AOE Studio’s creator KC Hunter, the author of The Brothers Locke: An Urban Fantasy Adventure and illustrator for the upcoming The Immanent World Vol. 2: Cluichi horror anthology, recently sat down for an interview on the ArtistsFirst Radio Network
Solas is a team of mercenaries for hire who do odd jobs around The Dea. The team consists of Dana Strand, Bulk Brown and Bando as the muscle with backup from two teenage tech wizards Kale and Jocelyn.
Today we release two new character cards for Bulk Brown and Bando. Bulk is the leader of Solas, a mercenary his entire life who takes this latest job for his team but fails to realize how much it will take him from a gun-for-hire to an actual leader.
Bando, a long-time associate, is a giant of a man standing nearly seven feet tall. His muscular frame allows him to use heavier weapons. While not the smartest of the team, Bando is capable of much more than just being a blunt instrument although no one around him expects anything else from him.
These two character cards are part of a series. More will be released over the next few weeks as we lead up to the release of the eight episode eBook series for Young Adults – The Brothers Locke – on January 1, 2017.
Writing a novel or even a short story has a certain structure to it. There is always a beginning, a middle, and an end.
Episodic fiction is a different animal altogether. Some may think it’s writing chapters and dividing them up into “episodes”, which can be true for some.
What I found when writing The Brothers Locke is that you’re trying to advance the story as a whole while providing clues and hints as to where it’s going. This is much different from writing chapters which can be whole scenes in themselves. Episodes in literature are very much like episodes in television.
What conflict am I introducing?
What resolution can I present in the short amount of pages I’m writing?
How does this advance a particular character or theme?
That’s a lot to do in under 60 pages but it is possible.
The one word that kept coming into my mind when writing the series was “discipline”. While it was sometimes tempting to elaborate excessively in parts of the story, I had to keep in mind the point of this style of fiction is for a quick read.
It has to move fast, it can’t be too self indulgent.
Another major concern is how many episodes are you going to write. The Brothers Locke average around 30-45 pages per episode, so eight episodes in itself is a full length novel. I first thought it would be thirteen episodes but I soon found out by episode 4 that it would require a lot of stretching of the narrative to get to thirteen, so I decided on eight which was extremely helpful in getting the story where it needed to go.
Of course this is all based on your writing style. What works for me might not work for you. However, if you find yourself having some of the same issues I did when writing your first episodic literary series, some of these tips might be helpful.
The next blog post on this journey is about how to format these episodes for the eBook format.
The Brothers Locke is an 8-episode eBook series coming January 1st 2017.
The first novel for my Young Adult Fiction epic series Dorian Delmontez was written about two years ago. At some point in the last twelve months I got the bright idea:
I should introduce people to the world and the series by writing a short episodic fiction prequel involving supporting characters from the main storyline.
Yes, essentially I added another few months of work before I actually release the Dorian Delmontez books. But, there were a few benefits to it.
One in particular is realizing that there is a decent sized audience for short, episodic fiction especially in the eBook universe.
There are a few others that seem to do well in sales:
Kindle handles eBook series (or Serials as they’re sometimes called) much like TV shows. Each book or chapter is handled as an episode and you have the option of releasing them all at one time – ala Netflix – or release the series over a number of weeks, months – ala traditional television which is weekly.
While I have still yet to consider which format is best, I am leaning towards the weekly release schedule.
Netflix has made “binge” consumption of entertainment a new thing but in respect to eBooks, where it does take time for some readers to get through episodes, getting the next release might be a more exciting avenue to go down.
Readers could download book one and then each week when a new episode is released they will be notified, which helps to reinforce the brand and the name of your work in their mind.
The next blog post I’ll talk about how I structured my upcoming eBook series as the flow of such stories is different than traditional novels or short stories.
The Brothers Locke – an 8 episode Young Adult Fantasy series is available January 1, 2017.