The Impossible Adventure

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The first Troupe-only story survey results

written by Betsy Flak on 2018-05-15

Two short weeks ago, I announced on this here blog and on my email list (called The Troupe) that I would be writing a Troupe-only story in which readers get to help decide what happens.

To start things out, I asked what side characters of The Clan-Vampire Clash book series readers are most interested in and excited to read about as well as what song should be the story's main inspiration. The results are in! Drumroll, please...

Overall Results

The first Troupe-only story will focus on Gnash, one of Duncan's vampire lieutenants!

As for the song's inspiration, I'm going to do something a little different. "Homemade Dynamite" by Lorde (listen here) got the most votes for the song's inspiration. However, I like that entire album so much (Melodrama) that I've decided to base the entire book on the album, preferably including every song and in order—but I want to leave a little wiggle room especially with you readers helping to decide what happens next, so we'll see. Regardless, the first installment (hopefully chapter-length) will be inspired by the first song off of Melodrama, "Green Light".

And that's it for the overall results. Keep reading for full breakdown.

Detailed Results: Characters

There were two questions involved for this topic. The first one allowed readers to choose as many characters as they wanted, with the goal of weeding out any "bad" ones. The second forced readers to choose a single character. Arguably, this second question is the important one, but I like data, so I included both. Plus, I hope to write a few of these Troupe-only stories, so it gives me an idea of who should be the main character in the next one (and the one after that and the one after that, etc.).

Both questions used the same initial character list, with readers having an option to add their own suggestions. Here's my character list:

When readers could choose as many characters as they wanted, the results were:

When readers had to pick only one character, the results were:

Detailed Results: Songs

For this question, readers had to choose one song to serve as the main inspiration for the story. Options were:

This answer was quite a bit more obvious than the character questions. Homemade Dynamite by Lorde got over 30% of the vote (compared to Gnash's 25%). So that was the winner. (And like I said earlier, I'm pretty much obsessed with this entire album, so I'm going to try my hand at writing Gnash's story inspired by the whole thing.)

With or Without You by U2 and Fancy by Reba McEntire took second place, with Bust Your Windows by Jazmine Sullivan taking a more distant fourth.

I also got a handful of suggestions from readers and checked them out. Pretty much all of them had a story to tell and/or an emotional punch to the gut, which is exactly what I look for in songs to inspire my writing. I'll be turning to this list for future stories and if/when I get stuck for current stories. Their suggestions were:

And that's it! To summarize, the Troupe-only story will focus on Gnash, one of Duncan's vampire lieutenants, as inspired by Lorde's album Melodrama. Stay tuned for updates on how it's going.

Want to receive updates directly? Join The Troupe (Betsy's readers group)!