Welcome to Dysontopia, an ambitious novel project/serial I am hard at work on. Every Monday I will be releasing a new section of the work. Don’t worry, I’ll be releasing traditional blog posts throughout the week. This is simply a passion project I’m attempting to release in an innovative form. I’ve got some cool ideas, with a number of themes I want to explore, and a fiction narrative is the best way to succeed in this endeavor.
Dysontopia is, in it’s simplest context, an “advanced YA” science fiction novel. I don’t want to spoil too much at the moment – you can gather clues in the title and logo – but it explores concepts like dealing with mental illness, living in high-concept situations, and futurism. But it is, most of all, a human story. If I do it right, you’ll know Sydney, our main character, more than you know yourself when all is said and done. I’m very excited for you to get to know her, as I’ve grown rather attached to the character during the writing process.
These “zero-point updates” – 0.1, 0.2, etc – will be used to provides details on changes I’ve made, background information on my intentions with various passages, sources for concepts readers may not be too familiar with, and personal anecdotes reminding me of the things that happen to Sydney. Consider it a patching system, as Dysontopia is obviously still a work in progress. My coding consists of chapter name first, part name second. For instance, 3.2 is chapter 3, part 2.
The question I’ve been asked most since contemplating the idea is why. What’s the point in releasing this as a serial on a blog instead of seeking the far more traditional publishing route? I imagine people want to know in case they have the idea of doing something like this with their work at some point. I have four reasons.
First, it holds me accountable – each week I must write and edit about a thousand words, minimizing writer’s block. A thousand words is just the length of my average blog post – a little less if we’re being honest. I have no excuse for not being able to write and polish that much in a week’s time. Plus, I have about a 15,000 word head-start and an outline to work with. I’ve found the reason I most often get writer’s block is because I doubt myself in the parts of a work that aren’t quite as interesting as the high points. This system requires me to force my way through those moments, and maybe even make the low points a little more compelling along the way.
Second, I get constant feedback from my amazing followers! I take all your comments to heart, and you may even find me going back and utilizing the spirit of your suggestions. This is a WordPress blog, so I can easily go back and patch things up that could be better.
Third, I get to incorporate the all-important aspect of design into the fiction. I’m a graphic designer by trade, so it seems weird to under-utilize half of my skill-set.
Fourth, you get to read a compelling story in small portions so you don’t get burnt out. I don’t expect my first work to be as amazing as the greats, so this system escapes the trap of putting a book down to never pick it back up again. Instead, if you don’t like it, maybe there will be something better next week.
I welcome your feedback, everyone. In fact, I flourish in all the support and critiques I’m given. I’m tough, so I can take when someone bring legitimate criticism. That’s something this platform is incredibly good at. And, I thrive whenever I’m told that my posts have positively influenced someone. So use that comment box liberally as we all venture deeper into Dysontopia!