Input Needed: How to Stage a Comeback

Hey everyone,

As you may or may not know, I have been on hiatus for about a year. I lost my job last summer and had to scramble to find work and provide for my family.

Things are on almost a routine now and I would like to return to writing. I would like some input on my ideas of how to stage a comeback, and am open to further suggestions as well.

So here's my plan so far:

1) Ask for help - get the WFG community involved - advice.

2) Poll for which story the remaining audience would be interested in seeing return first - Diggory, Samaritan or Trepidation - because I can only handle one until I have momentum.

3) Ask for reviews from helpful people for existing stories to launch the same week as I start chapters - to get my name in the swing of things again.

4) Build a month of backlog for whichever story wins the poll.

5) Write guest chapters and/or reviews of stories, similar purpose as point 3 - reciprocity and return to community involvement.

6) Write kick ass chapters and stage an illustrious return.

I think I would reboot Samaritan entirely if it got picked.

Any advice? Thoughts? Volunteers?

1. I don't know what advice I could give you, honestly. Just don't do it if you're not ready.

2. Based on the descriptions (I didn't have time to read through each serial entirely), I vote Samaritan. It has the most interesting premise.

3. I'm a little lost by this statement, honestly. Could you clarify?

4. This is always a good idea.

5. Nope, sorry. I would volunteer as tribute (oh, God, I hate The Hunger Games, why did I reference it?), but I'm not that good.

6. This is what you should do. Seriously, if you return to writing, you should do it with a bang. That's what I'll do if I reboot I Am the Devil (I'm being serious, the opening scene the bitch that accuses them throughout the first book is having...relations with her boyfriend, who I've aged ahead of her by seventeen years, and which will set in motion a Rosemary's Baby-esque pregnancy sub-plot for her). Make it great.

3) There are a number of people who have recommended my stories or starred them, without writing reviews. If they (or new reviewers too) coordinated new reviews to coincide with my relaunch then it would be helpful - it would recirculate that I'm writing again to the WFG audience, and maybe generate new interest for people who weren't here when I was super active. (2007-2012)

Reviewing the stories that exist when I relaunch would be like saying "this previous work was high quality, so look forward to the new project" I think.

That's the idea anyway.

I too have a question regarding number 3. Do you want people to review your older works and or the new ones?

Because it's not on your list - make a post for each of your stories to notify followers of your comeback?

I'm just making suggestions and asking for suggestions so I can make a solid plan.

Chrysalis is right about making posts on my own site - I should have added that but it was in my mindset for when I start the audience poll.

As to 3) - I mean reviews of old stories, kind of like how an actor's old movies will be on TV when a new one launches. It reminds people of wha else they've done, generating interest in the new stuff.

(People won't be able to review new stuff until after, anyway)

Hi Gavin,

I honestly think you're overthinking it. Right now, just focus on the writing. Get reliable, stay reliable, and be patient. Given time and steady, consistent effort, you'll get back to where you were, I think. Don't look to your audience to decide what to write - write what you need to write.

Consider, also, maybe just writing something new. From our discussions & what I'm reading here, it seems like you're doing a lot of rehashing. My personal experience is that too much time spent just going over the old stuff will make you stagnant. You learn more by writing, and that'll give you the tools to make the fixes and rewriting that much better, further down the road.

Hi Wildbow,

Quite honestly, this summer I came to the conclusion I almost HAVE to overthink things. I've been writing offline stories and vignettes and scenes the past few months, kind of like kick-starting a bike, and the ability is still there. I wouldn't have brought this up in the forums if I didn't think I could handle it -- I took a break specifically because I knew I couldn't give stories the focus they deserve.

It took me seven years to write NMAI because I did it by myself. With "Diggory" I put out way more volume in the same amount of time because it was online with an audience. Knowing people are reading makes me work a lot harder, because then the story isn't just in my head, it's being delivered to a reader. I have tons of stories in my head, but an audience makes me prioritize and bring one into focus.

And when I say "a ton of stories in my head" I mean complete, finished stories. That's how I write books, essays, sermons for church etc. My brain is always on overdrive. I have multiple trains of thought on different layers, and have to practice prioritizing what's most relevant for a conversation or a day's schedule, so I don't get lost in my head.

People liked NMAI and maybe they want to read "Trepidation." People liked Diggory and maybe they want it to come back. "Samaritan" has a good concept that I've been working on since I was eleven, but for some reason the format doesn't flow the way I want it to. I think "Worm" showed me some ways to get it to work better - my style online used to be quick short chapters almost daily, and Worm did long chapters that settled you in to a scene. I think that works better for the multiple character approach of Samaritan, the short scenes were too quick to get a sense of who people were.

I think that I need to involve the audience because they're literally who I'm writing for. Otherwise the stories just live in my heads, rolling around waiting to be heard. I want them to vote so I can prioritize which one to bring to the surface until I'm on all cylinders and can potentially handle multiple projects. It's just how I function best.

I'm glad I took the last few months to work on other stuff to prove I could do it -- but those stories don't have an audience that might miss them. The other ones do and I hate that I left them unfinished.

Based on your opening post it seems you just answered your own question. What's stopping you from rebooting Samaritan? You should just write whatever excites you the most. You're not getting paid for this, you have no deadlines. You are free. Follow that muse. I mean, why not? If you're writing something that excites you, the readers will follow it's as simple as that. If none of your current projects are really grabbing you, it might be time to start something new.