Will the Next Twenty Palaces Story Be a Novelette? A Full Novel? Let's Find Out!
Here's the situation:
I'm already working on the next Twenty Palaces story. It's called The Iron Gate and it details Ray and Annalise's plan to acquire the Book of Grooves. Which goes 100% wrong. Originally, I'd planned to write it as another novella, but I've had some pushback from 20P fans who really prefer longer works. What to do? Write longer with the limited time I have? Or continue to be disappointing (in that one specific way)?
Then I saw that Kickstarter is having a "Break Kickstarter" campaign for the month, asking creators to think up novel ways to use the platform. Immediately, I thought I'd run a campaign based on a per-word rate.
So here's the deal: the minimum pro rate for short fiction is five cents/word, so for every five bucks pledged to this campaign, I'll write a hundred words. Upper limit... let's say two hundred thousand words, which would be two new Twenty Palaces novels.
Not that I expect to reach that limit--to be honest, I'm half-expecting that I won't make the basic goal.
But here I am anyway, sticking my finger in the air to check the winds. Do people want more and longer Twenty Palaces? I've always said I wanted to write it. So let's find out.
If we make goal, that's $500 and a 10,000 word novelette, about the same length as "The Home-Made Mask".
If we raise $1,250, that's a 25,000 word novella, about the same length as The Twisted Path.
A full novel would be around $5,000, which comes to about 100,000 words.
Is That Doable?
Well, the overall goal for The Great Way was $10,000 and we made that happen in eight hours. Ten grand would be two new Twenty Palaces novels.
One Pledge Reward. No Stretch Goals.
Unlike the campaign for The Great Way, I'm not going to be throwing in a bunch of stretch goals, and I'm not going to have a variety of rewards for different pledge levels. No hardback omnibus. No signed trade paperbacks. That was, I confess, a bit much for me to manage.
So, the only pledge reward on offer is the ebook. The only pledge level is what I expect the book to cost when I release it. You can always pledge more, if you want to, but please, not too much more.
Whatever the end result comes out to be, I'll probably write a bit more
Also, everyone who pledges can sign up for my new-releases-only newsletter, which will only goes out when I have new fiction for you to read.
But really it's just the book, and more pledges equals more words.
Hold on... Shouldn't a Story Be Its Own Perfect Length?
See the risks and challenges section below.
Risks and challenges
The biggest risks are, obviously, that I'll be hit by a bus or something and unable to continue writing.
Also, the due date of July, 2020 assumes that the final length of the story comes out to be novella length, which gives me plenty of time to write it and revise it a few times. If the word count comes out longer, the delivery date will have to be pushed back. I mean, I could physically write two novel-length manuscripts in a year, but no one would want to read them.
Beyond that, some readers might be concerned that a longer story would be padded in some way.
Let me be clear: I hate padding, I hate to read it, and I especially hate to write it, because I just end up cutting it later. That means it's wasted time and energy. So no, if the campaign goes well and backers fund a longer work, I'll address that by making the story more complex, by increasing the stakes, and by going deeper into themes and characters. None of it will feel like padding.
And if the word count significantly exceeds novel length, I will probably turn that extra word count into a second piece of Twenty Palaces fiction.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (25 days)