Ever since a friend suggested on my Patreon page that I do a Kensei serial, my brain has been picking away at the idea. When it first came up, I pitched it to my wife, Dawn. Any writing I did on it would have to go through her for editing. Assuming a weekly short of about 5,000 words, could she handle that on top of the work she does for Mad Scientist Journal?
The short answer is “No.” But we compromised and said, “We’d do it for the right amount of money.” So I put it as the second milestone on Patreon. (The first is to cover the costs of Mad Scientist Journal.) Mostly the money is intended to compensate my lovely wife for helping with another one of my weird schemes.
Since then, I’ve been poking around ideas for what I would write. I have a lot of little seeds for sub-plots that I’ve jammed into my Kensei books. I don’t necessarily know how I’m going to resolve them all in the other two books I have planned. It may be easier to just turn them into plots for serials.
This is especially helpful because I planned on a small time jump between books 2 and 3 for a few different reasons. Part of it is to give Jamie a chance to grow and learn from the things she went through. Part of it is because I originally planned on five books but realized that I only had four solid ideas for how to structure the uber-plot. Part of it is that there are three other Cobalt City books by other authors that take place in the near future of Kensei, and I would like to move towards a place where they fit together a bit more.
But there’s also no sign of me ever meeting those milestones on Patreon. While I love the six friends that kicked in a bit of scratch to help support me, I’m a long ways from my first milestone of $300 let alone an additional $500 to pay for a weekly serial. Once I get Kensei in a stand alone format and start promoting the second book, I was planning on pushing for backers. But there’s still no guarantee that anything will happen.
So I’m looking to compromise and start with something simple: one 5K-ish story per month. Dawn’s said she’s okay with it, so now I just need to start planning. Increased backing will instead mean the stories will be put out more frequently.
For the serials, I’m looking to basically write stuff in the “Kensei Universe,” which will mostly be smaller stories about Kensei, but also other characters that overlap with her. Most of it will take place in December/January between books two and three. What would happen in these stories? Some initial thoughts I have had are:
- A Kensei/Traffic Enforcer team-up.
- Other lesser superheroes in Cobalt City who I sometimes reference but never actually do anything with.
- Taking a fresh stab at my idea for “A Christmas Sutra” with Louis Malenfant as a Scrooge like figure and being visited by bodhisattvas on Christmas Eve.
- A Picara story arc, which right now only means something to my beta readers. Suffice to say it’s a Mexican-American teenage female swashbuckling superhero.
- Stories about some of the derby characters I introduced, especially the ones on the Glass Eyed Dolls. Because I feel there needs to be more stories about junior roller derby sleuths.
- Maybe some flashback stories involving Jamie’s family.
I need to find some time to begin taking notes on what exactly I want to write about. But then, I probably need to spend October working on my outline for NaNoWriMo, which will be a novel-length sequel to A Tale of Two Bureaucracies. Because what the world needs is epic bureaucratic fantasy.