Next Year

There have been a couple of comments asking about the donation rewards and a few other things. I figured my reply would be better suited to a full post rather than a comment.

I’ll preface the following by saying that nothing is absolute, and my mind may change about any number of things in the next few weeks. No surprise there.

I’m calling the donation experiment done. As I remarked elsewhere, there’s just not enough traffic to make that work. It isn’t that the experiment failed; I still think it can work. But I think I got a few things out of order. I need to build traffic first. With a few hundred more regular readers, I could probably convince ten or twelve of them to donate $5.00 a month vs. the one or two people who were doing it now. I shouldn’t have even TRIED the donation thing until I got that level of traffic first. So next year I won’t be doing the donation stories. Instead, I’ll focus my efforts on getting more people to the site. I don’t know how yet, but I’m pretty creative so I’m sure I’ll think of something.

It is extremely unlikely that I’m going to stop writing. Some of the things I said last year may have implied that, but that’s just not true. Not only will I not stop, but I will try like hell not to vanish on some long hiatus like I did earlier. However… and this is the important part…. it is also extremely unlikely that I will write any MORE than I’m writing right now. My current level of output is what you can expect me to continue doing. For the record, I’m talking about three episodes of “Court of the Abominatrix” a week with the occasional ‘extra’ story here and there. When CotA is done, I’ll replace it with something else. That ain’t much. But honestly, I have no incentive to write any more than that. I’m not talking about money, either… I’m talking about the emotional satisfaction of having people read my work.. With more visitors and more feedback from more people, I would have incentive to give them more of what we both like: Good stories. But right now I’m writing for what… ten people? Twenty? Five? I’m pretty sure I can sit here and list all of my regular readers BY NAME. BY NAME! Think about that, and then try to explain why I should be cranking out 30,000 words every two weeks like I used to.

…there was another paragraph here, but it was entirely too bitter so I deleted it. Screw the drama; I’ll end with some stuff you might actually care about:

After “Court of the Abominatrix” is done, I will finish “The Forgotten.” The original plan for “The Forgotten” was a short story told in three parts, of which only the first part was completed. I don’t know if I’ll deviate from the plan or not, but it will be the next project. After that, I’ll finish “In Deed,” and it will most likely be in the same format as CotA. After THAT, I am undecided. There is no shortage of things I could work on; I guess it depends on how I feel when the time comes.

Likewise, I’m undecided on what to do for all the people who donated money since August. I’ll do SOMETHING… but I’ve got no serious ideas at the moment.

As mentioned above, there may continue to be random short stories or flash fiction floated around here or on other sites, but there’s no definite plan or schedule.

And that’s about it.


  1. Kragon, December 17, 2008:

    Well, when you do get the traffic coming to this site. I will be here to donate for a chapter or a story. Either way man, I have no problem dishing out five bucks or a little more a month. You tell fucking awesome stories and it’s hard to find a writer that thinks like minded.

    You have fans out there man. We just gotta dig them up and sit their ass down in front of a computer and get them reading.

    I can’t really think of a way to get some more people here…. I could always make another MySpace page and slap a link on it for your site..

    Either way we will find away. I’ve told friends and family. It’s just a matter of them actually coming to the site…

    But it makes me happy to know that I am one of like five people that have a few DI stories that no one else have read. It kinda makes us feel…I don’t know… Special.

    Looking forward to the future man.

  2. coops200ad, December 17, 2008:

    There are other way to help. Small things, free things and stuff that makes a difference. I haven’t got the cash to be donating to all the sites I enjoy (I’m a broke writer), but I don’t believe in taking and not giving. It’s bad Karma for a start and it’s also greedy.

    I’ve recently reviewed COTA on the Web Fiction Guide, I hit the Stumbleupon button on stuff I like and have left a review there too for Dark Icon’s work. I also promote this site on my blog and of course there’s the under-rated word of mouth.

    So if you enjoy someones work and are wondering how to give back, try a few of these methods and add a few more promotional tools that us computer illiterates, (me), don’t know about to this post.

    I appreciate what you are doing DI. I hope you keep writing for a long time. No-one as prolific as you can just stop without serious repercussions to your sanity so don’t even think about it.

