Writing Update: September 2014 W1 Edition

This week I deleted the content that I knew wasn’t going to be kept and wrote the next 1,000 words of Memory Blood 2’s first story. The general ideas for all of the stories and the arcs of each character have been decided upon. From here on out, the writing won’t be slowed down by my being uncertain of things. This is the type of planning I used for the first Memory Blood and it went very well and it felt right then and it feels right now.

Writing isn’t just thinking of things and writing them down. It’s about exploring and learning about things as they happen and so planning should be limited to direction and important ideas or topics. This is how I’ve always enjoyed writing and the only time my writing has ever suffered is when I arbitrarily decided on things and didn’t take into account the actual act of writing and the need for freedom.

I’ve spoken about this balance between planning and writing many times before, so I apologize if it seems redundant at this point. At the very least, this update can serve the purpose of informing the reader that I’m still using this style.

Writing Update: January 2014 W4 Edition

The final progress report of this kind for January has arrived. By now everyone should know what’s coming next week, but if you don’t please read on!

The Orin Chronicles

Krakken (Volume 8): Writing – 57% complete
Volumes 9-10: Concept Phase
Volumes 11-13: Not in active development

Notes: I’ve had a lot of work to do this week so I wasn’t able to write very much. For the remainder of January I have a ton of work to do so the progress may not change too much for next week either, but I’m glad I was able to make decent progress this week and I should be able to do the same next week as well.

The Academy Series

Second Volume: Not in active development, writing 35% complete

Notes: —

2014 Series

Logo: Completed!
Book One: Concept Phase. Writing – 1.5% complete

Notes: With the logo complete, the big reveal of the title of the series is on schedule for next Friday, January 31st. Thanks to the way the logo was created I have a few options of how I can present it and I’m still considering my options as of right now. In concept-forming news, I’m on schedule with my goals for this month and I might be able to talk a little bit about that next week once the series is properly revealed. Then again, not much is going to be said so there are even more reveals planned for next month and beyond. However, I hope what I present one week from today will be sufficient enough for an initial reveal!

Writing Update: Concept Edition

While information on my series for 2014 won’t be released until the end of January, now is a good time to talk about how I’ll be working on the series. The plan for the development of the new series is as follows.

Concept Stage – For all of 2013 I’ve been gathering ideas together to define what this series is. 90% of that information has been gathered and on December 31st, 2013 at 24:00 the document with all of this information will be locked and the concept will have been defined allowing me to begin working on the project. Information included in this document will include the world of the story, the general plot, and the core themes and ideas that will be explored.

Planning Stage – Early next year I’ll be deciding what will be the first installment in the series. There’s a lot of information on the characters, plots, and stories I’m thinking of in the concept document, but those are not definite plans. The time to decide if I’ll be going forward with those or telling completely new stories will be now. The key beats to the story and who the characters upon the stage are will be decided at this time. The plot will be allowed to evolve during the writing, but the story at the core of the first installment will be decided before the writing begins.

Writing Stage – This is where the plan is executed and new things happen. During the writing stage it is important to always be true to the concept and to not alter the plan for the first installment without very good reason. This is where everything happens and is explored in greater detail than in previous stages and where the product is created. A minimum of 70% of the final product should be represented here.

QA Stage – The first installment will be read by a select few who will provide feedback. This feedback will be necessary in shaping what has been written into the final product. A maximum of 30% of the final product can come from this stage, but if I’ve done my job right then there won’t be a need for so much of the product to come from the Quality Assurance Testers.

While the QA Testers work, I will be planning the second installment of the series.

Editing Stage – Feedback is compiled, decisions are made, and the written product is shaped into the final product. This stage mainly includes proofreading and rewording. Some minor details may be added, but no large events or revelations are likely to be implemented at this point. The plan for the second installment will continue to be written while taking into account feedback received from the first installment as well.

Release – If all goes well, my plan above will have worked out and the product will be released. I won’t when to expect the first installment yet, but remember to check back for details on what the 2014 series is on January 31st, 2014. After that date, expect to understand the series on February 28th, 2014 when information about the world of the series is revealed and continue to check the blog for more information as development on the project continues.

 

 

 

 

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’.

Writing Update: Mid July 2013 Edition

4 AM. It’s fun to be up this late, but I value waking early in the morning more so these long nights will soon be coming to an end. Before I can go to sleep, I’m going to use this opportunity to finally write another blog post and update everyone on a variety of things.

The Orin Chronicles will have its eighth volume released late this month on Kindle with Volumes 4 and 5 coming on Nook and Kobo very soon.

The Library Series: Recreations will enter the production phase very soon. I’m going to make final decisions on it very soon and then writing will begin when I’m not working on The Orin Chronicles. It won’t be very long, but it will still be releasing late in the summer because The Orin Chronicles has a higher priority. In Library Series news in general, the first book will be debuting on Nook and Kobo this month as well.

Planning and ideas for my 2014 series also continue along nicely. I’ve had lots of healthy debates and questions about my ideas with myself and by the time I start officially writing next year I’m confident it will be in a fantastic condition. I’ve never had a planning phase for a project that has lasted more than a few weeks so I’m really enjoying having many months to think about what I want to do next. I’ll keep mentioning this project throughout the year, but don’t expect any details during 2013. When and how I’m going to introduce readers to this series is a topic for next year, not this one. But as this is my blog it’s important to record my mental state and details about my thinking process.

Also, I’ve been playing a lot of World of Warcraft lately and reading visual novels I’ve already read before so there hasn’t been much progress on my ‘VN Progress List’ but this will almost certainly change towards the end of next month.

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!)

Continue reading

Writing Update: Building A World Edition

While “The Cult of Eternal Darkness (Library Series: Book Three)” is in the QA phase, I am working on the writing for the third volume in The Orin Chronicles series. I’ve written no more than 35,000 words of the story so far and I’ve already found myself with pages of lore notes. As I write the third volume, I have become increasingly interested in shaping the world and determining where I want this series to go.

The Orin Chronicles was designed with a certain goal in mind and, while I intend to stay true to that goal, a goal is only the beginning. It is from this goal that the characters and the world and the story of the series arises. In order to provide a good experience, there needs to be a certain amount of direction. Even if it’s a new adventure every week (which is a lot of fun) it eventually has to tie together in Volume 13.

At the moment I’m thinking about how that will happen and I’m roughly planning the volumes that occur beforehand. With each new volume that plan is likely change, but it will be evolving rather than changing randomly. Gram and Selena, two of the Knights from Volume 2, are very important characters that I didn’t know at all during the writing of Volume 1. Now that they exist, the events of the story have changed.

So I’ll plan the journey from here to Volume 13 and with each new volume from here to Volume 11 or so, that plan will continue to evolve. I truly don’t know how the series will end, unlike what I did with the Library Series, so I’m a little concerned. Even so, I’m confident that the ending will be satisfying because of the investment I have in the series. Even though it is a fun series where I get to write something new every month, it’s more than just that. It’s something I take very seriously and so I’ll probably spend the rest of today troubling myself over the series as a whole and its long term future which I will now discuss.

Continue reading