On Patreon for over two years (!) now, I’ve offered monthly excerpts, exclusive stories, and other goodies to my patrons on the first of every month. Two years have given me a chance to tweak things and experiment, and figure out what’s doable for offerings and what readers might like.
One thing I’ve struggled with is the second monthly update for the $10 and up people–there are signed print books, tuckerization, swag, ARCs, but what’s given me pause is trying to find another snippet when I’m having a bad month. Livi #3 has been giving me all manner of trouble, and I think nearly everything is terrible and will require extensive rewriting if not being trashed completely. And I don’t really want to share excerpts I’m not proud of and will likely cut.
So what to do?
Well, for fun this week, I’ve been writing bits of Ashford’s Ghost from West’s POV, because there’s a lot he knows that he won’t tell me until I’m in his head, and it’s usually information useful for other books. I did the same with Solomon’s Seal–I got about 12K into it, and it revealed some things I needed to know for the final truth Livi discovers from him in the epilogue for Odin’s Spear.
The trouble there is that his POV tends to be very spoilerish for future books since, well, he always knows more than Livi and the reader does about damn near everything. These are fun writing exercises for me and a couple of friends who read them, but not really stuff I can publish.
But what about Patreon, right?
When I can steal an hour here and there, I’ve been knocking away at little Patreon changes, and one of the things I’m introducing for $10+ people is the West Is Best Club. Instead of a random monthly excerpt, it’ll be West POV stuff (with everyone sworn to secrecy).
I’m starting with his prequel novella Tiger’s Memory, which I wrote early 2013 after I was done Solomon’s Seal. As it stands, it’s kind of a mess–it needs a structural overhaul, more fleshing out with additional scenes, and some pacing fixes as I’d just written a collection of scenes to give me background. A couple of friends have read it and always loved it, but it’s very spoilery for later things so I’ve just held onto it.
It was one of the last new things Aunt Judy read, though–the below tweet is in reference to it–and as she was my very first patron, I think she’d be happy if it was made available.
@skyladawn has broken me with her words. Hard! She is just such a gifted writer. Now must go and recover…chocolate, I think.
— Judy Bagshaw (@bbwriter) August 27, 2013
So…I’ll be serializing Tiger’s Memory for my mid-month updates. I’ll be rewriting chapters and adding new ones, but I’ll aim for a roughly regular posting schedule. When the novella is complete, I’ll have other West POV stories and scenes. As something new, at the $15+ level I’m going to try for chapter commentaries–audio or maybe video–as a behind the scenes look, probably interrupted by me yelling at cats.
This doesn’t change anything with regular Patrons of Snark–everyone still gets story excerpts, serialized chapters, and exclusive goodies the first of every month like always. This is just the new extra thing I’m offering.
I’m…I’m actually excited! Writing lately has involved plucking each word from my brain with tweezers and I’ve hated every moment, but spending time with my favourite manipulative feline has me giddily anticipating writing time. It’ll hopefully help me relax and I think ultimately help Livi #3 be written.
I don’t have a formal blurb for Tiger’s Memory, except to say it’s about West’s first major assignment and his first girlfriend, and how it ends very, very badly on both counts.
Up next on the blog: Sunday the soundtrack for Ashford’s Ghost will go live, Tuesday Ashford’s Ghost releases in Hauntings, and sometime next month a formal state of the union. I’ve got two big freelance projects eating up next week, then it’s all West all the time. <3