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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi! I’m having a little bit of a conundrum and this is probably the best place to ask about it.
I used to be able to write proper prose (describing the whole moment and all its actions within that moment, and every scene onwards), but most of my stories were short. Nowadays, depression has kicked me so hard that I lose interest in writing anything that isn’t a single scene or an overview/outline.

I don’t want these stories to languish on my hard drive/cloud, I want them to be seen but I cannot, for the life of me, write “proper prose.”

my outlines are more like flash stories—they sum up the events and actions of the characters, and may include some passages where I’ll use proper prose to describe characters’ actions and emotions in that moment.

Is it acceptable to publish my work like this? I decided to add illustrations to make up for the lack of super detailed descriptions and in-the-moment prose.

Here’s an example:

During the ride, Nari and Rico remain silent
they don't talk to each other, or even look at each other
ten or fifteen minutes before they arrive, Rico is contacted by his younger brother Chamyou
the dragonboy, in his watermelon-themed jacket, tells Rico he has new intel about their destination
he's a little too excited in his delivery; jumping up and down, his eyes sparkling
they are expecting a mysterious Mrs. M to meet them with a haul of food
Mrs. M is in Chamyou's custody, so her identity is up for grabs
Rico thinks it over, and finally agrees.

He wastes no time in changing his body into a more feminine experience that the carnivores would expect
Nari watches as his body shifts; cheekbones rearranging, body becoming shorter, head shape shrinking, and facial features rounding out
"I'll be needing a change of clothes," He—or rather, she mutters.
Chamyou says he'll need to injure himself a little to sell the story about the food delivery being hijacked
Rico asks Nari to hit him with his weapon
at first, Nari is apprehensive, turning over the ...gun sword? and stalling as much as she can by pretending to examine it.
Rico insists
"I can take it. I'm no ordinary dragon."
Nari swings her hardest, and the force kicks Rico into the console
the ship diverts off course, but Rico gets his bearings and corrects the course.

(I made sure not to have too much telling. I showed Chamyou’s excitement through his action/body movement).

When paired with illustrations like this:


or this



or a sketch illustration, is it acceptable to publish the outline as a short story?
The outlines are usually between 1,000 words and (I think?) 3,000 words, sometimes a little less than 1k words.

I really don’t want my stories to languish anymore, and this seems to be the only way I can go that doesn’t mentally tire me out.

Would readers even buy anything like this?

Thanks!
 

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The drawings are quite cool and impressive. Looks like they could fit into a graphic type publication -- although I'm not well versed on how that works, indie publishing wise. Others here will know more about that.

It might just take some modifications of the outline sentences and use them as captions or descriptions that would work.

Just a thought.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The drawings are quite cool and impressive. Looks like they could fit into a graphic type publication -- although I'm not well versed on how that works, indie publishing wise. Others here will know more about that.

It might just take some modifications of the outline sentences and use them as captions or descriptions that would work.

Just a thought.
I actually had a similar idea where one page has an illustration and the next page describes what that art depicts (or a paragraph under the picture describes what’s happening—if its a landscape sized picture). It would leave pages before the illustrations with just a paragraph or two of words, but I could fill that empty space with a sketch. I could test that idea again. The key for me is to not lose interest per book.

And thank you for the compliment! :D its a nice booster.
 

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The sketches are neat but I think this is more appropriate for a blog than for trying to sell until you have a lot of it to combine, and can bring your own audience. See if you can build an audience that way first. If people love it and come back for more, you'll be able to monetize later with a big collection, and clean up the prose at that time.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The sketches are neat but I think this is more appropriate for a blog than for trying to sell until you have a lot of it to combine, and can bring your own audience. See if you can build an audience that way first. If people love it and come back for more, you'll be able to monetize later with a big collection, and clean up the prose at that time.
Thank you for the reply! I tried that once for a loooong time but ultimately it didn’t work out for me (I used Wordpress.com). I’d also like to have these stories in a “tangible” form, and publishing them as ebooks makes them feel more real/their existence is better cemented that way. My goal is to one day pitch these stories for animation, so I thought having them as ebooks would aid in that somewhat.

I’ll try a blog again, but I’m not too exited to jump back into that.
 

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Are you familiar with Allie Brosh? Maybe her format and topic can give you some inspiration?
Also, don't forgo self care! It's okay to not be publishing when you are in the middle of a health crisis. The message from author world is that we always need to be writing, always need to be pushing and publishing but that is not true. Sometimes, you need to fall back and take care of yourself.
 

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Thank you for the reply! I tried that once for a loooong time but ultimately it didn’t work out for me (I used Wordpress.com). I’d also like to have these stories in a “tangible” form, and publishing them as ebooks makes them feel more real/their existence is better cemented that way. My goal is to one day pitch these stories for animation, so I thought having them as ebooks would aid in that somewhat.

I’ll try a blog again, but I’m not too exited to jump back into that.
The thing is, selling stuff is a hundred times harder, and receives ten times as much criticism as giving stuff away for free. You might not want that added stress in your current situation. Ebooks that aren't selling would hurt your future animation pitch more than help.

