Monday musings: The writing year ahead

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At the beginning of the year, Monday Musings tells readers BestSelling authors’ plans for the year—so you can start getting excited now!

By Caleb Pirtle III

New year.

New plans.

It happens every time one yellowed and dog-eared calendar bites the dust, and another January suddenly appears out of the blue.

I have long written that today’s readers prefer shorter books.

At least they do with mystery/thrillers.

Or romance.

Forget the epics, the long-winded sagas.

Readers don’t want to make the journey anymore.

Those days of settling down and following a family through three generations and six-hundred pages have faded away.

No, readers prefer bite-sized books.

Grab me quick.

Tell me a story.

Few characters.

A lot of emotion.

Some suspense and surprises along the way.

Make me laugh a little.

Make me shed a tear or two.

Write The End, and let me move on to another book.

It may be a saga.

It may be about the same family.

But tell me their story in four books instead of one.

In today’s hectic, chaotic, stress-filed world, readers no longer have the attention span they once did.

They want short.

Maybe even shorter.

So here is what I intend to do.

During 2018, I plan to write a time travel series built around the same character.

Each book will be a novella, somewhere between 100 to 120 pages.

I will place each on Amazon as a stand-alone eBook, then my idea is to package all three novellas into one Trade paperback book.

I think the three-in-one concept will be great for book signings, which is where I sell most of paperback books anyway.

My idea is not original.

It’s not a breakthrough concept.

Many authors are already writing and producing variations of the idea.

But I’ve never done it before, so I’m anxious to give it a whirl and see what the marketplace does it with it.

The idea may work.

It may not.

It may hit a dead end and fall flat at my feet.

If so, there will always be another year.

I’ll take a deep breath and develop another plan.

Books are like life.

We have a lot of stops and starts and usually get lost a few times from the opening chapter to the last.

Caleb Pirtle III

is the author of more than seventy books, including the Ambrose Lincoln series.

Pirtle is a graduate of The University of Texas in Austin and became the first student at the university to win the National William Randolph Hearst Award for feature writing. Several of his books and his magazine writing have received national and regional awards.

Pirtle has written three teleplays, and wrote two novels for Berkeley based on the Gambler series: Dead Man’s Hand and Jokers Are Wild.

Pirtle’s narrative nonfiction, Gamble in the Devil’s Chalk is a true-life book about the fights and feuds during the founding of the controversial Giddings oilfield and From the Dark Side of the Rainbow, the story of a woman’s escape from the Nazis in Poland during World War II. His coffee-table quality book, XIT: The American Cowboy, became the publishing industry’s third best selling art book of all time.

Learn more about Caleb on his:

And follow him on Twitter @CalebPirtle.

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