Monday, March 3, 2008

It takes time...

As a seasoned writer, I know that from the very faint beginnings of an idea to the finished product it takes time. Both of my last books took almost two years from start to the corner bookstore...but this's been almost five years.

After my book, Heroes and Heroines, Sixteen Master Archetypes came out, I realized that I wanted to do something more with all these archetypes...I loved them, but what could I do with them?

So I progressed to the "thinking" stage. What could I do with 16 characters that wasn't in the already published book? And what could I do that wasn't already in the marketplace? The answer - not much. More thinking over the next year. When suddenly I thought... maybe I could turn all these archetypes into some sort of a game. Hmmm. Sixteen characters weren't very many. However if I used the different styles, two for each archetype, I now had 16 heroes and 16 heroines. Yes. I was on to something.

Villains. I needed 16 villains. Oh what fun that was...over the next few months I tried out which villains would work the best. Too many to choose from. More decisions to be made.

Okay, now I had 48 characters. But what to do with them.

Ah ha...make them into cards...yes, a card game, but I still didn't have enough cards...and how to tell them all apart. Being an artist, that decision was easy - color code them. So the hero cards became blue, the heroines pink and my least favorite color, yellow, I saved for the villains.

Now I added 16 plots, put them in green, and 16 genres (purple)...hey, this was working out quite well.

But yet, as I played with the cards over the next year, I felt something was still missing...sure I could deal myself five cards, one from each color, and have an instant story, but did I have a really great card game? And would the writer really have a great story?

I gave the cards to a few of my writing friends...and although they liked them, they too thought it was lacking something...some sort of an extra card that would turn these archetypes into interesting and memorable characters. The game ended up (and this was the publisher's idea) with 101 cards because it turned out that there are 1 million and one story ideas when you mix up all the cards. Neat!

But I still needed a few more cards to make this idea work.

Flaws. That's it. Each character needed a flaw. No one wants to read about perfect characters. So another year passed while I worked on developing 16 flaws... I gave those one of my most favorite colors - orange.

So with the addition of 16 flaws and five wild cards...just in case the writer needed a few extra ideas, I had 101 cards. The game was ready.

And I was ready to find a publisher. My last publisher, a really big house in New York, loved the idea but turned it down because they had never done cards and had no idea how to "package" them, let alone market a card game.

Sigh...more months went by as I scoured the internet for possible publishers. I finally had it narrowed down to five. I sent each one an e-mail query...and within 24 hours had an answer from one..."interesting idea, please send a sample of the game."

Yes... so for hours I cut cards, put them in a plastic container, wrapped the securely and sent them off with a kiss.

They loved them. I got a phone call within a week and a contract a week later... however, as I said in the takes time...

The cards were re-designed...oh they did a much better job that I had done, cards were double, no triple checked for mistakes, typos, etc....that took another several months. The the publisher had to find a place to have the cards printed...a box to hold the cards had to be designed...the cover of the box designed...and the back of each card designed... more months pasted. then post cards and a site was designed just for the game.

At last...this morning the publisher called...the cards are printed, the box is done and they are putting it all together and then... it is being shipped to the states on a "slow" boat ...that's right it was printed in China... takes time. Almost five years from start to finish. The game DEAL A STORY will be out in April..only a few more weeks to wait. If you would like to check it out...go to

Then please let me know your thoughts. I can be reached, any time, at

Enjoy the game. Sue

1 comment:

Unknown said...

What an innovative idea, Sue has. Check it out. I've already had a peek and was very impressed.


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