I write a lot of posts about different Kickstarter projects that strike my fancy. There are some great games, movies, and shows that are able to be created due to the power crowdfunding. Kickstarter, indiegogo, and other similar sites have allowed content creators to reach out directly to fans to get the money they need instead of having to try and sell their ideas to producers and publishers who might not see the value in it. But in addition to creating valuable content, crowdfunding can be used to help people.
Author Robison Wells, who has written the Sci-fi YA novels Variant and Feedback, suffers from multiple mental illnesses such as depression, panic disorder, and OCD. These issues have become so crippling for him that he has lost his day job and has found himself in dire financial straits. In order to help him raise funds to pay off some of his debts, his brother, author Dan Wells, and friend Brandon Sanderson have organized an anthology of works that they are selling on indiegogo. The anthology is called Altered Perceptions, and it is comprised of scenes that were cut from the final published versions of different novels.
Some of the entries will be deleted scenes from an author’s book. Some are unreleased short stories that tie in to a novel. Others are alternate versions of scenes that were written but never used. For instance, Sanderson will be submitting five chapters from his fantasy epic The Way Of Kings in which the character Kaladin makes a totally different set of decisions than he does in the published version of the book.
I would find this project very interesting, even if it wasn’t being created to help someone. There are so many things that go into writing a story and so many scenes that don’t make the final cut. Sometimes the story the author starts even ends up being completely different than the project he or she began. The YA fantasy novel I’m working on has gone through many different iterations over the past year with different villains, quests, and heroes being included in different drafts and outlines of the story. I think being able to see some of the stuff that these famous and successful authors ended up cutting or reworking could give some very interesting insight into their creative process and the process of writing.
Of course the whole anthology is being put together to help a fellow SF/F author. The campaign can both help Wells with his own issues and also draw attention to these mental illnesses so that people become more aware of what they are and what they can do to someone. If you want to learn more or are thinking about contributing, visit the Altered Perceptions indiegogo page and check out the campaign for yourself.