A Big Leap Forward

A Big Leap Forward

Buttons 99.001I’ve been in WordPress purgatory again.

Trying to make sure everything is in shape for the increased exposure that Fiction Unboxed will undoubtedly bring. Right now the sites all feel a bit naked.

I know that’s silly, I see everything with a magnifying glass, and things that aren’t so bad at all seem garish.

Realm & Sands, Collective Inkwell and the SPP site all need some love, overdue and built on the back of everything we’ve learned so far this year. Plus I have to build the Fiction Unboxed site from scratch.

Fortunately, I kept my nose down all day. I had a bunch of new stuff to learn, but I got through it all, and made all of my long lists of to-dos that will get the project behind me.

It’s going to be another long, hard weekend, but by the time I’m putting cheek to pillow Sunday night, the syndicate will have taken a big leap forward, with offers refined and new domains ready to go.

Buttons 99.004As much as I don’t care for the tedium that accompanies some of the more mundane WordPress tasks, I love the visual direction the projects always push me. Today I had to make sidebar buttons for SPP, R&S, and Fiction Unboxed. I think they turned out pretty cool:

I’m really glad I’m writing here, too. I couldn’t stop thinking about ways to implement the things I’m learning, and by being consistent on SMP, I’ll naturally nudge the other sites along on a continuing basis, rather than the stopping and starting of major attention every few months, which is the unfortunate way we’ve been doing things for a while.

It’s getting better all the time.

Until tomorrow …

Shaping the Offer

Shaping the Offer

This payment stuff is more frustrating than I anticipated, but it’s a long term game changer, and totally worth the time sink.

Right now I’m trying to figure out how to get a buy window to lay over the site. That way a reader doesn’t have to leave while browsing our “DVD extras.”

I want things to be ridiculously easy, so I’m trying to define the finals to have as few parts as possible. Ideally, just three.

Yesterday’s Gone S1 Free –> YG S1-4 Bundle –> Full CI Library

Ideally, I’d love to also offer the next six books, but in that context, I think it’s too much. They can always come back and get them later. Simple is better.

We’re refining the Realm & Sands offer, shaping it as we go. It will be live soon.

Because I can’t have the buy window hover without an SSL certificate (I discovered this morning), Johnny just bought one for SPP and now all the sites on that network are down (all ones where I needed to work before our meetings). I’m choosing to appreciate the restriction — one SSL certificate will keep me focused on the single site, making it right before I go making it wrong across our syndicate.

I’ll work on the offers, and they’ll keep getting better. Hopefully I’ll have something awesome to share soon.

Until tomorrow …


Kickstarter has approved Fiction Unboxed.

We could not be more excited.

That is all.

Until tomorrow …

Fiction Unboxed

Fiction Unboxed

The video took a million and three years, but now it’s finally done!

Anything That Isn’t Someone Funding a Book

Anything That Isn’t Someone Funding a Book

Amazing momentum.

Loving Fiction Unboxed for how much it’s pushing the three of us to think.

This is a really great project. Every angle encountered has forced us to sharpen our focus, and the results have surprised us in the best possible way.

The three of us love going above and beyond. Like with Write. Publish. Repeat., and many fiction projects in between those, a small project has blown up into something much (much) larger, and that much more amazing.

At first, we wanted to do a Kickstarter project. We had interest in the marketplace, and a ton of seeds that would soon be ideas, all different versions of anything that isn’t someone funding a book. 

It was a while before we realized that the Fiction Formula was the perfect project, and another slice of time before we realized that the Fiction Formula would be much better as Fiction Unboxed. Since the unboxing, it’s become more than we ever imagined (or saw coming).

I love what it is and what it isn’t, which we’re talking about on a post that Johnny wrote on the SPP blog for tomorrow.


Read What Fiction Unboxed is and What it Isn’t HERE 

Most of all, I’m thrilled with some of the solutions we’ve designed, and the directions they’ll be pushing the business.

So so excited about all of this.

Until tomorrow …

Beats 2.0

Beats 2.0

Fiction Unboxed will be really, really exciting.

I have just one concern, and it’s not even that. If anyone else were protesting (Dave or Johnny) I would say, the art will take care of it. 

And that is what Johnny’s been saying. And while I believe him, I really want the project to be amazing, and fly without a hitch. But starting is everything, and skin begins to peel from the problem.

I’m only going to have a day or two for beats. That’s really not long. Even beats normally written over a weekend are only brewed from the leaves of marinated thought. This time I’ll be entirely empty.

Our first story meeting after starting Fiction Unboxed will be for tone and nothing more. We should be able to decide on a story for sure by day two. I’ll have to immediately spin that into a story that’s strong enough for Johnny to run with on Monday, the third day.

That is tight. 

I think I’ll have to write the opening scene first, to buy me a day. Then spend the next day doing nothing but, or scene one on day one, Act I on day two, Act II on day three, and Act III on day four. I’ll catch up on the editing. Yup, that’s what I’ll do. Just figured it out in that sentence. Thanks accountability to write here.

I love this project’s constrictions, and the ways it will tighten the art, but I must start strong. If I choke the project will sputter. So like a trainer preparing to fight, I’ve been punching my most recent beats especially hard.

Now I think I have something special.

Though they vary in their levels of complication, my beats are always packed with story.  They can be playful, or complex. The Beam was stupid in its level of pre-production documentation. For the newest Realm & Sands project, tentatively titled The Axis of Aaron, I’m in the middle of crafting the best beats per story length we’ve done so far.

Beats are usually a 10% endeavor, if I’m writing for myself or if Dave is writing for me. Johnny prefers leaner beats, so my budget for this project (plotted at 60K words) would be a maximum 6K words worth of beats.

I’m more than halfway there now, and still plenty to do. But I think he’ll really like how they’re arranged, and I believe the resulting book will be extraordinary. Possibly quite beautiful. These beats are definitely worthy of a 2.0.

Until tomorrow …