I’m writing a novel, serialized in chunks for your reading enjoyment. These chunks are going up on the internet for everyone to read and enjoy! (Creative Commons because yay fanfiction!) Check out the link, it's got a teaser up already!
Each episode I release will come with some hard questions to go along with the plot. Those questions will challenge me (and you, but more on that later) with determining what happens next. I’m normally a planner, this experiment will involve taking bigger, unscripted risks. I’m excited to see what happens. I have plans, a secret set of truths I’m holding onto, so seeing how I can answer those hard questions and keep those truths should be a blast. Especially since you won’t know those truths.
I anticipate an episode once a month. That’ll give me time to write, to get it once-overed by my in-house editor, and give you time to read, comment, and influence what comes next.
Here’s where you come in
I write for a living and I do okay at it. As a result, I keep pulling away from novel writing because that time at the keys always seems better spent on work-for-hire. Work-for-hire is great, but I have a love I’m neglecting. By being a contributor to my project here, you’re helping me justify the time I’m spending.
But that’s not all! You’re going to help me answer hard questions.
As a contributor, you’ll be part of a discussion to decide the fates of this world and its inhabitants. Do you hate Love Interest with the fires of a thousand suns? Well, get in and help me figure out how to kill her off creatively! Do know best how the Stonewall Family should fall? Tell me and we’ll see how it goes.
As contributors you’ll also have access to any world-building materials as I put them together, and I’ll keep a writer’s diary to talk about the process and answer any specific ‘writing as a craft’ questions you might have.
Who the heck are you?
I hate this part.
I’m a professional writer and game designer. I make my living making roleplaying story games where people drop themselves into rich, beautiful settings, and lose themselves pretending to be someone else for a few hours every now and again.
I have pretty extensive credits in game writing and designing (seen here) and have my work in a few fiction anthologies here and there. This isn’t my first long project; I have three novels I haven’t shopped around yet gathering dust… I mean maturing… on my hard drive.
Where this goes
When the story is the right length and comes to a satisfying conclusion, I’m going to wrap the whole thing up and stick it in a novel. I’ll also add some side-scenes to help build the story while considering other characters’ points of view. I have an editor ‘in house’ who will be working with me as we go, but if the project goes very well, I may hire a third set of eyes to make sure everything reads beautifully in the completed novel. When it’s all wrapped up and done, you all get PDF and ebook copies of the novel, yay! If you prefer physical copies, I’ll get you a coupon to buy a physical book at the cost we’d pay.
After that, who knows? Another book in the series? A different book? A game book so you can roleplay in the setting?
But Patreon is scary and new and I don’t trust subscription models!
I know, right? This will be an experiment for both of us. Here’s the thing though: you have a lot of control here. For one, you don’t pay unless I’ve produced more episodes, so no “pay and wait” on this project.
Another way you have control is that you can limit how much you give a month, which I highly recommend. For example, if you want to give me a dollar per chuck of story, and I end up writing twenty chunks that month (not gonna happen) but you don’t want to go over budget, you can always let your monthly max to a dollar. You can cancel at any time. (More on all of this is in the Patreon FAQ, which you should read before you contribute.)
That’s a lot of money for an ebook
Yeah, I guess? If it takes me a year to finish it, that’s 12$ for a PDF of a free story you can read (most of) online already, right?
But this isn’t a preorder. This is you enabling an artist to create. This is the two of us working together to see how much ‘ideas’ are worth. This is an experiment.
Yeah, but what’s the story about?!
Good question! I have a teaser posted, naturally, so you can get an idea of what I’m doing, but like the start of any good story it doesn’t tell you everything right away.
Here’s what I know:
As far as anyone knows, the Families have always been at war. These feuding dynasties show no signs of slowing, and both small scuffles and minor military actions just… happen. Everyone belongs to a Family, depending on where you live or to whom you swear. Otherwise, you’re an Orphan, and that’s a rough way to go.
There are a few ‘Orders’ of Orphans who get by because they’ve pulled together or share a special task. For example, the Order of Nurses, are ‘out of bounds’ according to the Families so long as they follow a doctrine of neutrality.
Our main character, Water, is a Nurse. You can get more about her reading, but she’s a peaceful badass with gray ethics for a gray world and an endless sense that “it could be better than it is”.
The setting is fantastic sci-fi in a world that runs on the ‘significantly advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic’ philosophy. There will be queer characters. White is not the default. I won’t be doing real world cultural analogs. This novel will be intersectional or else it will be bullshit. The setting is dark, the stories may be sad, but I have no particular interest in reading (or writing) “grimdark” or gritty. That’s not my sand box.
But things could go wrong!
That’s totally true! I could get in a car crash and lose both hands and have to type with a pencil in my mouth. In which case, well, I guess the experiment will be shot, or it’ll slowdown in production.
Other things that could go wrong:
Someone could novel-jack the story by being a patron and making all kinds of crazy demands! Well. Not really? I’m a flexible, creative writer used to making unreasonable demands reasonable in my professional writing (I’m a freelancer). This won’t be structured as an “open ended makin’ crazy demands” kind of thing. I have secret truths about the story, those won’t be broken, and they’ll hopefully keep the story from cracking too deep.
My writing could suck and everyone could hate it! Yes. That’s true. But it’s cool, because you’ve already seen the teaser for the novel, you have a taste, and no one is forcing you to patronize me. (That’s a joke.)
The novel won’t get finished! I may leave you hanging. That would be rotten, wouldn’t it? That said… Hey, creative commons. Right? Right.
Have more questions? Get in on the conversation! Ask and or become a contributor today!