As most of you know, I’ve been publishing a serial on my blog: Our Beloved Dictator. I’ve been asked a few questions about the project, both online and in real life. The one that surprised me most was: “Why wouldn’t you charge for this?”

The question came from a writer in my critique group. He’s a fan of the series and doesn’t understand why I don’t get the story published or self-publish and charge for downloads.

I hadn’t really thought to publish OBD in any other manner than online. I’m writing it because I love to experiment with story and form. I want to tell a story in a series of short blasts that offers a peek into the private lives of an entire town. OBD is non-traditional in the sense that it’s not quite linear. We delve into side-stories that do not affect the main narrative. The stories can stand alone but they also inform us of the strange world that George (the main character) has entered.

I believe OBD has value, even if I don’t charge for it. I love the story. I like to think of it as David Lynch meets Terry Pratchett. I share it here, on Goodreads, Inkitt and Wattpad. My hope is that OBD will find a broad readership.

The value in OBD isn’t the money it could make for me. The value is in the writing. I’m trying to push my imagination and comfort levels. I’m bending genres and breaking rules. Even if OBD only gets read by a handful of people, I’m going to walk away from it a better writer.

The story is also fun for me to write. I LOVE Phyllis the one-lipped cop and Down-On-Your-Luck-Dan who has a great attitude but just can’t get ahead. Independence Long and Leonard make me happy. And there’s so much more coming down the pike. Greenville’s my kind of place, and I want to share it.

So, I will continue to publish it for free. I’m considering it a decree from the Dictator himself. 🙂

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