The State of the Project

So for about 9 months I have been shifting and tweaking my website project. I have moved from one hosting provider to another and from one domain name to another. For the first time since this whole saga began, I have finally begun to feel like this project is coming together. The website is hosted by a fantastic host (Netlify), and I am back to hand-coding my site (which is what I really wanted in my heart of hearts. All of my code and commit notes are up on GitLab and stored on my own harddrive with a back up.

I have also been learning new things. When I started, I had a pretty good understanding of HTML 3.1, CSS 1 and 2, and JavaScript, but I had next to no knowledge of HTML 5 and CSS 3. My journey learning the updated syntax convinced me that for the first time since I started working with HTML and CSS it was possible to build a fully functioning website simply by applying those two languages. And it's true! My website is simple, JavaScript free, and tracker free! It is true and fantastic! The ease with which I am able to even write this post just makes me giddy.

Speaking of writing, I have had an idea for a long time about the approach to the "modern novel" bouncing around in my brain for quite some time. My adventures with this project have also convinced me to move on to "Phase 2" of my super secret project plan.

Phase 2

Here is what I plan for the initial rollout of "Phase 2" of this project.

  1. Create a section within this site for my current obsession which I have titled "The Art of the Gods". That section will be a draft-version of each chapter of the book I have been working on.
  2. Each chapter will be on GitLab for critique and pull requests. Although I will be licensing the book as a whole, it will be under the Creative Commons license, or some other license that may be more suitable for the intended use.
  3. I will set a schedule of when I plan on releasing each new chapter. Remember that after I have exhausted the chapters that I have already written, it may be a little slower going since I am a slow self-editor.
  4. On the main page for the novel, there will be a "tip jar" of sorts. I haven't figured out how I am going to do that yet. I would like to make it as easy as throwing a few coins in a jar just to show support and appreciation, but I'll have to discuss ideas with the readers.

So that is the basic idea so far. The origination of this idea came to me a while back, before I started this whole project. I thought about my reading habits and how I bounce between multiple novels and short stories and it takes months to finish a novel because of this. I don't see it as a bad thing, but I began to wish there was a better way to stop one book and then dive into it again a few days later after reading another book. That is when I realized how neat it would be to have "bite-sized" chunks of a novel that could easily be put away and picked up again.

I thought that publishing seperate eBooks would be too complex and there would be too many items in my list. And so we arrive to now, when I start to develop the first step in Phase 2. First I will publish chapters individually on this site in the form of "blog posts" with its own RSS feed and everything. If you read the first chapter in the book and are interested, you can subscribe to the RSS feed. If you are really interested in the book and would like to push me to write and edit faster, you can throw some coin in the tip jar.

Of course this is really just a huge experiment on my part. I want to know if it is even worth it. Surely someone has tried this before, but I am not connected in the "writers' circles" so I don't know if anyone else has had an idea like this.

If you would like to add to this idea or just ask questions, please feel free to contact me on Fosstodon!

P.S. It may take a week or so before I get the page up and running. I only have Wed and Thu off from my day job and I only have about an hour every morning in which to sit down and work on this. But by next Thu there should at least be the main page for the novel up with a description and goal. Who knows, I might write it tonight...