I promised that I was going to do just an art update once I received Lynn’s artwork for Volume 4 but there is much more that I want to talk about because so much has happened since the last update back on August 1st.

But since I promised art, I will lead off this update with that.

The last art piece I showed off was Akane Akihiko. In the August update, I said I had a new art piece in but couldn’t show it because it contained spoilers. Well, since then, I received not one, not two, but three brand-new art pieces that I can show off. Followers of my social media accounts have seen two of them so far, though.  All three art pieces feature Lynn and Takumi. One of them together and two of them by themselves!

Check them out!

Takumi and Lynn 1

Takumi Karume 2

Lynn Aichner 3

With these three art pieces done, only two more remain: Amber and Jeremiah! Once those two are completed, we can publish volume four!

I don’t like to give out concrete dates when it comes to releases because I don’t know how fast or how slow my artist will be; however, IF he keeps up his current pacing, we are looking at a launch the second week of September… FAR ahead of the original December target release date. That’s just a testament to how hard my artist has been working and I can’t thank him enough for all the quality work has been putting into my series!

As a result of his work ethic, I’ve been ramping up mine as well.

Last time I updated you, I was in the middle of editing Volume 5. Well, Volume 5’s first editing pass is done and the entire book is in second draft! The References bonus chapter is also done as well! The art concepts for Volume 5 have also been created with 10 art pieces up for commission along with an optional 11th art piece.

I’m saying optional because the 11th piece, which I’m saving for last, is the most difficult piece I am requesting from my artist. It’s a two-person full body scene with special effects and a background. I am unsure if he feels comfortable doing it so that is why I am making it optional. If he feels like he cannot do it… I might consider shopping around for another artist for that one piece or just drop it entirely. Although it would be pretty sweet to have in the book as it’s going to be one of the biggest defining moments of the series.

So, things are set in place with Volume 5 which left me sitting here twiddling my thumbs. I decided to say screw it and I set a new goal for myself. My new goal was to be not one, but TWO volumes ahead and as of the time of this writing, I have 6 out of 7 chapters in 1st draft of Volume 6! I plan to finish the first draft of the volume and, instead of going back and editing it, I will be continuing on to Volume 7.

While two volumes ahead is a nice goal… I decided that my ultimate goal is to keep going until I finish the series. I feel that by doing so will give my artist a lot more freedom when it comes to deadlines and takes the pressure off of me to be in a rush to write while he works on the art.

Plus, I have ideas for new light novels that I want to write but I’m not the kind of person who wants to write multiple series at a time. I have ideas for Shadow Wing, Soul, and The Zero Eclipse that I would like to try my hand at. I would rather start those up rather than wait years to do so.

With that being said, I plan on finishing A.R. Dragonfly before the end of 2019. That doesn’t mean all of the volumes will be out this year. I don’t think my artist can draw 8 volumes of artwork in 4 months; however, I think 4 months is enough time for me to at least write the remainder of the series and go on cruise control after that so I can focus on fleshing out the stories of the other three series I would like to write.

This also doesn’t mean I’m planning on rushing A.R. Dragonfly, either. I have the story points in place, I have my path laid out. I’m still finding new things to write about as I’m writing and I’m still excited about exploring and fleshing out the world. Plus, just because I’m writing it out to the end doesn’t mean I don’t have things planned for A.R. Dragonfly. I have a few things in mind that I want to do to help support the series… some of which are a little expensive, but they are things I want to do regardless. If it goes well, I might think about giving Final Hope the same treatment.

More on what that is another time as I haven’t decided to fully pursue it yet!

With that progress update out of the way, I’m doing a first! This is the first time I am answering a question that someone asked me on Twitter… mainly because my reply wouldn’t work with 280 characters.

