2015 Goals

In 2014, I was finishing adjusting to several things but I was still able to publish two works that I am very proud of. I’m looking forward to taking the momentum I’ve built up in 2014 and continuing to accelerate more and more into 2015 and beyond, so here are my official goals for the year as a whole.

  • Release Memory Blood 2 and 3 – The 8 month development schedule for Memory Blood worked very well and is also working very well for the second book in the series so I see no reason why the next two books in the series wouldn’t be released in 2015. I’m very excited about the second book, the shape of which becomes clearer every day, and it should surpass the first book which I’m already immensely proud of.
  • Release an additional project – If Memory Blood 2 lands in April and Memory Blood 3 at the end of the year, then there’s time for an additional project in between the two. Right now there are different things I can do so I’m not committing to anything, but more RMV Mysteries or even a brand new project are possibilities as well.
  • Increased marketing – I’ve increased the number of people that have read my books in 2014 and I’d like to continue doing this in 2015. I’ve learned a lot about what type of promotion is and isn’t worth my time and money and so I should have even more success in the coming year.

If I were to assign a bonus goal for this year, it would be cleaning up The Library Series a little bit. There are still some typos remaining and I’d like to cleanse all four books of any mistakes which should be a task I can accomplish this year. Unfortunately, I don’t think 2015 is the right time for more Orin Chronicles or Academy series books so I won’t be including them as bonus goals for this year. In my opinion, The Orin Chronicles needs to be relaunched and so that’s a major project for the future.

Of course, these are simply my goals for 2015 and other unique fun things are sure to happen along the way. These are the major goals, but it would be silly to limit myself and so please look forward to another great year of creativity with me!

2014 Goals Review

Release the first two books of my next series – In August I accomplished the first half of this by releasing Memory Blood. For the purpose of quality I delayed Memory Blood 2 and I’m very happy with that decision. Now when the book launches in four month’s time it will be the absolute best it can be. I started writing MB2 again today and I’m brimming with energy from all the different ideas and stories that are already falling into place where they need to be.

More Friday updates – I believe I accomplished this during the early parts of the year as I slowly revealed my new series to be Memory Blood but then as the latter half of the year came I consciously decided to lessen the number of Friday Updates. Ultimately, this goal wasn’t as exciting after the new series was announced and that’s why there was no need to continue pursuing it. I think frequent weekly updates will only return when I’m launching big new projects which won’t be for a while now.

More marketing and networking – I absolutely achieved this one. My marketing and social media skills have greatly increased and I’ve had an easier time connecting with others this year. I saved some money for marketing campaigns too and I’ve learned a lot from those experiences and look forward to taking them with me into the new year.

Tomorrow, I’ll officially announce my broad goals for 2015 and speak more about where I’m going as a writer. I’m very excited to say more but will contain myself for now.

Writing Update: Mid-December 2014 Edition

It’s about time for a new Writing Update now that Creswood Mysteries has been announced. As of now, the story has been completed and I’m working on balancing and tuning the mystery over the next 2 weeks leading up to the release before the end of the year. Official story info and a release date will be coming soon, but I need a little more time to prepare so your patience will be appreciated.

When I set out to write my debut mystery novel, I initially wanted to make it super difficult to solve because that would be a lot of fun for me. However, there’s plenty of time to write super difficulty mysteries in the future… so why not start out a little easier? The balancing of the hints is not yet completed but I think there will only be a mild amount of difficulty in the Creswood case which means that more than a few people should be able to solve it outright and most people should have some good guesses by the end.

This was a quick project, so it’s only the length of a short story and that also makes it easier to re-read so I’d like to ask my readers to try their very best to solve it. Unlike a standard mystery novel, there’s no solution at the end but a solution shouldn’t be necessary. The mystery becomes solvable quite early on and more and more hints are presented afterwards that will help with figuring things out.

Even if you can’t solve it, it should still be fun and that’s what excites me about this work. The appeal of a mystery novel is the mystery and I think I’ve created something quite fun and lighthearted despite the fact that people get murdered. If you haven’t read something in this style before you’ll probably only understand after you’ve read it but I guarantee it will be worth the 99 cents that it will cost!

Writing Update: This Winter Edition

In order to make Memory Blood 2 the best novel it can be I’m pushing back the release to the first half of 2015. I spent 8 months working on Memory Blood and foolishly thought I could get the sequel out in half that time. I believe that quality comes first and so I am delaying the release of the second book by approximately four months and it should be out sometime in April 2015.

However, that doesn’t mean that something won’t be released this Winter! I’ve decided to do something fun and surprising which will be announced before Christmas and will be released just a few days after. This work will be more similar to a short novel and will be smaller in size but very, very fun. It’s fun to be spontaneous every now and then so I’m not saying anything for now but I think it will make the wait for Memory Blood 2 just a little bit easier.

I really dislike delaying works, but Memory Blood 2 is still in production! I will be actively working on the book up until its release in April and making it stronger and stronger. This means the third and fourth books in the series will also be delayed but I have no issue doing so in order to make the series as strong and enjoyable as possible. Thank you very much for your understanding! My writing habits have only improved since I  began publishing in 2012 and I’ve been getting better each year and look forward to continue improving them in the future.

