Custom Stories

October 26, 2009

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This blog has been live for over a year. In the last 6+ months, I have shared many fiction stories with you – roughly thirty thousand words!  At this point, no reader has been charged even a penny for anything that had been published on the site.  This will continue to be the case, with one small exception. Now, for the first time, I am making my fiction writing services available for hire. Here are the details:

  • I will produce a custom written story, specifically for you. This will not be an ad-lib sort of thing, where I replace a few words and spit out a variant of a base story. These will be completely new stories, built from the ground up.
  • When I hand the story over to you, I also give you the copyright. I promise not to publish the story in any form. You have the rights to use the story in any way you wish – including submitting it for paid publication. I do ask that you do list me as the author, and that you refrain from making material changes to the work (changing names to protect anonymity is fine).
  • The stories will be a minimum of 400 words long. They could be slightly more, depending on my stream of consciousness during the writing process (most likely, I won’t finish a thought at exactly 400 words). There is no additional charge for stories that end up being slightly longer – this would just be a bonus for you.
  • If you desire a bit of a longer story, let me know and we can work out some sort of arrangement. I’ll probably draw the line at about two thousand words – unless you make me an offer I can’t refuse.

So, what sort of story will I write?

  • Stories that provide a caricature of a day in your life.  My story Tina is an example of this.  These stories will paint an extremely exaggerated picture of your life.  I will strive to splash the story with a generous amount of humor.
  • Alternately, I could write a story that places you in a dream job (baseball player?).  This might be a good gift idea for a kid who has dreams of growing up to be an athlete, entertainer, doctor, or lawyer.
  • I can also make you the bad guy/girl in a crime story.
  • Fake news stories.
  • I’ll also try my hand at children’s stories.  Read Ferdinand the Turtle for an idea of how these might turn out.  Perhaps you would like me to write a story about your kid and their favorite stuffed animal.  (Note: I can only do this is the animal is generic or if they are in the public domain.  Writing a story about Nemo, for example, would be a copyright violation).
  • I’m open to suggestions.  Shoot me an idea.  I don’t do poetry, horror, romance, or porn.  I will not include any sort of illustrations, even for the children’s stories.  Honestly, I am one of the worst artists in the history of the world, so you wouldn’t want my illustrations, anyway.

OK, so what will this cost?

  • For the first person who responds,  the price will be FREE!
  • For at least the next ten people, the price will be $5.99.  Bear in mind that I’ll probably spend about an hour on a story – reading the email to get the details, formulating a plot, and doing the actual writing.  I’ll make a maximum of 1.5 cents/word at this rate.  Compare this to the price you pay for a greeting card, which contains a handful of words that weren’t even tailored specifically for you.
  • Beyond the first ten, I’m not sure what the price will be.  I can guarantee that the price won’t go down from the $5.99 price point.  If I can’t make any sales at $5.99 or above, I’ll just scrap the idea.  I honestly have no idea whether this idea will be a complete dud, or if it will generate a solid amount of business.  We’ll give it a whirl.
  • I will require payment up front.  I don’t want to take the time to write a story, and then end up waiting for a payment.  I will accept PayPal.
  • Unfortunately, I can’t do rewrites of stories.  If I spend an hour rewriting a story that originally took an hour to write, my hourly rate has been slashed in half.  Read some of the stories in Fiction Friday to get an idea of the sort of stories I write.  While I’ll make every effort to produce a high quality story for you, there’s a good chance that it won’t match up exactly to what you were expecting, simply because of the limited interaction I have had with you.  I guess if you’re REALLY unhappy, we can sit down and talk about it.

So, what next?

  • If you’re interested, shoot me an email at Kosmo at In the email specify the type of story you want, as well as details that might be relevant (such as names and physical characteristics of characters).  Note that I won’t make an effort to cram every single feature into a story, but I can highlight the hair color, eyes, etc of some characters.
  • If the story is a caricature of your life, provide information about your job, hobbies, interest, pet peeves, etc.
  • If you need the story by a particular date, let me know.  Bear in mind that I have a full time job, family, and other obligations, so if you need something “tomorrow”, I’ll probably have to decline the request.
  • I do ask for an additional favor as part of the payment for the story – please let three people know about The Soap Boxers.  Think of a few people who might like the site, and send them a link.  (Note: this does NOT mean to spam all 200 people in your contact list).
  • If you like your story, please consider writing a review that I can use in the marketing of my service.

What articles did you miss this weekend?

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