Shadow Play Final Thoughts

Whew. What a book.

Shortest book in terms of chapters, but longer in total words than Blue steel. On a personal level, I consider this the darkest book I’ve written to date. Mostly because it has the most sympathetic and likable bad guy (who I then kill off).

This feels like a good book to me, one which I’m proud to have written. I hope more of my stories keep as on-track as this one has. Which is remarkable given the nightmare hell couple weeks which I’ve only just now recovered from. I’m impressed with myself for handling that as well as I did and keeping the story on track.

Unfortunately, by all empirical measures, the Blue Steel series has been my least successful books by far. No donations at all, no new Patreons, no reader-funded bonus chapters, no one’s even bothered to add one update to the TvTropes or even make a single reader recommendation on any site… and I seem to be slowly losing readers, if slowly.

Pretty clear sign what I’m putting down is not resonating, and it’s time for me to walk away. Which likely means I won’t be revisiting Warren and company any time soon.

Not that I base what I write on what people read- I don’t- but I have many, many things I wish to write. Why continue on something people don’t seem to want when I can instead focus on stuff people might enjoy more?

So we’re on to the “what next” segment.

I’m going to complete the series I’ve already started. Threefold and Nothing Given are next, in that order. Then I’ll cap off both chains with their final (and as yet untitled) stories

At which point, 2017 should be looming. If Price still remains in limbo then as it has throughout most of this year, I’ll move on to a different setting altogether. More likely than not, it will be the Midara setting- epic fantasy settings seem to have a larger market than superhero settings.

I’ve gotten some excellent feedback for In Triplicate, which I will add during my reread and edit process over the course of this break week… I’ll note all changes in an appendix posted after I’m done with said edits. Most of them will be toward the end, with the intent of clarifying the Pairbond a bit more.

Threefold also pays a bit of attention to that (no surprise, huh?), and sees the return of the Greenwitch as a more important character to the story. More actual combat, as well.

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20 thoughts on “Shadow Play Final Thoughts

  1. I’ve been following along with all your stories almost every day.

    I like the Blue Steel series, probably the most of any so far (Triplicate is my least favorite, by a bit), but it’s different enough from your other books that I think I get what the problem is with your readership.

    You need to split up your books so they aren’t all under the same title of Price (I know it’s the universe, but that’s beside the point). If people click ‘Price’ on topwebfictionguide, then they start at the first chapter of DoaH, that book is very different from In Triplicate or Blue Steel series. If you see a new chapter come out or see Price in the top rankings, one wouldn’t normally think “Oh that series I dropped has another book which is way different and actually to my liking”.

    The original people who came for DoaH (which is a bit more wish fulfillment compared to BS) likely lost interest when you wrote books that are almost a different genre, because people that like that young new superhero gig usually only want to read that.

    So in short, I think all these books are well written, but if you split up the series on the places you advertise, I think you’ll obviously see a much higher influx of readers of different demographics. All 3 of these series (I count Blue Steel and Shadow Play as 1, not sure if they are) could be in the top 10 list.

    Thanks for all the work you put in.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I liked Blue Steel but DAMN does it put me in mind of a cheesy 80’s\90’s made for television series, hell I could even picture Synthia but it was a clear low budget prop picture lots of sparkly plastic and unidentifiable “fluids”, that are really just dyed water and cornstarch.

    And that is the problem as the person above mentioned, likely a large portion of your readership doesn’t remember those absolutely awesomely terrible 80’s\90’s action series with as much fondness as some of your readership does. DoAH would have attracted the YA audience I’d be guessing and they never got to experience the pure awesome cheese of those types of TV series.

    I’m sorry if it seems I’m being negative about Blue Steel I most certainly am not. I think these are probably some of the strongest characters you have written so far and this is a story that would make an excellent revival platform for the genre of cheesy TV series but I’m not certain it’s a genre that the YA audience would ever enjoy.

