Author Journey (June 21, 2021)

The Otaku Author Journey June 21 2021

There’s no point dwelling on the past. What happened has happened. It’s time to adjust the plan and push on to greater things. It’s been a bit of a transition week, but it’s allowed me to focus on my goals.

June 21, 2021

Last week I broke the news about the Black Death trilogy. The series I was writing with another author since the latter half of 2017 had finally run out of steam. There were just too many moving parts and when I fixed one thing it broke something else. Dropping it had been something that I had been thinking about for a while, but then I didn’t want to drop it and disappoint my co-author. We’ve come to an agreement on that, which means we’ve written it off as a learning experience. It’s time to move on!

I also mentioned last week how I feel like it’s been holding me back. The project sitting there unfinished has been like a dark cloud hanging over my head. It’s been all-consuming. Any time I tried to think about another project I would find myself thinking that I should be working on Black Death. The pressure of it always wanting my attention also made it hard to want to do it.

Now that I am free, ideas have been coming at me thick and fast. I’ve been listening to a podcast series about world-building called The Art of World Building. It has forty-six episodes all about thirty minutes long and it has been outstanding. I have a background in geography so a lot of the things said are things that I’ve thought about, but the depth that Randy Ellefson goes to in the podcasts is amazing. It’s given me a lot of ideas for both of my projects.

So, I have two projects still on the go. Well, one of them was my NaNoWriMo story from last November that I haven’t done anything with since I hit fifty-three-thousand, seven hundred and four words in November 2020. That is a paranormal rom-com with harem elements. I had just reached the end of the second act so there’s another third of the story to go. My goal for this week is to read it through while making notes and write out the remainder of the plot points. I want to have that ready for me to finish off in July.

Otherside Picnic Episode 5 Sorao Kamikoshi and Toriko Nishina what is that

Then, I have my dark fantasy, alternate history, vampire, zombie, genre-mess novella series. Yes, that’s quite the mouthful. On top of that, it was a novella series which I soon discovered is not the length people generally want. It was my first series and I made a lot of mistakes chasing what I thought readers wanted. I’ve learnt a lot since then. I should also point out that I published eight volumes and had already written twenty-six.

I’m going to unpublish those and start again. This time, I’m going for novel-length books and it’s going to be a dark epic fantasy story. The best thing is that I have almost three-hundred thousand words of notes to work off. So, my other goal will be to read and make notes on that series. For that, I’m going to be using a lot of what I’ve been listening to in the Art of World Building podcast to map out the adventure and flesh out the world. This is going to be epic!

Of course, the paranormal rom-com will be first as it’s the smaller project and after Black Death, I need a quick win to get my momentum going again. I’ve already seen a big improvement in my blogging schedule and I will regain my days in July when my son starts his summer camp program. I have all of my fingers crossed that everything goes to plan because I need to have some time for me where I can try to get my author career moving once more.

Heaven's Lost Property Episode 3 Ikaros and Mikako

We’re now down to just two more episodes of Fruits Basket! Once that’s over and I’ve written up my season review I will move away from seasonal reviews for a little while. I will maintain three episode reviews a week but the focus will be on older shows. By older, I mean not from the current season. That means that I can work through an entire series without having to wait for the next episode to air.

I really enjoyed this format with my last round of shows and that has continued now with Heaven’s Lost Property and Otherside Picnic. I’m already six episodes into the series that will take over from Fruits Basket and it’s going to be an interesting one to discuss. There’s been some ups and downs already, but I don’t think there will any shortage of talking points.

I’ve already got a couple more shows lined up after that. My schedule is filling up fast and that means that I will have a lot more time to get my two projects going. If all goes well then I will look at doing some seasonal anime again, but only once I have completed the first of the projects and have it ready to publish. I will get that done before the end of the year.

I’m feeling re-energized and buzzing to get things going again. I’m still gutted about Black Death, but I know it’s the right thing to do. Anyhow, thanks for reading and stay safe.

Fruits Basket Episode 61 Ayame and Mine

6 Comments

  1. Had a thought re: all those novellas, have you considered combining a few and repacking the series into a couple of connected trilogies etc?

    I’ve got a couple novella-length series on the go and at times they seem to be very hit and miss with readers, so I’ve definitely wondered if I should have gone the more conventional path with them.

    • Yeah, my original plan was to bundle them into groups of four as the series went on. Looking back at it now, I feel like that would end up more like a collection of stories rather than a novel. I could do something similar to The Witcher novels where there’s a connective thread and the shorter stories work like flashbacks.

      However, it’s been several years since I released one and I think starting fresh will allow me to correct a lot of the problems I created such as too many genres and length.

      I’m going to reuse everything I have already created, even if only as a guide. After going through the world building podcast, it’s helped me to solidify a lot of ideas and flesh out the past. I think starting new will result in a far better overall experience.

      It’s hard because I see things like Amazon Vella appearing and that would have been ideal back when I first started. I personally love the short format, but I’m not convinced that there’s much of a market for it. I don’t see how Vella can compete with services like Royal Road and WattPad. People who read like that want free.

    • Yeah, the fresh start is liberating too, huh? 🙂

      And I feel the same re: never discarding anything – it can always come in handy somewhere.

      And me too, yes! I was thinking the same about Vella, I wonder whether it’ll work at all. Feels like a gamble that maybe won’t draw enough writers in to such a trial – I don’t remember the terms being that attractive either.

    • Yeah, I feel like the last couple of years of focused reviewing has helped me put together what works and doesn’t work for me. I think I’ve always been subconsciously doing similar, but this has solidified it.

      The story will be different enough that it will be like a completely new thing with a number of aspects and ideas that pull through. I’ve been doing a bit of world-building and am excited at where the story is going again.

      I just can’t see people paying for chapters that way. Amazon’s exclusivity policy is the biggest issue I see with a lot of there services. I’d love to be in KU and still be able to sell my stories else where or publish them on my site.

      Anyhow, I have a plan on how I’m going to release them, I just need to get them written and polished. I have a lot of work to do.

  2. World building is a huge source of story ideas for me. I’m watching a Master Class by N.K. Jemisin, and she said she rejects the idea that you should build your worlds like the tip of an iceberg. She things you should build the whole iceberg, then only the the readers the tip.

    That makes sense to me. I know that the novel I just finished writing is better because I built out the world all around the main characters — corporate hierarchies, government institutions, even goods and service and the companies that manufactured them. The interrelationships between those things with each other and with the characters made the world feel a lot more real.

    In fact, I like world building so much I have to strictly limit myself, or that’s all I’d do!

    Very cool to hear you have a background in geology. Now I expect realistic plate tectonics from your books!

    • Absolutely. It’s like coming up with complicated character profiles and backstories, but never mentioning them in the story. You as the author will know these things and it will help to keep the characters consistent and make their actions believable. The same goes for the world.

      I’ve already come up with some major world events that lead up to the main story and they are blowing me away with how well they tie everything together. I almost want to write these as prequels at some point.

      I’ve been researching how to draw fantasy maps so will give that a go at some point. I feel like I’ve suddenly rediscovered the love for these worlds and am excited to really get back to work on them.

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