  3. nate, December 18, 2008:

    I echo Kragon’s sentiments. Keep the links available though. Some of us might still use them.

    Happy to hear that The Forgotten is scheduled to be next, but I fully understand that things can, and probably will, change. Finishing In Deed at 3 installments a week will be nice.

    Merry Christmas, and good luck in 2009. I’ll be here almost daily to see what’s going on. I even miss the stories other authors were posting on the Asylum Walls in the past.

  4. DarkIcon, December 18, 2008:

    I miss the Asylum Walls, too. I think it was a lot of fun (when it was active) and it still has a lot of very cool content. I don’t know if there is anything that I can do to bring it back to life again, though. With a larger audience it may come back on its own. For the record, the huge number of members listed is mostly spambots. I used to clean them out on an irregular basis, but now I don’t even do that. The forum is locked down so they can’t post anything, but their mere presence is an annoyance to me. I suppose I could update the software to the most recent version, that may keep them from joining, although it won’t do anything about the lack of legitimate visitors. Besides, the last time I updated, we almost lost the whole thing.

  5. Chris, December 18, 2008:

    Well, after years of lurking your post drew me out. I don’t know what your traffic is like, but you mentioned knowing most of your reader’s by name, so here’s another faithful reader to know.

  6. nate, December 22, 2008:

    The December stories and Crusade were the big draws to this site a few years ago, and they seem to be what people are waiting for more of.

    You’re kind of like Piers Anthony that way. He can write a lot of stuff other than Xanth, but Xanth is the only thing the publishers are interested in.

    Me? I’m interested in everything you write. I’ve said before what I’d like to see more of so won’t repeat it now, but whatever you pen in 2009 will be read by me and I’m sure it’ll be worth my time to do so.

  7. udgang99, January 1, 2009:

    As I have said on several occasions, the number one thing that I think could help you get more visitors, is a total re-vamp of your website. Right now your site, and by “your site” I mean this blog, is too damn inhospitable. Put yourself in the shoes of someone who has never heard of you, or your writings … what do you think this person thinks when visiting the blog? And speaking about the blog, there are so many themes/skins out there, that could really liven things up. It dosn’t HAVE to look like a blog, just because it IS a blog.

    A couple of months back I started a website (in danish) about comics … it’s a blog (WordPress, like yours), but it dosn’t LOOK like a blog. Check it out:

    A whole nother thing … and this is just an idea I got while typing this. If you want to get more people interested in your writings, mayby you could implement some sort of “interactivity”. Like (a silly example, but you get the idea) end a chapter where the main character has a choice of action, like “try to communicate with the alien” or “shoot first, ask later” … I think some people might respond well to this. It’s the same principal I have used (with success) in comics, the comicjams).

    Soooo …
    1: New design of website.
    2: Interactivity.

  8. DarkIcon, January 2, 2009:

    Some kind of “interactive” story has been on my list of things to try for a while. I’ve been researching some different ways that other sites have been doing it, and it’s probably something I’ll try later this year. The one big downside to that, however, is that assuming I’m the one doing all the writing, the amount that I’d have to write to produce one such story goes up exponentially for each “choice” given to the reader. Something as simple as a short story becomes a major undertaking with the introduction of only a handful of choices that affect the ending. I considered spending some time over at (which I mentioned in another blog post last year) to investigate how to introduce multiple authors into the mix. I may just start a project over THERE and see how it goes.

    As for the blog, I suppose it is time to change. I chose the current theme with the intention of putting some time into selecting/customizing a proper theme later. Since then, I’ve seen only a tiny fraction of the blog themes out there, but, of that tiny fraction, I liked exactly ZERO. Well… one. The one I have right now. And that isn’t just casual browsing for themes, that’s devoting several hours over a few days looking for something that looked cool but WASN’T already being used on every third blog on the internet. Given that information, I figured that finding a theme I actually liked would be a HUGE time sink. I would be better off designing one myself… and since I have no idea how to do that, then I decided to keep what I had until… hell, I dunno. Until people complained, I guess. ;)

  9. udgang99, January 9, 2009:

    If you’re looking for new themes for WordPress, I would suggest doing a googlesearch for “wordpress magazine themes” … lot’s of interesting hits, that just might work for you?!

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