Creation of Doubt, book 1 of the Among Us Trilogy
Doubt (Among Us Trilogy) is a young adult/early adult story about former child prodigies Harry Doubt, creator of the Truth Seekers online game, and Cristal Hernandez. Harry decides to take the game offline when his mother and other gamers’ loved ones family go missing. Their search for the truth uncovers supernatural forces among them which inadvertently triggers the beginning of the end of the world as they know it.
The story mixes social media communications such as text messaging and video messaging as a form of communication between characters as they go on missions to find their family members.
All characters have aliases and avatars which is displayed as a splash page image at the beginning of the book. The official website of the book (amongus.ca) also has detailed M.O.’s of the characters so readers can also view and interact with the characters on the website.
The story although geared to young adult/ early adult readers is also entertaining for general readers who are interested in the supernatural, sci/fi urban fantasy, apocalyptic genres with themes similar to the TV show Fringe (by J.J. Abrams).
As a filmmaker, journalist and web design programmer, I tell stories in multiple mediums. Doubt (book 1 of the Among Us Trilogy) was literally created from an interactive online reality game that I created with the help of my developmental editor (Josefina Rosado).
The official website http://www.AmongUs.ca interacts with visitors allowing them to participate as Truth Seekers following the theme of the story.
I wanted to give readers another way to connect with my story. Entertainment does not need to be contained in one medium. I believe in telling your story in many mediums. How do we do this? One way was to entice readers to participate in the experience of the story as it is being written. Putting Theory to the Test Here was the plan I used for fan recruiting for my new novel Doubt, Book 1 of the Among Us Trilogy:
1) Design website for the book series using the theme of the story
(Theme: Truth seekers who are online gamers use the internet to communicate with each other and also hack into global networks to save the world from catastrophic events caused by an unknown entity.)
2) Entice beta readers to read drafts of the chapters as I write them but only awarding the first 10 who register
3) Assign characters from the novel to each beta reader.
4) Provide the beta reader with their assigned character’s strengths, weaknesses, personality traits and physical characteristics.
5) As more chapters in the book are written, the ten beta readers will be asked to provide input with the incentive that what they write may be included in the next chapter. They will not know until the next chapter is released.
6) Release each new chapter to the first ten fans as an award for having joined early.
7) As more beta readers register to the site, ask them to create their own character and post the character’s 3 strengths and 3 weaknesses and 3 physical characteristics on the website.
8) Entice additional beta readers to complete simple mission assignments related to the story with the incentive that their character may be chosen to be written into the Book 2 and Book 3 of the series.
9) Give beta readers a Thank you credit on a Thank You page on the site and also on the credit page when the book is published.
10) When the beta readers pass a mission assignment, a chapter will be released to them.
Using this approach to write Doubt, I also allowed fans to participate and shape the story. This has helped build the fan base and also promote the book launch. The release of the book is November 9, 2013 and because of this approach, Doubt is being featured at the Rain Dance Book Festival in Canada.
If you’re a reader, what do you think of this approach to writing? If you’re an author, how did you write your novel?
Register to receive free giveaways and participate in Truth Seeker missions. 🙂