WIP Update #2

Inner monologue: La dee dah. I should really write another update for where I am on my work in progress. I said I’d give updates with some level of frequency. There were even people in the comments who wanted them. It has to have been three months or so since I did an update, right?

*Checks blog post dates*. February 12th.

Inner monologue: Well fuck.

So uh…time kind of got away from me over the last few months. Combine the fact that I’ve had a ton going on (I started a new job, I launched a Patreon, I started a podcast, plus other things I haven’t talked about on this blog yet) with the fact that I didn’t realize I had written that post so early in the year, and that’s how I go six months between giving updates on the new book I’m working on. Weird how that works.

At the time of the first update being published, I had just cracked the 24,000 word mark, having written around eight chapters of the book1I think I was midway through the eighth chapter, though it’s been long enough that I don’t remember exactly where I was at that point in time.. That accounted for somewhere between one-quarter and one-third of the chapters I had planned out in the story, though only about one-fifth to one-quarter of the word count2I’m thinking the story will be around 90,000 words when I’m done, pre-edits..

I gave what I had done at that point to my very thorough, very patient alpha reader. And she tore the first three chapters apart. Which is awesome. There’s a reason I trust her to be the first person to read my story. That said, I also realize it was a bit of a mistake to send the file over when I hadn’t even finished the book yet. All of the comments, recommendations, and tweaks she suggested were wonderful advice, but they also (unintentionally) sapped my motivation to write on in the story at that time. That’s 100% my own fault for not taking into account how I have to structure my writing and editing process in order to be as productive as possible. That said, it also meant that I didn’t write anything new in the book from early March through mid-May.

Between mid-May and mid-July, I think I wrote a total of 1,500 words across eight weeks. Considering how busy this time in my life was3As this time period includes everything I mentioned above except the new podcast launch., the fact that I even got this much done was impressive in its own right. Nevertheless, I was disappointed in my own productivity.

So why write about this now? If nothing else, this post can serve as a reminder to myself about the struggles I had over the past five to six months4I’m not sure when I’m going to post this. I’m leaning towards mid-August at the time of writing this post, but we’ll see if that’s what actually happens., as well as the fact that I still got a little bit done in the book during one of the busiest times I’ve ever experienced. There’s a positive side to this tale as well though.

As of writing this post, the work in progress is now up to around 35,500 words, with 12 of the 26 planned chapters completed5Along with one scene later in the book that accounts for nearly all of the 1,500 words that I wrote between mid-May and mid-July.. Although I’m not at the halfway point of the book in terms of word count or chapters that I’m estimating, I have finished what is essentially the story of the first half of the book. I’m relatively happy with the way the story is progressing and I really like the way some of the main characters are developing.

I’ve also realized that I want this to become a series, though I’m unsure at this point exactly how I want to go about that. There is character that won’t appear until at least the second book of this series that I have in very vivid detail in my mind. While this is great for the long-term prospects for a series, it’s frustrating as the new character doesn’t fit in this first book at all. In fact, she needs the events of the first book to transpire for her to even have a need to exist — but I’m getting a bit ahead of myself by saying that.

I do want to take a moment to thank a few people — in particular Laidig, Eve, Tabitha, Mike, Stephanie, Erin, Dem, and my wife6As well as others I’ve surely, though accidentally, forgotten. — for their support as I’ve worked on this. I know my Patreon has been a big thing over the last few months. I know that I’ve written more than my fair share of video game posts, garbage posts, and random short stories while not talking about this project at all. But this project is one I care a ton about, not to mention one I want to do really well. There’s a ton of work that’s going to need to go into this project. I’m both thinking and hoping that in the end, the story that’s told7Both this book by itself and whatever series comes out of it, if I go that route. will be worth it.

WIP Update #1

A couple of months ago, I mentioned in my charity drive wrap-up post that I wasn’t particularly sure where I wanted to go with my writing. At that time, I was pretty down on how things had gone with said charity drive. In a way, I took the results of that effort as an indictment on my creative writing. I clearly have never been the best at marketing my writing — and by extension my book — and despite the book’s good ratings on Goodreads and Amazon, I ended up in a bit of a rough place mentally with how I viewed my own writing.

At the same time, just as the charity drive was wrapping up, I finally finished an outline for a project that I’ve been wanting to work on for some time now. Last year, I wrote a prompt-based short story that ventured into the realm of artificial intelligence. More specifically, the short story focused on whether or not humans and artificial intelligence could love one another, as well as the societal implications of that thought process. I actually did three short stories of various lengths on the topic last year1I’ve taken all three down off this blog, as I may end up using them in the future as part of this project (or another)., however the first one from that series is what prompted the outline. Said outline was originally 42 pages in length when I finished it, though it’s since grown to nearly 50 pages as I’ve added additional notes to it for my own reference.

A little more than a week after I wrote that charity drive post, something clicked. I wish I could tell you what it was, but I really don’t remember. I just wanted to try writing — to try working on this project that I had created a giant outline for. So I spent the better part of six hours between two plane rides working on the project, getting to almost 10,000 words in the process. I excitedly took a screenshot of Google Docs’ word count feature and posted it to my Twitter, getting better than I expected reception to the work I had done. No one had read the work in progress. Hell, only one person knew what said work in progress was related to at that point. The reaction still made me happy to see all the same.

We’re a little more than two months on now from the point at which I started working on this new project. Since starting, I’m at just over 24,000 words in the project. This accounts for about one-quarter of the chapters in the story’s outline. Even then, there’s really just been a lot of world building done at this point2There’s a surprisingly high amount of world building I’ve felt like I’ve needed to do with this story, even though the technologies within it aren’t that far-fetched from what exist today., as the main story itself has only just started to take shape in the last chapter or two. I’d ideally like to have the first draft of this book written by the end of spring, though we’ll see how much I can get done over the next couple of months.

I’m not necessarily writing this post for anyone. If you’re interested in the writing I’ve done and would like to stay up to date on the work in progress I have going on now, great. I’ll (hopefully) be posting additional updates about it as I continue working towards completing it. I’ve been fortunate enough to have a handful of people approach me about wanting to be beta readers for the story once it has gone through an initial edit, which is something I didn’t have with my first book3I had beta readers, however I had to proactively seek them out. Seeing people actively want to be beta readers for me is a welcome surprise.. With this book likely being my first novel that I actually try to do something with4I’ve written a full novel for NaNoWriMo three times now (twice in the time limit, once with some extra time needed). That said, I don’t feel like continuing work on those for various reasons., there’s a long way to go. That said, I’ll try to keep doing these posts, not only for my own self-accountability, but also to let you all have some insight into my writing process, if you’re interested.

And hey — if you are interested in seeing more posts like this, let me know in the comments. I can’t really know that people want to see more about this project if no one says so.