sf04 … is not posted yet but read this anyway

3 10 2011

Planning sf04. Figured you deserved a preview of coming attractions, even if the story itself isn’t ready.

The good news is I have a potential outline halfway done. The plan all along was “Let’s use Carrie Lane / Astro Gal as a lens to see how America is dealing with the slow takeover of the Ascendancy over their nation.” This does mean however that we won’t see much of the main cast — what they’re up to will be hovering in the background, just out of Carrie’s vision, although she’s desperately trying to figure it out since they haven’t included her.

(Why haven’t they included her? She’s not technically a vigilante, she works directly for the U.S. Government through law enforcement, and thus indirectly works for the Ascendancy. Also, with the number of people in Emily’s social circle vanishing off the radar, there’s extra surveillance on her to see which way her wind blows.)

So, the downside is we won’t get immediate payoff on “What’s going to happen to Una?” or “How do they beat the Ascendancy?”. This is The Uprising, the turning point where the world has gotten over the sticker shock and is ready to punch the dealer in the mouth. We saw some of that at the end of sf03, and it’s only going to spread from there.

One worry I have is that folks who haven’t read Second Age won’t get this one. They could kinda figure out who Elisa is, but an entire story focused on Carrie in third person limited? Dunno. I am working to get at least a Kindle version of Second Age out, but a PRINT version would be ridiculously expensive, and unlikely. Hopefully Carrie’s intro in sf00 will be enough to get those folks through.

And there’s your update. Sound good? Looking forward to it? I should definitely have something for you next week, maybe even a few scenes to kick us off this week. I am pondering what happens at Proctor Lar’s next conference call with the Ascendancy higher-ups… he doesn’t run the entire organization, after all. Just this Earth’s invasion force. That’ll be a fun fly on the wall moment…

More to come. Thanks for your patience.

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5 responses

4 10 2011
Jen, Psycho Happy artist

I suspect that there are very few people in the “what if they haven’t read X?” group. Sure, maybe somebody out there will only read the print versions… but in that case, the online content serves like a bonus story to them instead of the other way around.

So if they want more background, read online. Just like if the online people want more background, read the books.

4 10 2011
Jen, Psycho Happy artist

Oh and as for Carrie — even if they were considering bringing her into it before, or at least saying “Hey don’t worry, we’re OK”? Nel is probably not eager to contact Carrie considering the current Una situation.

So presumably, Carrie’s character arc here will be that as she investigates things, she realizes the Ascenancy is keeping tabs on her and trying to use her to uncover the good guys, so… she… stops looking? Decides to confront the Ascenancy directly? Some combination thereof?

(no need to answer, just thinking aloud.)

5 10 2011
L'Anonyme

@”I am working to get at least a Kindle version of Second Age out, but a PRINT version would be ridiculously expensive, and unlikely.”:

You could always try a Kickstarter project and see if there’s enough interest in seeing it made to pay for making it. If nothing else, sticker shock might bring new appreciation for why it isn’t being made. It’s not like it can hurt, right?

5 10 2011
Stefan "Twoflower" Gagne

The problem isn’t up-front costs (although sacrificing one of my hard-bought ISBNs is troubling). The problem is back-end costs.

The way CreateSpace works is that for each book, I need to supply an ISBN ($300 for a block of 10, so $30 each) and pay a yearly fee for a “Pro” plan, which allows me to make a reasonable profit on each book. That’s all the up front.

Then, the books are priced as “Cost of printing X pages” plus “Any profit you actually want to make.” The first part is the troublesome part. The cost of printing the amount of pages I’d need for a Second Age book, which includes some of the longest stories I’ve ever done, would mean you’re paying 25-35 dollars if you want a copy of the book.

At THAT price range, it’s just not going to sell, and if it doesn’t sell, I barely make back the initial investment at best.

So, a Kickstarter isn’t gonna help. it won’t reduce the price of the book in the end, and since I have MAYBE four dozen readers with any interest in buying the books at all, it’s not going to be worth it for them or for me.

Now. A KINDLE version, that’s a whole other story — Kindle don’t care how big your book is. I can price it cheap as hell, like 5 bucks, and call it a day. Sure, I have to burn an ISBN, but that’s the sum total of my investment. Then, folks can have a retail version to go alongside their other Kindle versions of the books.

It’s all about the limits of bits vs. the limits of paper. Bits win.

5 10 2011
tomwrussell

Yay! Carrie’s back! IIRC, we last saw her canoodling with what’s-his-name. That was such a sweet moment. I greatly look forward to seeing what she’s been up to since then.

RE: publishing, if you go with Smashwords you can distribute via amzn and epub. Just a thought from a nook user. Of course that might require two separate ISBN’s.

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