Sunday Blog: State of the Becka

February 21st, 2016  |  Published in News  |  13 Comments

This is a new thing that I’m going to try and do at least most weeks. Some will keep you up  to date on where I’m at and similar. Others will talk about my writing process and stories I’m working on or developing.

So let’s do this.

Where am I at?

Let’s start with the really good news. I have a new permanent job starting tomorrow. I’m nervous as heck but hopefully it will go well. I hope that being free of the constant anxiety of job hunting will make it easier for me to write more. You would think that not working would give you more writing time but my head has been in a very bad place this last couple of months which has interfered.

So let’s go through the stories and see where we’re at:

The Dragon Wars Saga

We’re coming towards the end of Arc Four and some things have become apparent to me.

Firstly, I am not entirely happy with Arc Four. It’s too busy and the plot is not as coherent as in previous arcs. Unlike the previous arcs it’s going to need more than cosmetic editing. I’ll try to get the ebook of Arc Three out ASAP but don’t expect the Arc Four ebook any time soon as I am going to rewrite it and possibly split it in two. I will give regular updates on where we’re at in these posts. So stay tuned.

Secondly, I need to figure out how I’m handling the Caredale Stories as we’re now at the point in the world timeline where they start. The relationship  between these stories and Dragon Wars is similar to that between, for example, The Flash and Arrow. That is they take place in the same universe and some characters even crossover (Caredale being where Sophie Ashbourne and Darylyan both live it’s fair to say they are major characters). On the upside Caredale does pretty much stand alone as well so new readers won’t have to wade through DW if they don’t want to (I did initially envision Arc 5 and Caredale 1 being more linked than they are which is one of the reasons DW 4 needs more editing). I don’t know if I should:

  1. Take Dragon Wars down to one installment a week and post Caredale book one on the other day (say DW on Monday and Caredale on Friday).
  2. Post Caredale on a separate day (say Saturday) and keep DW as two days a week.
  3. Pause DW while I sort out and repost Arc Four and post Caredale book 1 on Monday and Fridays for the foreseeable future instead. I’m leaning towards this as I’m feeling a bit blocked on Arc 5 at the moment. Part of me feels bad about this. Part of me is all “it’s been six years, you’re allowed to take a break”.

If you, as my readers, have any input on this I’d be grateful. I won’t necessarily do what most people prefer as I have to sort out what’s best for me and my writing. I can promise that it will be a large factor in my considerations.

 

Haventon

Conversely Haventon 2 is going well. I know where I am and what the end is. There are a couple of plot points I really need pin down to sort out how we get between here and the end but it’s not going badly. I am rewriting the earlier chapters and will repost fairly soon but I’m also on track to get chapter 14 out this week. It’s half done and I intend to finish it and send it to Torvawk to beta tonight or tomorrow. This will mean that the first draft is half written. Yay!

And don’t forget the paperback of Book One: Haventon Born is now available and on offer at £7.99 until 8th March 2016.

 

Whisper

I’m sure you’ve noticed Whisper’s unscheduled hiatus. Sorry about that. With the stress something had to give and Whisper was it. The latest installment is about a quarter done and I’ll try to get it done for next week.

On the upside Whisper has received a great review. Which is definitely encouraging.

Shattered

Shattered is a  more traditional fantasy story (secondary world, magic, gods, and monsters) that is the next of my creations that I’d like to share you all. You can read the first draft of the first chapter here.

Unfortunately as things currently stand unless my Patreon gets more love it won’t be seen on the site in the foreseeable future. Shattered will post monthly to Patreon (for Patrons only) once total pledges hit $50/month and on the site once we reach $100/month. We’re currently at  $17.96/month so that’s a way off. I don’t like this. I feel like I’m holding it hostage.

There is another possibility. I could make Shattered available now as a monthly serial on Gumroad. This would mean that for 99 cents a month you would get a digital file (probably pdf) containing at least 10000 words of the story until it was finished (at which point the money would stop being taken). And to keep my promise to never 100% paywall any of my serials I would still eventually post it on the site but only once it had concluded on Gumroad. The free release would probably be simultaneous with the complete ebook release with a note at the end of each installment that you can read ahead by buying the ebook. I would do this once the book was finished posting via Gumroad  even if nobody subscribed.

Some things jump out at me about  this model:

  1. You’d be paying for early rather than exclusive access. Likely at least 7 or 8 months early (depending on final length) if you are with me from the start. To incentivize this I would also give access to the ebook only bonus content I create for it.
  2. It’s going to work out more expensive to subscribe than the final ebook but that’s standard (think about the price of collecting a comic as single issues versus multiple issue collections). To incentivize this all subscribers would get a copy of the ebook at the end.
  3. How would we handle comments?  Thoughts – either a forum or simply a post on the site for readers to comment and review (who knows it might draw in new subscribers).

If I do try this then I will also simultaneously make the content available for Patreon Patrons so they don’t have to pay twice and will rejig the Patreon targets accordingly. All Patrons will also get the incentives mentioned above

Given that there is no cost to me in this model I am perfectly willing to try it  out if even a few people express an interest.

Audiobooks:

Do people want them? I’d like to do one for Haventon Born and I’m thinking that much like Shattered it would make a good test for Gumtree subscriptions but given that audiobooks do have a setup cost (and not an insubstantial one) due to VA costs I wouldn’t want to risk this without either running a crowdfunding campaign or at least knowing I could get enough subscriptions to cover my behind.

Facebook and Twitter

I do have social media accounts for my writing and I’m trying to use them more. So why not like the facebook page or follow the Twitter?

That’s it for now. If you have any comments I’d love to hear them.

13 Responses to “Sunday Blog: State of the Becka”

  1. White Tiger says:

    Yay!!! I’m so glad you found a job!!! Good lick, I’m sure you’ll do wonderfully. 🙂

    As regards DW, it’d choose option 1 because I love the DW guys so much (especially Lydia), it’d miss them if it were to stop completely. But I also understand how much work that is so whatever you do is cool. I can just go back and re-read it all!!

    • Rebecca Sutton says:

      Thanks 🙂 I’m sure it’ll be okay but still nervous.

      *Puts a vote under option 1 re DW*

      Any opinion on Shattered? Or is it not your type of thing?

      • White Tiger says:

        I haven’t had a chance to peek at shattered yet but I will asap and let you know. I’ve found I can be very hit and miss in my relationship with fantasy. But I love your writing so I’m sure this one will be a hit 🙂

      • Rebecca Sutton says:

        Okay 🙂

  2. Targetdrone says:

    congrats on the successful jobhunt! nice to know theres a silver lining for you 😉
    also, yay for new updates to whispers (really love that setting 😉

  3. tony says:

    Hi, Becka!
    I’m torn. Part of me says option 2 for DW. But I suspect it’ll be better for the story and the author (which are both important!) if you take option 3. So that’s where I put my $0.02 (or is that £0.02?).
    Does “the ebook of Arc Three out ASAP” mean I’ll be seeing it soon? That’d be great!
    I have no real opinion on the other questions, so I’ll just leave this with: Congratulations at your job!
    Thanks for sharing.

  4. Shade_argost says:

    Take a break and split it up a bit more.

    Caredale Monday, whisper Wednesday and haventon on Friday

    • Rebecca Sutton says:

      This is a good suggestion, but I’m not yet at the point where I can commit to putting Haventon and Whisper on a weekly schedule as neither has buffer. Not a huge problem but something I need to be aware of when deciding how to do work. (The first Caredale book already exists in first draft which is the big advantage of using it. It needs some tweaks because the world has evolved since I wrote it but other than that I can move my writing time to other projects).

  5. torvawk says:

    Well you know I like my plot lines. As much as it will pain me, I say pause DW and get all the plot lines straight. Again I will offer my meager editing skills to help you since I don’t have a better way to help.

    You said first draft? Well I am willing to offer editing to that too.

    • Rebecca Sutton says:

      Thanks for the comment. *Adds vote to list*

      And thanks for the offer of editing services – I may well take you up on that. 🙂

      Speaking of editing did you get this week’s Haventon chapter?

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