Writing Update: Happy Halloween 2014 Edition

There are only 2 months left in 2014 now. I really hadn’t thought of that until I wrote it just now…

Today, I spent some time reading the blog of my favorite author. And, as expected, I just so happened upon entries that mirrored the exact same issues I’m having with Memory Blood 2. To put it simply, I’m writing and re-writing and writing and re-writing. But, that’s far from a bad thing. That’s an extraordinarily good thing. I’ve thrown out thousands and thousands of words of writing this time around for the sake of making the story better. I’m very proud that I have the strength to do that and I know it’s going to make Memory Blood 2 exactly the type of work it should be.

To summarize where I’m at, the total word count is at about 17,000 right now. The first story’s structure has been completely locked in place now for weeks and the writing on that is finished so I won’t be touching that until editing. The second story has two major plots, one of which is fine as it is, and the other which I’m rethinking. The third, fourth, and fifth stories are all in various states but the core ideas are in place and they probably won’t give me as much trouble as the first two stories have.

If I reach 30,000 words by November 15th then I should be on schedule. If I’m a little less than that then I’ll be a little bit behind schedule. Either way, I doubt there’s going to be a delay in the release of Memory Blood 2 and it should still be out by the end of this year. Of course, as always, if that changes between now and the end of this month then the official announcement will reflect the delay in the release so there won’t be any last-minute cancellation surprises.

Writing Update: Schedule Preview Edition

This week, as the writing for Memory Blood 2 continues, I’ve decided to give a brief preview of my current ideas for what I’ll be doing for the rest of this year and beyond. Everything is always subject to change, but for now…

Late November 2014: Pre-order and release date announcement for Memory Blood 2

Winter 2014: Release of Memory Blood 2 with special launch event pricing

Early 2015: Fixing all remaining typos in The Library Series

Second Half of 2015: Release of Memory Blood 3 and 4, concluding the series

2016: Mystery series debut

Writing Update: October 2014 W3 Edition

The writing for Memory Blood 2 is going along well. The next five stories continue to become clearer in my mind and the direction of the first two stories have been finalized. The third, fourth, and fifth stories continue to move closer to becoming final and I look forward to being able to announce the release date towards the end of the next month.

In terms of visual novels, I finally finished Shikkoku no Sharnoth towards the beginning of this month. Right now I’m very excited by the series and so I plan to read Sekien no Inganock once more as well as the web novels and perhaps Sharnoth again before I read anything new.

My apologies for missing last week, but my Writing Updates tend to be very short when I have things I can’t yet talk about so that’s all for now.

Shikkoku no Sharnoth ~what a beautiful tomorrow~ Review

Note: While this review does not contain 18+ content, Shikkoku no Sharnoth itself does. 

This is the third game in the WAB Steampunk series released by Liar-soft in 2008. Yet again, the visuals, characters, music, and gameplay create an irresistible environment that will capture the imaginations of many. However, this time, that environment is more crucial to the game than it was in Sekien no Inganock. The biggest temptation there is for anyone reading a visual novel is to rush through to the end or try to read as quickly as possible and while that might be possible with Inganock if you’re paying enough attention, it definitely won’t with Shikkoku no Sharnoth.

More than a review, I’d like to post this advice for those considering reading this entry in the series: take your time. The big mysterious questions that drive you to want to know more are further in the background than they were in Inganock and the intention is that you enjoy the stories unfolding before you while also trying to figure out the answers to the mysteries. By the time you get to the end, if you’ve rushed through everything, you’ll be disappointed. But if you take your time and enjoy yourself, when you get to the end you’ll be excited by what you’ve managed to piece together.

In my personal experience, Inganock was easier to understand (so if Inganock was difficult for you then you’ll definitely want to take this one more slowly) and Sharnoth became a work that I’m very much looking forward to reading again. Not because there were no answers, as some people might claim, but because I feel like I’ve gained a foothold from which to discover even more if I go through everything again.

An additional tip is that you can speed through the minigame animations. I disliked the minigames when I thought they were painfully slow, but if you just hold CTRL they’re a ton of fun and really do add to the experience. The minigames should also be easily cleared with a reasonable number of attempts and I don’t think many people will truly struggle with them.

The only reason I gave this work a score of ‘Great’ rather than ‘Flawless’ was because it left me with the sense that I had to tell people ‘you need to enjoy this differently than Inganock’. Certain Visual Novels, usually of the slice-of-life genre, make it immediately obvious there’s no point in not taking your time. Sharnoth didn’t really do this for me, especially after the pacing of Inganock, and so I ended up wishing I had gone through it a little more slowly.

Score: Great

*Scoring: Flawless > Great > Good > Okay > Bad

Writing Update: October 2014 W1 Edition

Another rainy week, unfortunately. Today was nice but it’s no surprise that I’m only at about 14k words for Memory Blood 2 thanks to Monday through Thursday. At this point I’m ready to begin the process of finishing the first story and start writing a little more linearly. I’ve got the concepts for all of the stories down, and only a few major plot elements are yet to be decided. Story 1 can easily be finished at this point so I’ll do that before figuring out what the next scenes for Stories 2-5 are.

As long as I get to around 20k words by halfway through October then I’ll still be on track for the planned release date.