Another month has gone by and we’ve got a lot to cover! Let’s start off with the biggest news bit of them all.
A.R. Dragonfly is done… sort of. Last month, I was 8 pages into chapter 6 of Volume 10. Now, I stand before you here today to let you know that Volumes 10, 11, and 12 are written! This means that, technically, A.R. Dragonfly is finished but it’s not because while all of the volumes are written, they still need to be edited.
I had to do some rearranging of my bullet points because chronologically some things didn’t make sense in Volume 10. I’m glad I did because some of the chapters in 11 and 12 were so short, I needed extra content and some of the changes I made in Vol. 10 allowed me to expand on those plot points and flesh out that new content.
However, when it comes time to edit, Vols. 11 and 12 will need some heavy editing because I know for a fact that in the writing process, I may have forgotten a few of those plot points and left some things open-ended and unresolved. I’m more than sure that when I do the first editing passes on these volumes, I’ll recognize them immediately and know exactly when and where to finish tying up the loose ends I may have missed.
But yeah! There’s no more writing for me to do for now which is a really weird feeling. Because I plowed ahead and, essentially, wrote two and a half books in a month (That’s about 700 pages, btw), I kind of became conditioned to writing. As I sit here on vacation from my day job for the week, I feel this anxiety in me that I’m falling behind because I’m not writing. Then the realization sets in that there’s nothing to write and, therefore, I’m not actually falling behind.
Volume 8 is next to be released. It’s been ready to go for about two months now. I could unleash it upon the world at any point but, right now, I’m aiming for third or fourth week of May which is up from early June. My goal is to get Volume 12 out by the holidays and to do so, I need to push up the release dates just a bit… not by much, though.
Volume 9 is currently being worked on art-wise. Alex is tearing through my commissions and is almost half-way done with them and it’s only been a few days from this posting! Volume 9 received its grammar pass so the book is now in Final Draft. The cover for the book has been created as well as the chapter title pages. All that is left is a final reading to catch any small mistakes, writing of the preface and afterword as well as the art for the bonus chapter.
I decided that for Vol. 9’s bonus chapter, I’m going to give you blueprint layouts of all of the main character’s homes. It’s one thing to read their descriptions… it’s another thing to see it in visual form. This was an idea I had way back in Volume 2 but never really knew of a good time to execute it. Now with the cast firmly in place at this point in the story, I think it’s a good enough time to pull the trigger. Volume 9 is slated for late June/early July so I have a lot of time to work on that and get the book edited.
Despite that, I will be editing Volumes 10-12 before that because I want to get all of the artwork done for the rest of the series by the time 9 comes out which will put me around July. At that time, I will begin planning and writing A.R. Dragonfly Origins and try and get those books completely written by December so I can release them in January 2021-May 2021.
While I release A.R. Dragonfly Origins, I will be writing From Ashe. So, there’s lots to be done but I’m just enjoying the break right now.
As I eluded to earlier, Alex has been hard at work on Vol. 9’s commissions. He has a good number of them done but I can’t show all of them because some are spoilers for those who haven’t read deep into the series just yet. I can show off three completed works and one sketch, though, so let’s check them out!
First is Ms. RNG herself, Rebekah Noelle Gallagher who makes her debut in Volume 8. While you know her name and what she looks like, you don’t know who she is but she becomes important enough to grace Volume 9’s cover!
Next up is Daniel McDevitt! He debuted back in Volume 2 but due to his official artwork not making the submission deadline, he wasn’t visualized for the first time until Volume 4. That has been his only art piece until now! McDevitt is featured in Volume 9 so it makes perfect sense for him to get his second-ever art piece!
NEW CHARACTER ALERT! This is Vance Vinsant and as you can tell, he comes from a military family and is an avid gamer. Vance is not going to be a major character. As the series progressed, it was time to flesh out this world beyond our main characters. While these minor characters don’t have any major impact, they still exist in this world and they are there fulfilling a role. Small enough to serve a purpose but not so small that readers should be left wondering what they look like. What is Vance’s role? You’ll have to find out!
ANOTHER NEW CHARACTER ALERT! This is Krystle Hunter. Like Vance, she is another minor character but unlike Vance, she plays a slightly bigger role in the story. Without spoiling much, you will meet her at Legacy of Champions III. It won’t be the last time you see her but you’ll understand more over time!
This is a sneak peek at the layouts I am doing for the bonus chapter for volume 9. The above is not finished at all as I still need to label where things are but this is Amber’s apartment. It’s not indicated but her front door is dead center on the southern wall. As you walk in, there is her kitchen counter. To the left in that long “corridor” is her bathroom. To the left of that is her bedroom. Her bed will be in the upper left corner, her desk to the right of it. Her window is centered on the left wall, her bookcases on the southern wall and her closet around the corner from her door. To the right in her living room. The couch is against the left wall, the TV is cornered in the upper right corner with her game consoles, and her chair is centered on the right wall with bookcases making an L shape on the lower right corner.
Hopefully, that gives you an idea of what Amber’s apartment looks like so when you read the books, you get a sense of how these characters live! It will make more sense once I get the indicators of where things are on the blueprint! Kaito, Takumi, Lynn, Sebastian, Rebekah, and Jessi will get one, too! Jessi will be special because we have never visited her apartment so that will be all-new content for me to create!
As you guys have noticed, I have been doing my “Constructing From Ashe” posts. The third one will be the final one as I detail how I fleshed out the world. I feel that if I go beyond that, I will end up spoiling some of the things I have planned.
I have been thinking about some of the character names, where they fit in and I am making more progress on this series mentally. The more I think about it, the more confident I am feeling about creating this world and this story. I almost just want to start writing it now but I know that pacing and patience are the key and the time to work on this series will come. One of the things I do want to do early is come up with Ashe and Renji’s character designs and get some visualization of what they look like.
I also decided on going with more simplistic covers. The high artistic style of A.R. Dragonfly was done because it fits the mood… a series full of vibrancy and color. From Ashe is all about writing stories and the journey of a self-made author. There’s not a lot of color in that, per se. While Ashe has a colorful personality for sure, the series as a whole is a little bit milder. Therefore, I looked up some slice-of-life light novel and manga covers and it got my mind turning. I could visualize just how I wanted it look. The covers will be created to be eye-catching yet aesthetically pleasing.
In addition to my own progress update, keep in mind that April is #IndieApril. This is the month to support independent authors and with me being a light novel author, I would kindly ask that you support everyone in the original English light novel community. We all work just as hard as non-OELN authors and we all have great stories that we want everyone to read. So, this April, keep the OELN community in mind and broaden your horizons! Pick up OELN!
I’ll see you all back here in May. With no more writing happening, it might be an art-heavy update but I will still update you nevertheless.