We’re gearing up for the release of the pilot episode of the Blood Magic series. This has been something that I’ve been working on for quite some time, and if you’ve been following IGC for awhile, you’ve seen some of the steps we’ve taken to make it into a reality. With only a handful of days before the first episode is up on the website, I wanted to bring everyone up to speed on what this project is, where you can expect it to go, and hopefully drum up some excitement amongst you readers, so that you’ll come to the site after January 31st to read it.
I started writing Blood Magic a few years ago as a way of exploring three concepts that interested me: Arthurian fantasy, a blood-based magic system, and a written series of stand-alone “episodes” modeled off of old-style television shows. That was as far as it went, at the time, and since this was before I’d decided how I wanted to go about getting anything published, especially something as strangely organized and lengthed as this series, the first episode just sat on my hard drive, collecting digital dust.
Even once I started publishing my works through this website, I wasn’t sure if Blood Magic was something to which I wanted to commit. There are a lot of other writing projects I’m working on, and my “real” job keeps me busy enough that finding time to write consistently, keep up the blog, and do everything else that life requires becomes…challenging. So I was hesitant to trying to publish Blood Magic, since by doing so I would be committing to writing and releasing the future episodes on time.
However, they say the secret to building an audience and driving traffic to a site is consistency, and new content, and I didn’t have anything else in my line-up that would fit the bill as perfectly as Blood Magic. I decided, eventually, that as long as I could be sure of coming up with things to write about for each episode, writing, revising, and formatting 7500 – 15000 words per month should be doable. A stretch, perhaps, but doable. And I really wanted to be able to get this series before a wider audience. Last fall, I went through and developed a series summary, with brief descriptions of the high points for thirty six episodes, to be spread over three years, released once per month.
Now, the first two episodes are fully written and revised, and I’m digging into writing on the third episode, so that I can hopefully keep up with my self-imposed deadlines. My goal is to release one episode at the end of each month going forward. By publishing the first episode, my promise to you, the reader, is that you’ll get at least one full season of Blood Magic. As we approach the end of the first year, I’ll be evaluating the how the series has been received, and my own ability to continue the pace of production.
Generally, there are two types of writers: discovery writers, and outliners. I fall firmly in the discovery writing camp, perhaps as a reaction to my tendency to plan everything else in my life in excruciating detail. With most of my stories, I’ll simply build my outline and world in my head as I go, getting the details down in the story as they become relevant, and going back to reference those as necessary. However, with a production like this, that approach wasn’t going to be entirely viable.
As I built the outline for the projected thirty six episodes, I was also building the world. The key nations, where they are, the political dynamics within and between states, geographical characteristics, and technological capacities needed to be determined in such a way that the series would feel full-fleshed and the entire world would be tight. After all, if this goes well there will be those avid readers who feel the need to pour over every inch of the map and every word I write for continuity and consistency, and I wouldn’t want to disappoint.
No, there aren’t going to be Blood Magic T-shirts, hats, patches, coins, stuff animals, or other merchandise, so don’t get too excited. But there is a business side to this operation, and especially to a release like this, there were a lot of steps that needed to happen in order to make the launch successful (posts like this one, for instance). Writing is fun, making maps and world-building is fun, but this part is only sort of fun.
For one thing, we developed a logo, and by we, I mean I. This is still a largely solo operation, despite my occasional use of the plural, and of course with the exception of my test readers, without whom my stories would be so much weaker than they are. So that fancy logo you see on the Blood Magic main page is something I made myself. Maybe one day I’ll get to the point of hiring people for things like cover art, logos, and so forth, but that’s a ways off for now.
Aside from the logo, I’ve written numerous posts about Blood Magic. So much of the success of this effort is going to be tied up in name recognition, so that when I reference Blood Magic, you readers will know immediately what I’m talking about, and hopefully want to go read the most recent episode.
And yes, I know I should be doing more with social media, but I simply have neither the time, nor the inclination. Would you rather that I write more stories for you, or spend that writing time posting things on twelve social media accounts? I’m assuming the former…
The Way Ahead
On Friday, the very first episode of Blood Magic will be released, and there will be a new episode each month for at least a year. Where the series goes in large part depends on the responses I get from you, the reader. So I highly encourage you to check the site on Friday, go over to the Blood Magic page, and read our first episode. Despite the name, I promise that this is not a dark series. I hope you’ll soon be spending time with Doil, Kiluron, and all the others.