hradzka: Cassidy, from Garth Ennis's PREACHER. (Default)
Good news: I am back home. Bad news: I lost my Kindle in Heathrow airport and spent most of my five-hour layover trying to report it lost or find it, which means I couldn't do the markup on Matt's story that I wanted to. I did send him the cash, because it's a good story and there's no need to keep him deprived on that account. There are some suggestions I'll make, and some issues I need to do a better job of figuring out. I will post about these later. Short version is I need to figure out how to deal with getting a longer story than I had originally planned on (I paid $300 but I also said 5 cents a word, so have to figure out which version of the story I want and how/whether to deal with the overage). My plan at the moment is to do this with a few more stories and then put the result out as an ebook anthology; I have a small press LLC that hasn't been doing anything, so that is the way I figure I'll go. If folks have criticisms or suggestions, let me know, because I'm feeling this out. Biggest objection I can see from a writerly point of view is that this is 1) flat rate and no royalty and 2) basically perpetual, but I think that the fact that it becomes non-exclusive as soon as you sell it elsewhere helps ameliorate that a bit. It's an experiment.

Some folks have asked I would sponsor a novel, and the answer is that for that kind of payment I would really feel pressure to be buying something sellable, and I'd hate for somebody to take the challenge and then find out that I don't want to buy it. Yeah, they could try to sell it elsewhere, but I'd rather have an open submissions policy. I will see about getting this done at some point in the not-too-distant future.

I am thinking that I would like to publish some adventure novels. I say this as an unabashed lover of what's called "men's adventure;" not only do I think folks would like these, but I think there is an untapped market for "women's adventure" novels. I will start working on a solicit for this in the not-distant future.

Side note: who all is going to Dragon*Con? Be fun to do a DW fandom meetup at some point, if folks're interested.
hradzka: Cassidy, from Garth Ennis's PREACHER. (Default)
I have received [personal profile] matt_doyle's story! IN TWO VERSIONS. One closer to word count, one farther, because he felt that cutting it too far killed the feel a bit.

I work overseas and am on my way home from a gig, so I'm going to be spending tomorrow on planes and in airline lounges. I'll do my best to get the story thoroughly evaluated and reviewed in that time. However it shakes out, Matt is to be congratulated: not only is he getting some cash, but he's boosted his word count and he's produced a story in a very short time.

I'd like to try to do this again at some point. May make some changes to the challenge, to see if the scenario and such can be improved on. If you'd be interested, put your name below; comments are screened.
hradzka: Cassidy, from Garth Ennis's PREACHER. (Default)
Here's the story:

I have issued [personal profile] matt_doyle a writing challenge.

For a while, I've been toying with the idea of doing something in this vein, and Matt's just the sucker guinea pig talented guy to take it on. You are all about to become witness to the pawning of a writer's talent.

Here is what I wrote to Matt:

Here's what I'm thinking: you pick the genre -- thriller, horror, mystery, sf, fantasy, what have you. Then I will come up with a genre-appropriate pitch for you. The pitch will either be a gimmick or a scenario ([if the latter,] probably an opening). It will not be overly detailed. Your challenge will be to turn this into a six-thousand-word story of publishable quality.

Oh, and he has exactly one week.

Why would Matt do this? What is on the line? I am paying SFWA rates, five cents a word. Yes, folks, this week you have a chance to watch Matt's nimble fingers earn him three hundred smackers. In exchange for this grand (hah) munificence (feh), I get exclusive electronic rights to the story.

Unless he sells it.

That is where the pawning comes in. I am not buying this story so much as Matt is pawning it. If Matt can sell the story somewhere else, my electronic rights become non-exclusive. I will still have them, but Matt can also publish the story electronically elsewhere. (Writers, please feel free to comment on the business end of this: I want to be fair but hopefully preserve a vague chance of breaking even. If it's not fair, if either of us is still getting screwed, alas! But I will know how to do things better for the next time.)

I asked Matt if he would mind doing this as a public challenge, and he does not, so now you all get to watch him succeed or fail, complete with daily word counts and writerly agonizing.

For the record, Matt picked fantasy. Specifically, dark fantasy, on the horror edge of things, which if you know Matt's work is no surprise.

This is the prompt I gave him:

An adopted child seeks her birth parents.

She finds them.

His deadline is 6:30 PM EST, Monday, August 29th. I will be on a plane, so I will be counting on you folks to keep him honest.

Go, Matt, go!
hradzka: Cassidy, from Garth Ennis's PREACHER. (Default)

(Details to follow.)


hradzka: Cassidy, from Garth Ennis's PREACHER. (Default)

November 2014



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The collected poems from my descent into madness year spent writing daily poems are now available from Lulu as the cheapest 330-page book they would let me make ($16.20). If that's too pricey, you can also get it from Lulu as a free download, or just click on the "a poem every day" tag to read them here. But if you did buy one, that'd be awesome.

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