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If funded, I'll release a 13,000 word novella about pursuing a serial killer. It'll go online, in perpetuity, under Creative Commons.
88 backers pledged $1,251 to help bring this project to life.
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The Story

I've written a tense and evocative novella about a serial killer being pursued by the FBI. It's titled A Series of Small, Precise Cuts. If I meet my funding goal, I'll put it up online at www.gregstolze.com/fiction_library/ under a Creative Commons license. Anyone with access can read the whole thing any time they want, forever.

It's a good story. It's a slow burn, shifting between three characters. One's the killer. One's the FBI agent. One's the agent's computer technician who is also a maker of linocut prints.

If you'd like to read some other free stories that are similar...

A Series of One-Sided Conversations is detail-oriented crime fiction that even has 'series' in the title!

These People Mean Nothing to Each Other has murder too, along with a pretty bleak view of human nature. 

The Murder Queen's Fan Mail showcases criminal mentality and a how-to attitude towards homicide. 

Finally, Two Things She Does With Her Body is not about crime at all, but is also a story about the hidden similarities between seemingly unconnected activities.

I have never worked for the FBI nor have I stalked and killed for perverse gratification, but I have made linocuts. They were, in fact, the inspiration for the story.

The Linocuts

Fire Escape
Fire Escape
Church
Church
Industry
Industry

A Little More About the Story

Watching TV and movies, you get the impression that serial killers are twisted geniuses toying with mere mortals from the pinnacle of some incomprehensible mad intelligence. Our only hope is an equally great mind (usually with some quirky social deficits, if you're watching a procedural show) who can unravel the clues with a single, intuitive stroke.

Then you read actual accounts of these murderers and their pursuers and it's nothing like that at all. Killers succeed because they're rare and careful and unexpected. They get caught because the investigators just keep chipping away, interviewing witnesses, knocking on doors, making follow-up phone calls, until something breaks their way.

I wanted to write a story in which the grinding repetition was exactly the point. I wanted that to be the focus of interest, the steady toil that leads to a long-sought conclusion. Character comes through, not in a stroke of genius, but in relentlessness—whether it's harnessed for good, evil, or just the satisfaction of making a piece of art.

A Little More About the Linocuts

I made each of these myself. I transferred the images, carved the linoleum, mixed the ink... all the process described and used as metaphor in the story. I love the work, but I'm willing to let the prints themselves go. If you'd like one (or one of each!), they're the rewards. Each one is unique (though some are similar to each other), the result of a singular process. Pledge at the right level and you get one picked at random from the pile. I wish I could let everyone pick which specific print they'd get, but there's just no practical way to do it. 

I may be able to get a few more prints off the pads if the demand is there, or I may not. Linoleum plates decay with use.

There's a lot of variation between prints. That's on purpose. Some are realistically colored. Others are shaded like sunsets, or house fires. Backers get surprises. You like surprises, right?

Risks and challenges

The risks are pretty low. The story has been written and edited. The prints have been made. I've shipped these sorts of things before, prints will ship wrapped in protective waxed paper and rigid mailers.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1 or more About US$ 1

    Spiritual High-Five

    If you just want to support the project (or prefer my writing to my visual artworks) pledge any amount. It's great and you'll get my immaterial but very real gratitude.

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    Pledge US$ 15 or more About US$ 15

    A Linocut Landscape

    You get one the three-plate linocut designs, "Firescape" or "Industry," picked at random, shipped to your house and suitable for framing.

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    Reward no longer available 4 backers
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    Pledge US$ 30 or more About US$ 30

    Two Linocut Landscapes

    You get copies of both the three-plate landscapes, "Industry" and "Fire Escape."

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    Reward no longer available 10 backers
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    Pledge US$ 45 or more About US$ 45

    Three Linocut Landscapes

    In addition to both the three-plate landscapes, "Industry" and "Fire Escape," you also get a single plate landscape entitled "Church."

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    Reward no longer available 10 backers
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Funding period

- (15 days)