Too Much. Too Little. Too Late.

Yes, that is the title of a mellow love song from the late 1970’s. It’s also indicative of my concerns about discussing upcoming works.

I’m in middle drafts for my next novel, and I have one or two trusted people reading it. I’ll probably publish spring of next year. Of course, I want you to read it. I want to tempt you with an overview of the story, so you’ll check it out. Then again, I don’t want to reveal so much of it that you no longer feel the need to read it. I have to strike that balance as an author and indie publisher between building interest and keeping the secrets of the novel safe.

Even if I determine a good balance for that, the when remains an issue. Talk about it too early, too often, and I’m likely to drive people away out of sheer exhaustion. Keep the plot basics to myself until a week before I launch, and I have no hope of creating anticipation.

So, there is a danger of sharing too much or too little, and doing so too late. Or too early. Or being to vague or detailed or…

Plus there is always the deep-seated fear that if one share’s too much about a novel still in progress, somebody will swipe the idea. It might be like being afraid of the harmless dark as a child, but it’s real fear nonetheless.

If you were hoping for an answer to the question that you also probably struggle with if you’re a writer, I’m sorry to disappoint; I don’t have the answer. Only a show of solidarity with those of you who have the same questions. Murder. Theatre. Solitaire as any mystery, has a built in tease of sorts; someone is murdered, read to find out who! If you like mysteries, you already know the draw of that novel and others like it without much difficulty. With Flowers of Dionysus I posted to this blog about the settings and characters leading up to the launch. It does not appear to have worked, based on the sales numbers of that one, despite my social media reach.

Trial and error, is it? Or is there something else to consider. I’d appreciate any thoughts on the matter. What do you think is the balance? When to start sharing specifics? How have you fellow authors gone about doing it?

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