Writing Update: June W1 Edition

This time it’s another Q&A format!

Q: How has Memory Blood progressed in the past week?

For this month, the book is in the QA phase so I’m not looking at it actively. Instead I’m doing things like creating the cover, writing the release information, and deciding what will happen in Memory Blood 2. I’ll return to actively working on Memory Blood in July as I adjust it according to feedback and prepare it for release.

Q: When will the release date and other information be published?

This information will be available during the first week of July. At that time you’ll know the release date, price, cover, and summary.

Q: Any progress on The Orin Chronicles or The Academy Series?

Not just yet. Some new content might still appear at the end of the year, but I wouldn’t expect any of these two series to end before 2015.

Q: Will Memory Blood be exclusive to Kindle?

A: Yes. The current plan is for Memory Blood to be enrolled in KDP Select and made exclusive for 3 months. As a result of this, there will be a free promotion to celebrate the launch of the book. More details will be announced at a later date.

Q: When will all of your books become available on Nook and Kobo?

A: Right now there isn’t much interest in these platforms, but the first books in The Orin Chronicles and The Library Series are available. If interest in these books, and any others currently available, increases then I’ll upload the remaining books. Or, if anyone specifically requests a book to become available by contacting me, I’ll be happy to oblige.

Q: Any secret projects being developed?

Not right now. I’d like to do something extra for Winter in addition to releasing Memory Blood 2, but nothing is in development currently.

Writing Update: Format Change Edition

While I’ve been able to somewhat easily return to writing The Academy series, there’s been one thing that I hadn’t been able to resolve until today. That is the idea of independent stories featuring in The Academy: Second Volume. For a long time it seemed as if including these stories that had little to do with the overarching plot was a waste of time. The problem I was having until today was that I saw this as a problem for Second Volume and not First Volume.

“If it worked in First Volume, then why does it seem like a problem now?”

The answer is obvious: because this is not First Volume. I always set out to do something new with the second installment in the series and I’ve always wanted to make sure that it is its own entity as I do with all my works, but I foolishly forgot to extend this idea into the format of Second Volume.

While the entirety of the format is not changing, there are certain stories that won’t work in this volume and so I’ve deleted them. As a result, Second Volume’s structure has benefited greatly and it utilizes a “new” format that I find to be very exciting and conveys my vision for this volume perfectly. To continue being mysterious, readers will find that the structure of The Academy Series has not changed; only the format between volumes has changed.

If you can figure it out now, I applaud you. If not, then please look forward to figuring out just what I mean at the end of the year when Second Volume is released.

Writing Update: Time Management

Generally, I’m awake for about 15-16 hours each weekday. About 9 hours go to working at my secret job which leaves me with around 6 hours of time not at that job. About half of that non-job time goes to shopping, cooking, cleaning, laundry, gaming, etc. while the other half is absolute free time. I’ll be honest and admit that I don’t write every day so sometimes I spend that time completely on gaming and watching TV/movies. However, when I’m working on my written projects I tend to use up all of that time.

At the moment, I spend about about an equal time writing for The Academy: Second Volume and planning my 2014 series. Lots of cool ideas for what I’m writing next have arisen because I spend so much time thinking about it and those ideas are now free to use when I’m writing. What I’ve learned since I finished my first project in 2011 is that I’m no good at strict planning and it kills me on a creative level. But letting ideas simmer is a lot of fun for me and now I can still be organic in my writing while keeping myself aligned with the vision that I have for the series. I’m confident in the number of plot developments I know will happen, but I don’t necessarily know how I’m going to get there. I really like the characters that I’ve got so far and I’m looking to further define who they are and add interesting new characters to the mix as well.

For The Academy, right now I’m mostly rewriting content I’ve accumulated since the end of the First Volume. I’m once again encountering a bad habit of mine from the early days (um, less than two years ago…) where I randomly changed the tense of the story for no reason. It can be a little disorienting correcting each sentence individually, but upon reading it back it always looks better and fits with my vision for what’s happening. I’m certain I still have some tense issues, but that’s more because I like to interject at certain points in my story and emphasize certain ideas. Whether or not that’s something that has been effective is something I’m still debating, but I think it’s worked fine so far.