I'm not saying you should never try ebooks. I'm saying this probably isn't a good time for you. Your likely result is no buyers. That will inspire some people to do more, do better, work harder. That kind of person can publish away. But it will depress many people, and from your explanation I think you might fall into this group.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Are you familiar with Allie Brosh? Maybe her format and topic can give you some inspiration?
Also, don't forgo self care! It's okay to not be publishing when you are in the middle of a health crisis. The message from author world is that we always need to be writing, always need to be pushing and publishing but that is not true. Sometimes, you need to fall back and take care of yourself.
OHHHH I KNOW HER! I had to google her and I remembered her funny MS Paint-like art style. I didn’t read much of her work but I saw her blog years ago.

I checked her blog and see she uses a mixture of text and story too. It reminded me of this webcomic I saw called Best Friends Forever, which used a mix of art and a script to tell the story because the author could no longer draw it as a traditional comic. Seeing that format again sparked a little bit of inspiration inside me, so I’ll probably go with a similar style to what Allie Brosh and Mickey Quinn do.

and I will try to take self care breaks, but its hard to do because I’m also doing surveys on the side, and if I’m not doing those I’m stressed about not doing them 😅 its why I’m trying to monetize my writing—so I won’t have to do it. Perhaps following J. Tanner’s suggestion and putting all my stories on a blog is best, with buy links to each short story at the end of the post.

thanks for replying!
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The thing is, selling stuff is a hundred times harder, and receives ten times as much criticism as giving stuff away for free. You might not want that added stress in your current situation. Ebooks that aren't selling would hurt your future animation pitch more than help.

I'm not saying you should never try ebooks. I'm saying this probably isn't a good time for you. Your likely result is no buyers. That will inspire some people to do more, do better, work harder. That kind of person can publish away. But it will depress many people, and from your explanation I think you might fall into this group.
I’m going to try your suggestion and put 99% of my stories on my blog for free, and illustrated. I’ll include buy links at the end of the story, so if the reader wants to support my work any further they can buy the story’s ebook version on Amazon or some other site.

Super quick genuine question: how would ebooks that aren’t selling hurt the pitches? Would it tell studios/agents “this author isn’t worth our time.”

I probably do fall into the group of discouraged writer. In 2012/2013 I left my books for sale and didnt bother to promote cause I gave up on caring about sales, promoting, etc and now I think I’m starting to feel disappointment that my Kindle Vela story isn’t being read.
 

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Super quick genuine question: how would ebooks that aren’t selling hurt the pitches? Would it tell studios/agents “this author isn’t worth our time.”
Not quite. It's not about the author. It would be like "this thing the author created has already had a chance in the market and is not a commercially viable product."

The best pitch is for something with a track record of success in some form (like another medium.)

The second best pitch is something that's exciting to a publisher that hasn't appeared in the market yet. Publishers can dream about it being the next big thing because they believe in their own taste.

The worst pitch is something that is out there in the market and got crickets. That's dreams colliding with tough reality.
 

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Don't take my advice if it doesn't work for you, but I wouldn't let your work go so easily. You have an outline. You have a project you care about. If you release it too soon into the world, I think you will be disappointed. It sounds like you have a graphic novel in the making. I know it can seem daunting. Don't think of the whole. If you want to write a graphic novel, you could write the bones of it into a spreadsheet Cover Image, Pg 1 (Nari and Rico), Pg 2 (Chamyo's contact), Pg 3 (The shift). That will give you the framework for the drawings. (I did this for a picture book) Then just do one drawing at a time. Don't worry how long it takes. Think of just that drawing. Let yourself enjoy the work on the smaller pieces, knowing it will make a whole later on.


If you like the blogging idea, you could share things as you make them. (I've learned not to do that as it kills my creativity to have people give feedback too soon, but it really feeds some artist/author's energy)
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Not quite. It's not about the author. It would be like "this thing the author created has already had a chance in the market and is not a commercially viable product."

The best pitch is for something with a track record of success in some form (like another medium.)

The second best pitch is something that's exciting to a publisher that hasn't appeared in the market yet. Publishers can dream about it being the next big thing because they believe in their own taste.

The worst pitch is something that is out there in the market and got crickets. That's dreams colliding with tough reality.
Oof. I’m hoping mine is in the category of second best pitch. I figured an empire of intelligent space dragons is something the world hasn’t seen.

but recently paranormal romance authors have been trying to get into space dragons as well, and we all know sex sells >.> I don’t want to be a downer on myself but I feel like I’ve got no chance when going up against horny stories—so I’ll probably make a few of those. PR seems to sell well.
(sorry, I went on a tangent)
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
FYI: The 'Kindle Create' tool has a mode for creating comic-like ebooks; it could be an option for you to look at for your compilation edition to sell. See: Prepare Comic eBooks with Kindle Create

And, they also have an older tool called 'Kindle Comics Creator' as well but it only outputs Mobi files which are no longer valid to submit to KDP. Good Luck!
I did not know they had that! THANK YOU! I’m going to look into it. I took a quick skim and I saw a section that mentioned PDFs. I use Procreate, so I could create the book within Procreate, export it (the app exports to PDF format) and upload it through there. I’m excited! :D
 

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I’ll try a blog again, but I’m not too exited to jump back into that.
You should look into Substack. It's both a blog and a newsletter. The cool thing is that it has monetizing options built-in.

If I were you, I'd publish there first (either free or paid), then once the whole thing is out, release it in book form.
 
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