and I hope the right readers do find this story.
If nothing else, I’m sure I’ll learn something from it, and like I did with my failed attempt at crowdfunding a book, I’ll blog about those lessons as I learn them.
Since there is no money involved in this summer’s experiment, I suspect it will turn out better than my foray into Publishizer did.