Jess Hartley is one of the friendlier people I have met in on my online travels. She is also quite talented as a game writer. Her work on games like Changeling: The Lost is worthy of note. She is trying out a new project now. One which I am curious to see the results of. Patronage may sound like something out of the middle ages and it is. It has seen a resurgence of late in the table top gaming community, though.
Wolfgang Bauer introduced the Open Design project a few years ago. In that, people interested in the work on a particular gaming project could contribute money during the creation process. They would get a copy of the work before other folks and get some input into the product. In gaming this made a lot of sense. People got the products they wanted and the writers got the money they needed during the process of creating it.
Enter Jess. I am not sure if she is the first, but it is the first time I have heard of the concept being applied to fiction. So Jess has the Shattered Glass Project. This is a project where in she is writing a story. People can contribute during the writing process to help her out while she writes it. Being a writer you often putting in a lot of work for payment later…maybe. A lot of that is not even related to how good a writer you are. Publishers, editors, marketing departments, and agents all take a slice. This leaves the author often on the poor side of the equation. Rarely do people who are fans, pay the author directly for their work. Patronage changes that and that is essentially what Jess is trying. She wants to see if people are willing to do this. I think it is a cool idea and I am telling folks about it.
What is the story of Shattered Glass about? Well here is a quote from her site.
What is The Shattered Glass Project?
The Shattered Glass Project is many things. It’s an experiment. It’s a work of fiction. It’s a solution. It’s a piece of art. And it’s your chance to be directly involved in my work.
Why “Shattered Glass?”
Shattered Glass is the splintering of reality that happens when a person realizes that the world is not quite as they believed it to be. It is destruction, from which both damage and opportunity may arise. It speaks of magic mirrors and ice queens, of vandalized store windows and shattered windshields. It’s the fragile nature of everything precious, and the value both of protecting that which we hold dear and knowing when to move on to something else when what we love is no longer good for us.
Is this a Changeling story?
While Shattered Glass is an original work, and is not directly related to or set in the same world as Changeling: The Lost or the World of Darkness (both which are property of White Wolf Games), although it will be written with many of the same themes and inspirations in mind.
Admit it, that sounds cool doesn’t it?
go check out http://www.jesshartley.com/ and look at what she has going on.