If Harry Potter came out today it would struggle to get your attention. (4th post July 12, 2017)
In a world where everyone can publish. There’s no “magic spell” to take your indy project to the next level.
As part of his Kickstarter Campaign that runs from June 26-Aug 9 2017 Nadir Shirazi Creator/Executive Producer of The MultiFacet anime project is writing a series of articles on Medium that document his four years of trial and error to make art. Art that he feels confident can go on to be a blockbuster story. He is looking at how hard it is for independent written stories to get noticed in a fragmented multi media landscape. His fictional world is an alternative form of storytelling, one he calls L.I.T.E. anime. Less seconds, Inclusive diversities, Transmedia narratives, Economic experimentations .
He is used to being heavily criticized but keeps agitating anyway. He is a lifelong anime nerd and former multi-faith consultant and educator. He also spells colour with a ‘U’ because he is Canadian, but sometimes without for his American friends. He and grammar have a grudging truce for the moment.
It’s been 20 years since J.K. Rowling brought a wizard named Harry Potter and the magical world of Hogwarts to our lives.
Millions of fans, publishers, and independent artists have cited her work as a major inspiration in their identity formation.
We know her story as a struggling mother to world beater. We know that Harry Potter caught fire in England than America than the universe. That the movies were incredible and we can now touch a piece of Hogwarts at Universal studios. That words like “muggles” and “patronus” are part of our vocabulary in the real world. We all channel Harry somewhere. Even if we have critiques (like people of colour as bit characters but not leads) the sheer magnificence of the work makes it amazing even today.
As someone who came into the fandom very late in 2013, it changed my life. I went through all 7 books on the train ride home on my phone. I was so inspired I began writing to supplement the anime world I was creating, and would quit my job one year later to pursue my own project full time.
…BUT I sort of wonder if it was published today would I have read Harry Potter?
It’s always hard to answer that question because it is so subjective.
However, since those two decades the world of writing has rapidly been disrupted. The rise of social media combined with self publishing has allowed amazingly millions of new stories to show up every day everywhere. From full self published books, to Facebook posts, to Wattpad stories, every day written content grows exponentially. Even a series of articles can be shared regularly on sites like Medium (see what happened there).
However, the flip side of that is that the written word and our attention to it has become devalued. Even giant book publishers struggle to get the next great hit out there. They are looking for the next Harry Potter and The Philosophers Stone, but despite some successes there hasn’t been a work like it since.
I think this is because our attention spans our shorter, and it takes more and more to impress us. Books now compete with a lot of other forms of media. V/R, A/R, Games, Anime, Podcasts, Comics, Streaming Video, Live Video and more. It’s one of the reasons large studios and publishers often recycle or reboot existing works, because they are allegedly a “safer” bet.
So what does an aspiring creator who thinks they have the next Harry Potter do to get noticed.
My suggestion: figure out how to make your story more than writing.
There are no barriers to writing which as mentioned is amazing, but on the other hand makes it less exclusive.
So maybe one approach could be to write but think of how your story could be deployed over more than one medium at the same time. This concept is not new. Star Wars has done it for nearly three decades. It goes by many names, trans media, multimedia, cross media. Whatever the name it may be the future to engage different sets of audiences who connect with content differently to find fans. For indy creators with struggling budgets to show a taste of what is to come to backers and those looking for the next “big thing.”
Some literary purists will balk and bristle at this notion. That the written word and the medium of the book is sacred.
Probably don’t spend time listening to them if you want to get noticed.
They are usually the ones throwing shade on social media while also begging people to read their novel.
More than even money what independent works need are emotional and mental investment. Time and concentration to slow down and let new fictional worlds wrap themselves through future fans ethos. To take them beyond their worlds and layer story worlds over them.
Right now that struggle is real for independents. Not only do we/they have to compete with other independent works, but also giant properties in existence that have movies, shows, games, books and legions of existing fans.
Carving out tiny niches of attention is all you can hope for. To even get that you are going to have to wow people with something different…
… and do it again, and again, and again.
In a world where everyone can create. Writing alone just doesn’t hold the same weight it once did. Indy creators will have to experiment with multiple mediums together to get noticed. Your amazing story isn’t enough by itself.
We all want to take our projects to the next level, but there’s no “magic wand” for that.
Nadir Shirazi is the Canadian Creator/Executive Producer of MultiFacet a L.I.T.E anime set in world divided between extreme forms of religion and secularism that elevates people of color. His 2nd Kickstarter runs from June 26- Aug 9 2017 and can be found by visiting https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/themultifacetseries/the-multifacet-series-1st-refraction-web-motion-co
To critique, compliment, or conversate connect with him by…
Linked In: www.linkedin.com/in/nadir-shirazi-38329591/