February 23rd, 2012

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Poem for Sale: "After Dark" (Hart's Farm)

I've had some extra prompts come in for Hart's Farm, mostly from new people, so I've saved them for future reference.  I'm also trying to break up the cluster of Steamsmith writing by alternating its poems with other settings. 

"After Dark" was inspired by pico_the_great who wanted to see more of Solvig, and of Auduna fitting into the community.  It's written in 7 verses, each with 7 lines, unrhymed and unmetered.  Solvig is spending some quiet time in the common house with her friend Hrafn, the farm's bookkeeper; and incidentally, Hrafn and his wife Gróa are the only monogamous couple I've spotted so far.  Auduna is working late.

49 lines, Buy It Now = $20
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Another Steamsmith Poem: "Spots"

This poem was inspired by prompts from marina_bonomi, meeksp, and wyld_dandelyon.  "Spots" takes a detailed look at the challenges of raising even a domesticated cheetah, particularly in London where the climate is so different from where this species is adapted to live.  It also features more correspondence with the Arabian alchemists, Aalim and Taysir, and an appearance of Arthur Wellesley, the Duke of Wellington.

"Spots" is 150 lines long.  I haven't set a price yet, because I'd like to discuss that with you-all.  As I mentioned recently, poems in this series are taking about twice as much time to write compared to other poems, because of all the background research.  Just as an example, for this poem I searched pages on Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, the Beech family name, British insects, cheetahs, Victorian coats, and the London Times.  (Even at this rate of research, I'm still making mistakes; I have to go back and fix on in "Songs from a Distant Shore.")  I'm not willing to cut down on the research, because I'm determined to get as much right as I possibly can.  Epics are usually $.50/line but I have an option to price them higher if they're extra work, something I've also done a few times with shorter poems that had intricate structure.

As the Steamsmith series grows, I'll build up a set of established characters, locations, science, equipment, etc. so that I won't have to research every thing, just the new stuff. I suspect that will eventually lower the workload to around half-again the usual for a poem, rather than the double it is now. If so, the pricing can be adjusted accordingly.  Also, some of the stuff I'm building up as background material -- such as the glossary -- can eventually be released as perks.  Once I have my notes in coherent shape, I may also share the whole bundle with some folks backchannel; I have that in mind as a possible perk for sponsors of the series (rather than individual poems).

How would you feel about setting a higher price range for this series, based on its higher workload?  Do you love it enough to pay twice the usual rate?  Something in-between?  Or only the standard rate?  Do you have other ideas for juggling workload, pricing, and poetry?  Your feedback would be most helpful.