My current work-in-progress has been a blast to develop. I think it’s one of the best things I’ve written all year, in a year when I’ve produced a lot of good stuff. It leans into my desire to explore under-represented genre niches. It’s smart, a tad literary, and still a lot of fun.
This means, of course, that it won’t sell worth a damn. My publishing niche seems to value a handful ideas, restated slightly differently with a twist or a hot take thrown in. It reminds me of an old article in The Onion, Taco Bell’s Five Ingredients Combined In Totally New Way. Most successful fantasy games that aren’t Dungeons & Dragons can be summed up using the phrase “It’s like D&D, but…”.
My most successful design continues to do well not because it’s clever or innovative. It’s a reimagining of a dead licensed property. I managed to capture the nostalgia factor. What I put into it isn’t as important as what a bunch of guys did decades ago. Same five ingredients combined in a way no one’s used since the 1980s.
Yes, yesterday’s post was canned. I didn’t want to have to get online less than 24 hours after declaring that I was going back into emotional lockdown. So I pulled out a pre-written post, scheduled it, and gave myself some time before I had to take my laptop out of airplane mode. Today I’m following protocols and restricting my time online to checking business email and, well, this.
I’d like to remind everyone that the reason I go into these lockdowns is for my mental health. I need to keep away from the internet as much as possible. Bear that in mind when you think about what I wrote above, about my publishing niche. And what I’m going to write below, about the things I read. Cynicism and disillusionment come with the anxiety and depression.
A Tad Literary, Redux
I’m still working through the Booker Prize list. Haven’t been writing about it because no one reads those posts. I’m happy to enjoy the books and keep my thoughts to myself. I really want to read Hank Green’s books (affiliate link), which although novels are commentary about internet culture.