Serial pulps, or killing people for fun and profit

I find when it comes to writing, I’m an ideas man. Ideas will hit me left, right and center, demanding my attention. My task is to try and stay focused on that one idea that will pay off, and keep quiet all the other ones until a better time.

I have a full notebook. Well, digitally speaking.

With Kingdom of the Sun draft one sitting in a bottom draw gathering dust (digitially speaking, also) I figured that my next project was a teen novel that had been screaming for my attention through the final weeks of my last project. Turns out another idea stepped in right at the last second and grabbed me instead.

I’ve never been much of a fan of self publishing. It’s a lot of work, and I’d rather just trad publish when I know I can. But I’m a great fan of the serial e-book format. Quick, fun reads are exactly that, and e-book delivers those perfectly. I’ve dabbled in serial format plenty before, and I know people who make it work for a living. My friend Christopher Ruz is a great example of that.

So serial it is, which is probably a quicker project to fit in between novel drafts than another novel draft. Crime serial, to be exact. I find myself reveling in the creative process of just idea dumping and with the help of Scrivener I’m organizing them a lot better than prior projects. Out of all this crime laden juice will hopefully come 5 short and snappy novellas. Ripe for picking in the American summer.

Crime is an interesting beast. It’s more than killing someone and working out who did it. When coming up with new and interesting plot ideas that will work in no more than 10k, I find myself thinking on all sorts of strange things. When thinking on 5 novellas that I hope will sell well, I can only pick the best of the best.

When going into this particular project I find myself thinking on the James Bond novels. Albeit far longer than a 10k serial, I think those books captured the perfect balance of story and pick-it-up-and-read. Ian Flemming was a cunning and skillful author indeed. Other than the sheer easy joy of reading those novels, the one thing I remember the most about them was the atmosphere. The food. The drink. The sounds and sights.

With this project, like all others, I think to myself what would I want to read. Hopefully, even in its original inception, I can bang that out into memorable characters, compelling crime and tone perfect atmosphere. That’s the idea for now at least. And all set in modern day Auckland …

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