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.