Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Graduated publication of novels online, with user participation and even editing

Some authors have tried a new technique for staged publication of novels.

The idea is to post one chapter (or a few chapters) and invited comments and even editing help from readers, before moving on to future chapters or even deciding the ending.  The idea reminds me of a style of dinner theater where the audience decides who committed the murder (like "Clue").

The books of James Strauss seem to fit this model.  A recent project is “30 Days Has September”, based on his experiences as an Army officer during the Vietnam war.  (I, a draftee, was stateside at Fort Eustis and sheltered from combat at the time).

 The chapters seemed to be based on individual days in combat.  I do remember being told in Basic Combat Training that a typical infantry platoon went on patrol every third night.

The comments appear, under the name of Chuck Barton, on a blog posting by Ramsay Taplin on his “Blogtyrant” site, a post titled “What will you sell if you give away your best blog content for free?”, here.

The idea of gradual publication online to get an audience is interesting.  I think Stephen King has tried it.  But my own idea right now is to finish a complete draft, with all loose ends tied, of  "Angel’s Brother" myself (about 105,000 words) and put them through a copyeditor before it goes anywhere.  There is a draft now (all 27 chapters);  but I have a lot of polishing to do.  I guess I want to be the dictator of what happens to each character in this sci-fi, ongoing apocalypse setting.  I decide who is going to get it.

No comments: