I'm Writing a 100-Page Book About John Carpenter's Iconic 'Halloween' Score

Some thoughts on my next step as a writer.

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Micro-Chop has had a modest but amazing and dedicated readership for some time, dating all the way back to the Medium days before I moved to Substack in the summer of 2019.

It’s an honor and a privilege to have one single person interested in reading my work. That fact that I have a good number of people who want to read my work is something I am deeply grateful for every single day.

Having said that, the Micro-Chop numbers have been stagnant for some time in terms of total subscribers, paid subscribers, email open rates, and article views. It feels like I need to add something new to my writing repertoire to take my writing career to the next level. I want to write a book. I also want to write a book that sells.

I have many ideas I can turn into books at some point, but some of them are far too obscure for a writer like me with a 0-book backlist. They would be better suited for when I have a proven track record and a few published books under my belt.

In thinking about what makes art enduring and commercially successful, having a built-in annual anniversary certainly helps. Home Alone wouldn’t have taken in $475 million and achieved a three-decade run as a cable TV favorite if it was about a kid accidentally left at home on a random spring weekend. And Halloween wouldn’t have earned $60-70 million dollars while spawning endless sequels and a new three-movie remake arc if it was about an escaped masked killer on a September rampage in his hometown.

Timing aside, the score was also instrumental in making the movie such a monumental success. It seems like the perfect target for the first Micro-Chop book. October 31st provides an automatic anniversary for people to revisit my book and possibly discover it for the first time, which greatly increases my chances of success. When writing a debut book, you need to give yourself every possible advantage.

It doesn’t hurt that I love the Halloween franchise and the accompanying scores, not to mention John Carpenter’s films and soundtracks in general. And the story behind the Halloween score is very interesting, as is the legacy of the main theme and its influence on various genres of music.

I’ve already written about the original Halloween score (and some of the sequels) in several lengthy Micro-Chop articles. I also think my newsletter and the Micro-Chop audience can help the book gain momentum once it’s published. From sample challenges to fan/cover art competitions, I already have a million different ideas. 

In terms of the proposed 100-page length, I want to set a page count that feels achievable and realistic for my first book. I think shorter, novella-style books are very effective when done well—they can be enticing for the overwhelmed modern reader. Writing a 100-page book also makes an audiobook and a potential graphic adaptation much more feasible in terms of cost. I would love to explore both of these opportunities once the book is published.

Before I fully dive into this endeavor, I need to wrap up some long-form projects for other outlets. I also have several artist interviews in the can that I need to write up in the coming weeks/months. I’ll start giving the book project more of my attention once I’m in a better place with my existing commitments. I’ll probably be pretty selective with taking on outside projects once the book is underway. 

I will continue to write my Micro-Chop newsletter alongside the book. New articles will increasingly feature short-form pieces ranging from 250-750 words. I will go long occasionally, but long-form articles will likely be the exception and not the rule for now. I’ll use the newsletter to update readers on my book writing progress from time to time and perhaps share excerpts, I but will not make it Halloween-specific—though I may use that strategy for a little bit when the publication date draws near.

Thank you all for your support and for helping me make it this far as a writer. I’m excited to take on this new challenge and look forward to sharing my work with you once it’s ready.

I’d love to hear your feedback about my book idea if you have any.

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