Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Flash Fiction Commissions

I am looking for anyone who would be interested in taking a chance on a new, experimental form of commissions for me: flash fiction! What is "flash fiction" you ask? It's like a short story, but with even fewer constraints on length, ranging from just a few pages, to as short as even a few sentences. What I'm considering offering is about a 2,000 word story written by me that incorporates the characters, setting, and other elements that you choose, as well as a sketch that functions as the "cover art" for said story. You can specify as many or as few of the details as you want, and I'll work together with you to bring your idea to life!

To give you some idea, 2,000 words is roughly equivalent to a four-page, single spaced document written in 11 pt font, or enough to write a single, detailed scene. Because I've never done this style of commission before, the first few slots will be heavily discounted. I'm going to start with a maximum of four slots, and they will cost $50 each. If I offer these to the public in the future, I expect the cost to be significantly higher. This is an introductory price for those who are kind (and brave?) enough to give me a chance to explore this new commission format as a possibility. If this sounds intriguing to you, read on for more details about the process!

Step 1: Inquiry 

Before any payment is sent, message me with your idea. You can specify any or all of the following:

  • main characters
  • setting
  • conflict
  • major plot points
  • genre
  • etc.

If you already have a basic story outline in mind, that's great! If you'd like a story, but don't have any idea what kind you would like, that is also fine! Do you just want a story that involves your characters? Are you fine with whatever as long as there's a dragon in it? Itching for some science fiction but with no idea for the plot? Want to give me 100% artistic freedom?? All of that is totally fine!

Step 2: Payment

Once your idea has been approved, I will send you an invoice which, once paid, will reserve your slot! Please be patient; since these are so new to me, I'm giving myself about a month to complete each one. It may take less time than that of course, but I want to give myself plenty of room to figure out the process.

Step 3: Story Consult

When you're next in the queue, I'll review your story idea with you and go into greater detail, including developing a story outline that fits within the story length and the parameters you've provided. Once we have an outline that we're both excited about, then the writing process can begin!

Step 4: Writing and Revision

Now you get to sit back while I write the first draft. The draft will be at least 2,000 words in length, though it may be slightly over if needed to wrap up the story. Once the first draft is done, I will send it to you for feedback. After that I'll begin revising the story to polish and tighten up the prose. During the writing process, you may request up to five "story revisions", meaning changes to the plot, timeline, world building and character details, etc. These revisions are for details that are a matter of preference rather than errors. On the other hand, you are allowed an unlimited number of "technical edits", such as spelling or punctuation errors, or problems with continuity, consistency, etc. so don't hesitate to point out any that you happen to catch.

Note that it is common for prose to become shorter with each revision as extraneous words are removed. As such, the final draft may end up being slightly shorter than 2,000 words, but I will make sure it doesn't dip below 1,800 words without your approval.

Step 5: Cover Art

After the writing portion has been finalized, I'll whip up a sketch that will serve as the "cover art" for your story. At the base price, this includes a single character and a simple background. If you wish, you may upgrade to include color, more characters, props, or a detailed background for an additional fee.

OPTIONAL BONUS: Audio Version!!

First, let me be up-front: I have virtually no experience with voice-acting or audiobook narration. But I do think it sounds like fun! So the first person who chooses to include this option will also receive an audio version of your flash fiction piece for no additional cost! (Depending on how well it goes, I may decide to offer it to flash fiction customers.) It will be narrated by me and may or may not include some background music or sound effects. Again, this is very experimental, so I can't make any guarantee about the quality of the end product. But I can promise to do my best with it, and have fun making it!

Step 6: Delivering Files

Once the writing and artwork are completely finished, I'll export the final files, which includes the following:

  • a rich text document (.rtf) that contains just the text of your story,
  • an image file (.jpg) of the cover art for your story,
  • a PDF document containing your story and cover image in standard format,
  • another PDF document containing your story and cover image optimized for mobile viewing, and
  • if the audio version is included, an audio file (.mp3) of me reading your story.

At this point the project will be considered complete! If for whatever reason I am unable to finish your story, you will be fully refunded.

And that's basically it! All that remains is to mention a few ground rules, including what I will or won't write about, and how the end result may be used:

  • The story must be SFW; think towards the tamer side of PG-13. In particular, I'll avoid profanity, heavy gore, and sexual themes. Romance is okay as long as it isn't sexually explicit or overly indulgent.
  • The story must not be hurtful to any group based on race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, etc.
  • Certain other topics may be excluded based on my comfort level and ability to write said topics. Any such exclusions will be made clear during the initial inquiry phase, before payment is sent.
  • The story should have some semblance of story structure, such as a goal, conflict, and resolution, etc. So for example, it can't just be a highly descriptive transformation sequence. However, it could be a story that includes a transformation sequence! If there's something you'd like included, but you're not sure how to turn it into a cohesive story, talk to me about it and we can come up with some ideas.
  • I'm looking to write original stories featuring original characters. That means no fan-fiction. However, stories that are inspired by an existing property without directly copying it may be fair game. Feel free to ask!
  • You must have permission to use any characters to be included in the story. The rights to any characters included in the story will remain with their original owners.
  • You may share the resulting story freely, including any of the files delivered, as well as copy-and-pasting the text itself. However, you may not sell, alter, or repackage any of it in any way. The author's credit and contact info at the bottom of the last page must always be clearly visible with any copy-and-pasted text.
  • I reserve reproduction and commercial rights to the resulting works, which may be included in future collections, anthologies, or other publications.


Click this link to see an example of what the end result could look like. Not counting the title or author's credit, this example contains exactly 2,000 words to give you a basic idea of the length.

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