As the months go on, I’ll likely dedicate more time to The Academy: Second Volume simply because I’ve already learned so much about my 2014 series. New ideas will continue to arise, but I’ve gotten a great head start on the project and when it comes time to begin writing I’ll be able to have fragments of world and story waiting for me along with strong characters who will guide me through the story. In fact, I’ve liked this method of planning so much that I’ve already started thinking about even more series and potential ideas. What this will do is give me the advantage of choosing from multiple potential projects in the future that already have some sort of form so I won’t have to say something vague like ‘alright, time to write in this genre’. Instead, I’ll be able to say ‘now it’s time to write this specific story I’ve been thinking about for years’.

Recreations Live!

You can now download The Library Series: Recreations from the Library Series page. With this, everything that I wanted to do with The Library Series is now complete. Even though it ended back in May, it still hasn’t set in that it’s really over. Maybe now that the bonus work that could only have been released at the end is out I’ll finally feel like I’ve brought my first series to an absolute close.

Whether I believe it or not doesn’t matter. The time to focus on The Academy Series and continue planning my 2014 series is now. By the end of the month I’m hoping to have 16,000 words of The Academy: Second Volume written. I’ve already got 10,000 so it shouldn’t be too difficult to write 6,000 more especially since several story ideas have already been prepared since the end of the First Volume.

Writing Update: The Wind Shifts Direction Edition

The Orin Chronicles is being put on indefinite hold, effective immediately. While it disappoints me to not be able to achieve one of my goals for 2013, circumstances have changed and have made working on a monthly series rather difficult. My writing has had no meaningful financial impact on my life and so I’m going to be doing other work to support myself. While I’ve never written full time, circumstances have changed that make writing The Orin Chronicles a stress rather than a pleasure.

This is not the end of my writing career, but things will be a bit slower for the forseeable future. The Library Series: Recreations is a very small project so that will still release on time and The Academy: Second Volume will be able to take shape now that I am no longer working on The Orin Chronicles. My new series will also debut next year and follow the upcoming exciting changes to my writing schedule that I’ve been working on the details of for a while now.

The thing that really went wrong with The Orin Chronicles was all of the promises that I made. Setting a 16,000 word minimum and promising a new volume every month didn’t seem like a big deal because it worked well for the first five volumes. But it was also promised to be a 13 volume series and so 8 volumes remained. Volume 6 was delayed because of injury, Volume 7 took longer than expected, and now Volume 8 just isn’t forming properly. From here on out there won’t be time to finish Volumes 8-13 and get them released by the end of the year and so I’m making the difficult decision to put all of it on hold and pursue less demanding projects that I know I can release.

When I set out as an author, I never wanted to disappoint my fans. On principle, I don’t like this decision but the reality is also that I don’t have many fans to disappoint so if The Orin Chronicles needs to be put on hold then there’s nothing stopping me from doing so. In the future if you are reading this post as a fan of my works, please see this announcement for what it is and try not to hold it against me.

I want to do my best as an author and so I’m making this decision so that I don’t have to quit writing. What my future holds is unknown, but I’m too excited about it to regret it. Please look forward to Recreations before the summer ends and The Academy: Second Volume towards the end of the year. For 2014 I don’t think I’ll be able to finish The Orin Chronicles, but I may be able to release a few more volumes in the meantime so please stay tuned for more details.

Writing Update: Library Series End + Everything Edition

Today marks the launch of “The Collapsing of Infinity”, the fourth and final book in the Library Series. Information about the history of the series can be found throughout this blog and I expressed my emotions within the Author’s Note at the end of the book so I want to discuss a different topic here: what I’ve learned from the Library Series. To begin with, I learned a lot of practical things like how to publish on Kindle and use KDP Select as well as the format required for using Word or OpenOffice. In terms of writing the book, I learned a lot about planning. Once I finished “The Library Complex” I had a lot of ideas for the remaining books and outlined those ideas so I’d know where I was heading. For “The Weapon of The Kara” I didn’t want to reveal the answers to the big mysteries so it was easy to come up with an adventure that expanded upon what I had done in the first book, but for “The Cult of Eternal Darkness” I needed to tie all of the answers into a narrative that would make sense. I left the seeds for this plot at the end of Book Two and thanks to that I limited the infinite possibilities I had and was able to create something I genuinely pleased with. In that sense, it was probably the most difficult writing Book Three, however there’s also the challenge of the last book.

(This post will be a long one so please click through to the rest!)

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