Monday, June 28, 2010

Pieces of a Larger Puzzle

So I wrote recently about the idea of publishing Death Wave myself, and I tied it into the idea of finally going out and making this writing stuff that I do actually earn me a living.

Two big problems with that:

Number one, it's scary.

And number two, I've not been very good at it so far.

I mean, the DIY ethos sounds great when you're discussing it around beers late at night, but it's not as if I haven't tried it before. Blue Falcon went nowhere. Hero Go Home, the webcomic, fizzled (partly because I was still learning about pacing, partly because I had other things taking up a lot of my time, but also largely because I enjoy writing much more than drawing, and the art was a shit-ton of work for very mediocre result). Even this blog, which was basically started as an attempt to let folks get to know me and maybe build a following, is basically read by my friends and no one else (not counting the dozens of folks who visit once while searching for pics of the Barbi Twins or Tig Ol' Bitties).

But here I am with time on my hands and a desire to do more, go farther, than I have before. So I'm working on a few projects. I haven't figured out which one I want to lead with yet, aside from one small announcement I'll be making very soon.

One is publishing Death Wave. It's more or less ready to go right now. It could use an editing pass, and needs some other work, but most of the heavy lifting has already been done.

Another is perhaps publishing an anthology of Digger Universe stories. I don't have a lot of those so far. There are basically four that have been published (three starring Digger and one starring Digger's former teammate AcroCop), plus another that was started but never finished, another that has been basically plotted but not written, and another unrelated story that also features supers and could easily fit into the universe with a couple of tweaks. So that's seven, which is not really enough for a proper anthology, but could serve as a chapbook or something that could be the seed for future development. But since all the writing hasn't really been done yet, it's not as "shovel-ready" as Death Wave is.

Another possibility is finally doing another draft of Hero Go Home. I still take out the idea and mess with it, trying to find a way to make it work. I really want to make it work, although two bad drafts has pretty much scared me away from it. But if there was interest in the Digger anthology, I could certainly see myself writing this up as a follow-up. If there was interest in that, I might even figure out a way to finish Digger's Big Con, the storyline I barely started in the webcomic.

Also still rattling around in my brain is the new book I want to write, the Twenties-era Johnny Dollar meets Cthulhuzilla story. And at the same time, I'm playing around with notes for a role-playing setting that I might have finished enough and be brave enough to present to friends by the time our current Atlantis game starts to wrap up in a year or so. I probably won't make any money from that, but there are a lot of indie publishers with PDF's for sale on DriveThru RPG. Somebody must be making some money. Maybe after I've run it a while, it will be something I feel confident enough to sell.

Will any of this pay my bills and make me a living? Seems doubtful. Nothing here looks like a Penny Arcade/Schlock Mercenary caliber idea. Then again, who knew that those would take off the way they did? I did have an idea once that struck me as a possible hit, but I had neither the money, nor really the desire, to pursue it to its conclusion.

The point is, no matter what's going on with my current job situation, I feel as if I need to start putting more stuff out there. I know some people will buy it. I know my work is worth paying for, because I've been paid for it by professional markets. Now I need to find the right way to connect with the right audience, and find the confidence and enthusiasm to start producing the kind of work I was producing five years ago. And hope enough people will pay for it to make it worth the effort.

Corinne Bohrer, give me strength.

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