We need to talk about the Dysontopia project. I know I haven’t published a new section in a couple weeks. Two weeks ago I made this tweet:
While true, and content for the novel is indeed something I’m working on, it’s not really the big issue that’s keeping me from publishing another section. You see, and I think you’ll agree with me on this, I think Dysontopia has a branding issue. I’d like to get this fixed before proceeding.
I’m putting Dysontopia on temporary hiatus until I’m happy with its branding and I retroactively apply that branding to all previous sections.
I think the root cause of issue was this: I never expected Dysontopia to actually work, at least not in the capacity it seems to be right now. The project was, for lack of a better word, an experiment which I didn’t not expect to be a success. I need to have more confidence.
A funny thing happened. You guys started liking, commenting, and supporting the work like you would any other Normal Happenings post. And I started writing, planning, updating, and patching. Before I knew it, I was four chapters in and had developed an extremely interesting protagonist in Sydney, a fascinating and mysterious supporting character in Millie, and an unusual secret agent foil in Val.
All that leads up to where I am right now: the writer of a good book with a bad brand. I’m patient enough to try to change that before delving back into weekly publication, especially considering some major events in the plot are about to transpire, so I hope you’ll bear with me while I fix some things up on the front end.
One of the biggest issues is that Dysontopia does not fit in quite properly with the rest of Normal Happenings. It’s hard to describe, but objectively it seems shoehorned in — as if there’s a beautiful blog to play around in, and then on Mondays there’s weird, amateur-looking novel art making it challenging to draw in new readers. What I need, then, is art as inspirational as the finely-crafted posts from the rest of the week — designs a potential reader feels good about seeing week after week.
You probably saw this coming, but to accomplish this I’ve again enlisted the superstar talents of the Geeky Gal herself, Megan, to do some designs for me. See that logo up there? She did that. See those Nice Job badges on Fridays? Yep, she designed those too. I may be a great web designer and animator, but my logo and branding design skills pale in comparison to hers. Go check out her work, and then get her to make something awesome for you!
Anyway, she’ll be designing me an actual book cover! Some of the ideas she’s already told me about are, appropriately, stellar. She’ll also be designing a brand book that I can pull from to keep internal consistency in my web design and featured images. Most importantly, it helps inspire me, the author, to continue crafting the best novel possible. Good literature helps spur readers in the world to be there best, so I intend to create something worth enjoying from front to back. My work will not be done until that happens.
But don’t think I’m not writing Dysontopia in the meantime. I’ll be patching up already existing sections, and I’ll be writing future sections of the story. But you, dear reader, will just have to wait to see what happens next for Sydney Winters!
Now’s a good time to catch up from the beginning if you haven’t already! Just use the links at the beginning and end of the posts to navigate through. If you’ve already read it, let us know your favorite part in the comments!
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