16 July 2012 - 10:08 am

Starwalker shorts

In the hiatus between the first and second books of Starwalker, I released a couple of villain shorts I’d done. They were about characters in the Starwalker universe (but not part of the web serial story), and I had all kinds of plans about doing a whole series of the shorts. I even planned out a list of things I wanted to do and started follow-up stories to those two pieces.

Then, as often happens, various life factors got in the way and distractions appeared, and I put them aside for a while. ‘A while’ turned into a year and then some. I’ve thought about them occasionally in the meantime but I haven’t done much more with them.

Lately, I’ve had more mental space to deal with side projects. I got to thinking that maybe some kind of prequel or ‘specials’ book around Starwalker’s characters would be a good freebie to put on offer to draw people into the series (when I finally get around to editing and releasing the series as ebooks, that is).

One thing led to another, and now I’ve got ideas clamouring for little short stories about the Starwalker’s crew. Fragments of their lives before they came aboard the ship. I’ve written one about Rosie already, and I’m hoping to get one or two more done soon.

Rosie’s one surprised me. I had planned it to involve something of a mentor figure, but the story had an idea of its own. It wound up involving Henry from the previous shorts instead, in a collision of characters and ideas that worked so well I wish I’d meant to do it from the start! I love it when that happens.

Now I’m wondering what to do with it. I could just post it up on the web serial site, or save them for the ebook, but those seem like the easy, lazy options. There are so many more things I could do with them.

I could do monthly specials, featuring a different character every month. That would mean having enough done and releasable to make it a decent run! I don’t know if I could commit to that. I hate making promises I can’t keep, and a ‘series’ of two shorts would be disappointing for everyone.

I could offer incentives. I could release one every time donations reach a certain level. Or whenever I get so many reviews (though I’m not a fan of ‘buying’ reviews, so probably not this one). Or when so many merchandise items are sold. Or every time I get a new (non-spam) commenter on the site.

So many options! I’d kinda like it to be a thing, though, and not just something I throw up on the website. My readers are fantastic and I’d like to get them involved, too.

So what do you all think? Tell me! In the meantime, I’m going to ponder whose story to do next and maybe even write something.

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  1. Gabriel says:

    More shorts sound fantastic!

    I reckon you should just release them when you’re done and happy with them. Don’t commit to a schedule, or you’ll just stress yourself out. This way, we’ll get little “bonuses” at random times to keep us happy 🙂

    I also like your idea of putting together a bunch of shorts into some sort of giveaway e-book to promote the larger series when you finally edit it together into a set of books. Just be careful you don’t give too much away about the story in them!

    July 16th, 2012 at 5:31 pm

  2. Mel says:

    Thanks, Gabriel! I shall try not to give away too much of the overall story in the shorts. You’ll have to let me know what you think when I start releasing them! 🙂

    I’ve got one and a half done. Fingers crossed, I should be able to get more done soon.

    July 16th, 2012 at 9:17 pm

  3. Kunama says:

    If you can find an appropriate place to put a break, there’s nothing stopping you from posting up parts of the side story. Gives you a little more time to write.

    Likewise with your regular chapters I guess. Could have it appear to update more frequently that way.

    All of which is a null point if you burn out writing… I seem to be rambling. MOAR SIDESTORIES PLZKTHX

    August 9th, 2012 at 10:01 pm

  4. Mel says:

    Thanks Kunama!

    All very good points. The shorts are, so far, very short, so they should be fine to go up as complete entities… if I get them finished. I have about 1.5 done so far. 😉

    They’re a work in progress. Maybe I’ll see if I can beat this second one into shape and then see how/when to post them! I’m trying not to burn out, really I am!

    August 10th, 2012 at 12:56 pm