Okay, so I have a situation with my writing that’s either a good thing or a problem, I’m not sure.
So I’m attempting to create my own distribution plan for these books. The plan is to release the first book for free as “book zero” which will function as an introduction to the world, the tone and some of the characters. Then if people are into it, they can pay the 1.99 or whatever for book one, which is a novella, maybe 100-150 pages, that follows Charlie, one of the vampire characters.
The plan is that for every full, paid book, I’ll release a secondary free book that offers a different perspective on the character the paid book focuses on. So Book One focuses on Charlie, Book Zero focuses on one of Charlie’s victims. Book Two focuses on Victoria and so book 2.5 will be free and focus on one of Victoria’s victims.
My thinking with this is that because the actual paid books focus so much on the experience of the vampires BEING vampires, it’s good to check in with someone on the outside, who isn’t mired in that world, and experiences these characters as the horrific monsters they are. I find that when I’m writing them as vampires, they’re really just people living a very strange life. But this way I can remind the audience that they’re also murderers and terrifying and interacting with our world.
Plus I think it’s neat to take characters who might be incidental in the main story and show their perspective on what’s happening. Kind of like the Lost webisodes that would follow around incidental characters. The Nikki and Paulo of my vampire story. Except not horribly shitty.
This way the free books work as a kind of reward for people who are following the story and an incentive for people who haven’t started reading yet. If someone gets one of the free books and likes it, they may go back and start at the beginning.
So anyway, what’s happening is that I’m taking a break from finishing Charlie’s book and writing the second “victim” book, which is Book 2.5. It follows an asexual male prostitute who meets up with Victoria, the vampire that Book 2 is about. He was a character that was in the original screenplay, but I never had any sort of history or backstory for him. He was a kind of annoying club kid that gets shot in the head in the parking lot of the club. I picked him to be the victim in 2.5 just because he was someone that was killed in the vicinity of the main story and worked as a kind of satellite to the original story.
Anyway, now that I’ve written his backstory and explained who he is and what his life is like, I actually really like the character now and I don’t want him to die anymore. There’s no place for him in the book beyond what I originally wrote for him, but damn, this makes his death a much bigger bummer than it was in the screenplay. In the script his death was almost funny. Victoria shoots him in the head to shut him up because she was trying to think. It was a very dismissive and even nihilistic approach to ending a human life (I was nineteen or so when I first wrote it, which probably explains a bit) and now that I’ve actually written him as a fairly sympathetic and even interesting character, his death is suddenly sad and even tragic.
I guess it’s a good thing, but it’s certainly different and I’m not sure what to do with it. But if Ned Stark can get his head cut off by a prissy little teenage bastard king, then I guess I can shoot my asexual male prostitute in the head. But it’s still sad.