    I certainly did though much thanks.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Sadly no, I think Blue Steel would fill a gap that has been there since shows of that type have made way for the bigger budget shows.
        All I can do is keep telling people about your writing whenever I get the chance and hope someone “knows a guy, who knows a guy, who is the brother of the guys hairdressers friend….. and so-on”.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree. I think too that it is really a readership thing. I also think the sucess of some of the more sucessfull webfictions comes by staying with certain protagonists, while price in comparsion often switches them . I also agree to the suggestion by @Anxich.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ya I agree with Ed. DoAH feels more like a YA series, and Blue Steel feels more like a mystery or a procedural crime, which tend to have older audiences. Blue Steel kind of reminds me of reading the Harry Dresden files, which I loved.

    I really do think that the Blue Steel series has the deepest feeling characters so far, they have more of a real edge to them. The only thing about Blue Steel series is that unlike DoAH it has less rising action, or maybe less emotional engagement because the main character is a ‘detached’ type, since you haven’t delved into Warren’s alluded (perhaps emotional) backstory or flushed out any relationships (the phoebe thing is interesting, but it doesn’t have any depth so far). I’m fine with that though, that type of protagonist has their own charm. That’s why it’s crazy to compare the books, they don’t really fit in an apples-to-apples comparison.

    If my budget wasn’t so tight this month I would definitely consider donating to see more of the Blue Steel series, and perhaps I will in the future.

    Thanks Again.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I really like Price, though I like you more as a writer than any of your individual works. I think I would read whatever you wrote, as long as you write in good faith.

    By the way, you should look up the Pen and Cape Society. It’s a group for superhero writers to crosspromote. I don’t know all the details, but one of my other favorite authors, Drew Hayes, is the president, and I’ve gotten to other good superhero sites through there.

    I also think that you should a) change your blurb about Price (the “gay for pay” thing isn’t really relevant anymore) and b) separate your books on the front page. Your first two books, InT and DoaH, have an entirely different cast, tone, pretty much everything than Blue Steel. They might as well be two different universes, and are certainly two different series.

    Honestly, I think you should maybe focus on one series, or cast of characters, at a time. Keep up the good work!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Blue Steel is my favourite of your series, it’s nice to see competent super-agents as opposed to the normal ‘teen supers’ hijinks. I’m sad that we’re not going to see much more of them, though I think the other commentators have a point that you might want to aim those stories speficially at a different target audience from what you normally have (though I have no idea how you’d go about doing that).

    I looked forwards to new chapters of this far more than I did with the other stories you’ve done.

    If I wasn’t already a Patreon of yours (in as much as $1/mount counts) this series would have gotten me to become one.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sorry to hear that your going to move on. Synthia instantly became one of my favourite characters. But now I’m not going to get to see more of her :<

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There’s at least one more story for me to do in this line, but it’ll have to wait.

      But if you truly want something to be successful, you should put effort into helping it be successful. I don’t just mean this story, I mean anything and everything you love. Pay for it, spread awareness to your friends, anything that encourages more people to get involved by getting yourself involved.

      You can’t expect anything to thrive without nourishment.

      Like

  7. I love all of your series, but I was always waaaayyy to poor to donate and support your writings😔, but I’ll hopefully be getting a job soon and then I can give you all of the money’s!!!

    P.S. Keep truckin’ boss, your doin fine

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I thought that I should add that everywhere I go now people want me to sign up for Patron and to send them money. I’ve really cut back on on-line serials now, as it is easy, at $5-$10 a month to find yourself spending yourself into a hole before you know it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fair enough. It’s a tight market out there.

      If you can’t help financially (though you did, so it’s more of a general statement), then providing word of mouth advertising of my story is just as good or arguably better.

      Like

  9. You need separate links to each story….. Also, need to get an auto vote link going… so that to read the newest chapter you need to vote once on …. http://topwebfiction.com/…… A lot of the top rated stories on topwebfiction use the same tricks…. Finally… I think you really need to improve layout on the site to the different stories. I’d say improve the table of contents page and think about making it the homepage…..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I thought I had separate links to each story.

      And I outright *refuse* to pull that “have to vote to read” bullshit. Anyone who that does that should be ashamed.

      I could improve the Table of Contents, I’m sure, but I really don’t know what I’m doing when it comes to web formatting… so “should” and “knows how” are, as is so very often, not working together here.

      Like

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