Minichapters

Posted on July 7, 2010 (Subscribe to Blog)

To all those waiting patiently (or impatiently) for Mountain of Whispers, I promise that it's just about ready! Honestly, I'm reading through one last time and getting feedback from a couple of others, but I'll be uploading the finished book to the printing company this coming weekend no matter what. Full publication should be about a week later. Watch this space!

After the book is published, I'll be starting on minichapters. I'm sure you've heard of webisodes, which are web-based episodes of TV shows, usually 5-15 minutes each.They're designed as extras for die-hard fans, but they're not essential and don't interfere with the running TV series.

In the book world, there are not-so-common terms such as bookisodes and chapisodes (or chaptisodes), which are basically chapters of a running serial posted online. I like bookisode, but chapisode is more accurate. Since I like to live on the edge, I'm going with minichapters.

I have a set of minichapters planned for my Island of Fog trilogy. The three books in the trilogy are written entirely from Hal's POV (point of view); we're inside his head the whole time. This means there are a few keys moments that he misses out on, such as when Abigail, Lauren, Dewey and Fenton transform for the first time. But to write these scenes into the books would have meant an odd switching of POV, not to mention making the books much longer.

My planned minichapters will take care of these scenes. They'll be written from the POV of the character in the scene and will serve as standalone short stories or segments that tie in perfectly with the books but aren't absolutely necessary to read. For instance, the minichapter about Abigail will show her getting an itch on her back and beginning to transform. Maybe you can recall that she lopped off her long hair and cut holes in the backs of her shirts to accommodate her transformations?

In Labyrinth of Fire, there are a few key scenes that I would like to "tell" in the form of a minichapter, such as when Abigail was kidnapped by a dragon. It's not essential, but might be fun. And in Mountain of Whispers there are a couple of non-Hal scenes that I know readers would like to know more about. I couldn't have Hal everywhere because it wouldn't have made sense to the story and the book would have ended up 50% fatter – but I can write those segments quite effectively as minichapters.

All these minichapters will be free, posted on this website. There are plenty of other areas I could explore, too, such as Miss Simone's background, how the parents arrived on the island, the day disaster struck, and so on. So much to write! Maybe next year, when I have a whole bunch written, I'll print them as a nice fat book with lots of extra segments.

All this is padding for the three books in the trilogy – as I said, not essential reading, but hopefully interesting for those who would like to delve deeper. Meanwhile, later this year I'll be starting on Book IV...

Comment by BRIAN on Wednesday, July 7, 2010...

Do enough mini-chapters and you've got another book on your hands that I would love to have. Great ideas, Keith!

Comment by MING on Wednesday, July 7, 2010...

I like the idea! It would be very refreshing to see some scenes from Abigail and Miss Simone's POV.

Comment by DANDAVSTAR on Friday, February 4, 2011...

Have they come out yet and if so where can we find them?

Comment by KEITH ROBINSON on Friday, February 4, 2011...

No, Dandavstar, I never did these minichapters. As I about to start on them, there was an issue with copyright theft of someone else's work that was posted on another website of mine. Read the full story here. It kind of soured things a little, and it made me leery about posting a collection of short stories which could, conceivably, be stolen and turned into a book by somebody else! Maybe one day, but I've kind of abandoned the idea for now.

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