Changing Hats

So, here’s my folder of Hat Trick 2/1 storyboards:

31 pages and Roll Credits?

No. My plan is to take Hat Trick 1, make it Hat Trick 0 in case people still want it for historical reasons.

Hat Trick 2 becomes Hat Trick 1 (hence my calling it Hat Trick 2/1), the lead comic in the series. It has the following jobs:

  • It must, above all else, be a complete and satisfying story by itself. No-one who buys it shall say “Oh, he was just setting me up for the sequel.” They shall say “I got my money’s worth. I like this story. The ending was exciting.” Etcetera.
  • It must, however, be the setup for the rest of the Hat Trick Series. I must plant seeds for some of the sequels, lay the groundwork for the larger stories. The reason I really need to stick the landing now, instead of leading off with a cliffhanger, is so that later, when I do a two- or three-parter, I’ve built that trust with my readers “Yes. Evan sticks landings. You can be sure the next book will wrap up this story well.”
  • It must be a satisfying conclusion to Hat Trick 0. Hat Trick 0 was a mistake, but I have an obligation to the kind people who bought it to make sure they don’t feel like it was a mistake. They need to still feel like they got their money’s worth. When they get Hat Trick 1, they need to go, “ah, yes. This is where my original purchase was leading, and I’m glad I got both stories.”

That’s a big ask, my friends. Here’s some additional relevant information and constraints:

  • With color books, the price of printing is flat up to about 30 pages, and then it very quickly ramps up. With Black and White, the cost is flat up to 120 or so pages, and then it very slowly ramps up. Thus, I have this pattern in my head of leading off a series with a long but cheap Black and White hook book, and then short and vivid color episodes thereafter. I’m not sure if I should use the pattern for Hat Trick. Hat Trick kinda works Black and White.
    →→ So, sequels are liable to be around 30 pages, but this book can be as long as it needs to.
  • I’ve divided the story of Hat Trick 2/1 into two parts. Part 1 is a short intro the world, hero, and the idea of the super powered Witchling villains, Part 2 is the conclusion to book 1, that is, the actual fight with the Night Mare. In this way, I can set up Part 2 without repeating the ground covered in the first book. But Part 1 wrote itself, whereas Part 2 still needs some more time in the oven.
  • Normally, per my work on my previous books, I would do Part 2 anyway by plowing ahead. See what emerges, make whatever fixes I need. However, thanks to my new, embryonic Slip Box workflow, I’m probably going to tinker with Hat Trick in my deck box, as well as whatever else I feel like, until one of my tinkering clusters is large enough to harvest.

So, Hat Trick will progress when I feel like it. Which is not to say I won’t be working on producing children’s books. Just that I’m not giving out guarantees as to which one is next.

This is blog post Part 1. Part 2, we talk about Awesome Moments, which is the book I feel like working on at this present time. Whether I will “harvest it” before or after Hat Trick (or anything else) remains to be seen.

Anyway, if you want to see the first story arc of the Hat Trick 2/1 first draft, I’ve put it all up on my SubscribeStar, and I’ve lowered the subscription cost to $2.


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