Sein Ares @SunielMadhukum1 asked:

Out of curiosity, how many words are there on average in each volume? Or is it very different for each?
The answer to that is it’s different for each volume but it has been a learning process for me from the very beginning. Final Hope was my first light novel series. I had researched that light novels are typically between 180-200 pages and around 50,000-60,000 words. I didn’t bother adhering to the word count… I was focused on pages. I finished at 192 pages of 8.5 x 11 paper not realizing that the book needed to be 8.5 x 5.5… which meant it ended up being 320 pages! (oops).
After that, I decided to scale back heavily on the number of pages a volume would have so it would fall into the expected size of a light novel. That’s why Vol. 2 of Final Hope was so much thinner than Vol. 1. I decided to continue that into A.R. Dragonfly but then people were saying that the books felt a little too short so I decided to come up with more ideas to flesh out the story to make each volume feel longer… this, of course, started with Vol. 4 after Vol. 3 ended up being the shortest book I had written to date.
So to answer the question… the word counts differ but they fluctuate due to me learning and growing as an author. Adding more words isn’t about artificially expanding the length of a book. To me, it’s a challenge to make extra content that is both meaningful and impactful to the story. If I catch myself trying to expand a chapter for the sake of expanding it… I nix the idea and stick to my outline but if I find something interesting to talk about or if I come up with something that I feel will help the overarching story, I will add it and flesh it out.
There is one exception in Volume 6. This is a slight spoiler but one I don’t mind sharing because this doesn’t spoil anything in the overarching story whatsoever. Kaito was hungry one night and instead of saying “Kaito went to the kitchen and found food,” I decided to have Kaito cook something up. Even though it’s not officially titled anything, I referred to that part of the chapter as “Cooking with Kaito”… a pun on the “Cooking with Keiichi” video on YouTube from Higurashi no Naku koro ni. I won’t spoil what Kaito makes but the full recipe is in the chapter! I also did it to take a stab at Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma. Since A.R. Dragonfly is a series filled with references, I felt like it fit the style of the series but I can see why adding something like that would feel like artificial filler for a chapter.
It wasn’t meant to be, I just thought it was insanely fun to put something like that in.
All-in-all, if you’re interested in knowing the word counts for every chapter I’ve ever written so far, here the numbers:

Final Hope

Ch 1 – 4949
Ch 2 – 6848
Ch 3 – 5139
Ch 4 – 5605
Ch 5 – 5825
Ch 6 – 5683
Ch 7 – 6650
Ch 8 – 6835
Ch 9 – 9253
Ch 10 – 8644
Ch 11 – 6852
Ch 12 – 8134
Total: 80,417

Ch 13 – 4815
Ch 14 – 6447
Ch 15 – 4036
Ch 16 – 4983
Ch 17 – 4905
Ch 18 – 7023
Ch 19 – 6181
Ch 20 – 3957
Ch 21 – 3858
Total: 46,205

AR Dragonfly

Ch 1 – 4352
Ch 2 – 5273
Ch 3 – 4640
Ch 4 – 4463
Ch 5 – 3960
Ch 6 – 4802
Ch 7 – 4575
Total: 32,065

Ch 8 – 4397
Ch 9 – 5021
Ch 10 – 5755
Ch 11 – 4584
Ch 12 – 5505
Ch 13 – 3918
Ch 14 – 4887
Total: 34,067

Ch 15 – 4581
Ch 16 – 5016
Ch 17 – 3661
Ch 18 – 4446
Ch 19 – 3997
Ch 20 – 3645
Ch 21 – 3244
Total: 28,590

Ch 22 – 4559
Ch 23 – 5588
Ch 24 – 4512
Ch 25 – 5712
Ch 26 – 6512
Ch 27 – 4269
Ch 28 – 4836
Total: 35,988

Ch 29 – 6905
Ch 30 – 6959
Ch 31 – 6750
Ch 32 – 7614
Ch 33 – 6128
Ch 34 – 7032
Ch 35 – 7244
Total: 48,632

Ch 36 – 7442
Ch 37 – 6230
Ch 38 – 7273
Ch 39 – 7104
Ch 40 – 7777
Ch 41 – 6424
Ch 42 – Not yet written
Total (so far): 42,068

The last two sets (Vols. 5 and 6) are italicized because they are not yet set in stone with final edits and therefore are subject to change.
Sorry for the long-winded answer but hopefully it gave you what you were looking for.
I actually had fun answering that question. Feel free to ask me anything if you wish. You can submit a question through the contact form on the website or DM me on Twitter @TheAnimePulse or send me a message through my Facebook author page here: https://www.facebook.com/JoshuaJPiedra
I’m still going to be hard art work. Hopefully, I will have Amber’s Vol. 4 art to show off come September update. If not, I’ll definitely have news about Vols. 6 and 7 to share!
Until next time,
Ja ne!

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