Author Journey (April 19, 2021)

The Otaku Author Journey April 19 2021

This week, I actually did some editing! I know, I’m as surprised as you! Of course, it wouldn’t be 2021 if there wasn’t some sort of twist that might kneecap me going forward, but I’ll get to that in a moment.

April 19, 2021

I’ll apologise, to begin with, as these posts are as much for me as they are for you. There’s something quite cathartic about getting it all out like this and, as for the planning, it helps me solidify ideas in my head. This week, I shall attempt to focus on the more exciting prospects and less on the doom and gloom of COVID-19.

So, I did some editing and it went pretty well. You may or may not know, but I’m co-writing a post-apocalyptic trilogy with another author – The Black Death. We started writing it at the end of 2017… I know, that was a long time ago. Originally, there were three of us writing it, each with our own storyline that would weave together in the final act. It was fairly ambitious. We knew that, but things started out really well.

We would write our chapters and share them between us. That way we could keep on top of the overall story and leave little clues as to what was going on with the bigger picture. By the end of June 2018, I had completed the first draft of my parts for all three books, including the final act which we had a conference call to get all of our thoughts together.

The remaining co-author had his finished around the same time. We were just waiting on the third so that we could pass it around and clean up the manuscript. Unfortunately, after another year of waiting, the third author pulled out having only completed the first draft for book one. It was annoying that we had been waiting and waiting just for him to walk away. It happens, but frustrating all the same.

Record of Grancrest War Episode 19 Marrine Kriesche

So, to make up for the missing story, my co-author put together the first draft of a story to replace it. We’d talked about how it would go and the plan was it would come to me to make it fit within the existing two storylines, including weaving it into the final act. I got this towards the end of 2019 when I was just getting back into work after taking a year off with my son.

Of course, since then the pandemic happened and everything fell away that wasn’t immediately important. I did what I could when I could, but it slowed to a snail’s pace. More recently, I finished mapping all of the chapters of the books which was when I realised that the new third storyline moved at a much faster pace than the others. I think it originally covered three or four days in the story, whereas the original two storylines took about twelve days.

This completely threw off the balance of the books. I spent a while trying to work out how to reorganise them and managed to come up with a plan. It required the chapters to be shuffled around a bit. I’ve edited some chapters to change the time and sequence and I think it works much better now. It also means that time flows in an orderly manner. So, this week, I got through the first half of book one and I’m surprised at how neatly it fits back together after being shuffled.

Fruits Basket Episode 52 Arisa and Saki go after the flower thieves

I’ve also had a bit of time to think about my projects beyond The Black Death. My next project will be to finish off my paranormal rom-com which will be my first attempt at a web novel. I’ve got some fairly ambitious ideas about how things will work and look forward to discussing more as I get to that stage. That project is fifty-thousand words into the first draft and should have another twenty to thirty thousand words before it’s finished.

My first drafts are usually pretty clean as I write with the spellchecker on. Hopefully, that’ll mean that the editing won’t be nearly as long as it’s just me writing this one. I’ve already made notes of stuff I want to add to increase the strength of the foreshadowing. As soon as I’ve finished that and got it ready for the weekly chapter releases, I will begin work on what will probably be my biggest project.

Back before I started work on The Black Death, I was writing a dark fantasy, vampire series called Valiant Lineage. I had huge plans for the series, which was technically a novella serial with each volume about fifteen to twenty-thousand words. Through the first half of 2017, I wrote the first drafts of twenty-six volumes and that took the overall story to the mid-point twist. At that point, I also decided to start trying to publish them.

My goal was to release one a month which seemed achievable, even with another twenty-six to write. I actually managed to publish the first eight volumes before life got in the way and I had to take some time off with my son. During that time, I reflected pretty heavily on what I was doing and also spent a lot of time reading and watching anime. I was blogging as well and that helped me to solidify a number of ideas in my head.

One of my earlier promo images for Valiant Lineage

So, this project that was already fairly massive is going to get a boost. I’m going to take this on as my next web novel project and will be looking to revamp the entire thing (pun intended). I’ve learnt enough to know that the length was a problem, especially for fantasy. There were also too many elements and genres mashed together. Basically, I’ve been thinking about this series for a number of years now and am confident that I can make it one hundred times better.

So, I’m going to unpublish all of the volumes and start from the beginning. Admittedly, it’s not the absolute beginning as I have twenty-six volumes worth of notes to help me through this. If this goes as I’m expecting, it’s going to end up somewhere around two and a half million words long.

Yeah, I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me, but it’s not really work. The hardest thing is stopping everything else from getting in the way. I have more to talk about, but I think I’ll stop there for today as I haven’t really gotten into anything negative and it feels good. So, thanks for reading. I’ve got writing to do!

KonoSuba Episode 19 Darkness being dragged behind a wagon

2 Comments

  1. It sounds like you are organized but also that you have a LOT to organize. Good luck with all your writing projects!

    • Thanks. Best to keep busy. Who knows what I’d get up to otherwise…

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