Once again, another month has passed so it’s time for a progress update! Last month, I didn’t have much to report as far as progress was concerned; however, this month, I do have quite a bit to talk about!
A.R. Dragonfly Origins
Last month, I talked about setting a goal. I wanted to have both Episode Amber and Episode Kaito in first draft by the end of the month. Previously, I said that I was halfway through Chapter 5 of Episode Amber.
Fast-forward 30 days and I am happy to say that I have met my goal! Both Episode Amber and Episode Kaito are finished and in first draft! I almost didn’t make it as I ran into setback after setback. Each time I tried to get into a writing rhythm, there was something to pull me away from it. For nearly two weeks, I was plagued with distractions and it was driving me insane. It was coming down to the wire so I knew I needed a major power session. This included using any and all available time to me in order to try and get this done. I was up writing Episode Kaito bit by bit in the mornings before work… averaging about 1,500 words in those little 30-minute blocks.
If it weren’t for me chipping away at it like that, I would have missed my deadline. Then, on Friday, October 30, I simply put my Discord on invisible and went to work. I finished Chapter 4 that night which meant I needed to do two chapters, back-to-back on Saturday, October 31 if I wanted to keep my deadline.
I could have easily said “Screw it! November is a big month and I’ll still have plenty of time. Let me take it easy” and, honestly, I almost did. Then, I decided “Screw it!! We’re going for it!” I began to write Chapter 5 and I got 10 pages of 8.5 x 11-sized paper into it when something didn’t feel right. I stopped writing and went back to Chapter 2 of Volume 6 to re-read Kaito’s backstory. Lo’ and behold, not only did I screw up which years some of the high school events happened in, I also got a couple of the things wrong!
So, if you paid attention to me on Twitter, you would have seen me tweet about discovery writing and how I was using a lot of it for Episode Kaito. Well… I used it a little too much, got too many ideas, and ended up causing a major conflict with Kaito’s backstory versus what I established in the main series.
This meant I had to go as far back as Chapter 3 and update events throughout that chapter, then do the same for Chapters 4 and 5. That ate an hour and a half of time I could have used to just write and finish the book. I was a bit disappointed because I was a little drained at that point. In the end, I got the issues corrected and things now match up to Kaito’s story in the main series. I will be double and triple checking that once I go through the editing process but I believe I caught and fixed everything.
So, after taking an hour break to play some Genshin Impact and eat some dinner, I hopped back in the saddle to knock out the final chapter. This one was a lot easier to write since the details for what happened in the main story were very very loose. I was able to use some discovery writing here to tie everything up. Some of the cool parts were at the very end of the chapter where we relived some moments from the first volume of A.R. Dragonfly, only told through Kaito’s eyes instead.
But alas, both books have their main content written. The next step is, obviously, the first major editing pass and I already know there is going to be a lot of work ahead of me on these as I really want to get these as satisfactory to me as possible.
I don’t really have a “progress’ update per se on this series but I am very excited to announce that by the time you read this, I would have started on chapter 1!
I will be quite honest… it has been PAINFUL for me to wait and wait and wait to write this series. When I decided to do the A.R. Dragonfly Origins series, I knew that those books had to come before From Ashe. At one point, I couldn’t stop daydreaming about From Ashe and everything that I wanted Ashe to go through. Even recently, I still came up with little nuances I could use to flesh things out.
Then, the daydreaming turned into anticipation which then turned into frustration. I had this great idea for a story and I felt like I couldn’t write it because Origins was in the way. I had planned to have been done with Origins a while ago but then COVID happened. Now that Origins is in first draft state and not due out until January, I want to get started on From Ashe.
So, why did I set the deadline to finish Origins by the end of October? Simple! Because November is NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). It’s a month that challenges authors to complete 1 novel during the month. I have participated in it every year since 2017 and I wanted to continue to do so again this year and I felt that From Ashe was the perfect project for me to begin during this year’s event!
In 2017, I challenged myself to write and finish Final Hope Vol. 1. I forgot what I did for 2018, but I know last year, I upped the ante and challenged myself to do Volumes 7 and 8 of A.R. Dragonfly… which I completed! This year, it won’t be as rigorous but I am challenging myself to complete Vol. 1 of From Ashe.
I really want to take my time with this series. For me, this is like starting over anew with a clean slate. It’s a brand-new story, new characters, new scenarios, everything. It’s a chance for me to refine my writing style and take all of the lessons I’ve learned in the past and apply them to a brand-new series. Plus, as I’ve discussed before, From Ashe is going to have so many layers to it with every major character having some sort of reason for you to care about them. I’m not just writing a main storyline with characters and then plugging in their backstories. I’m trying to write multiple stories here at once. I want side characters to have their own stories to tell in addition to Ashe’s. Some will be big and meaningful, some might be small… but I want to do a better job at creating a living, breathing world so whenever Ashe goes someplace, there is a reason for you to be interested in her going there outside of her own pursuit of her goals.
This should be fun, this should be exciting, but at the same time, this series will probably push me further than Final Hope and A.R. Dragonfly.
A New Podcast Appearance
Of course, writing hasn’t been the only thing I have been doing. The A.C. Stories, who has been someone who has supported my series since the very beginning, invited me onto the Watcha’ Doin’ Podcast to talk all things A.R. Dragonfly!
I want to thank The A.C. Stories for all of his support and I’m happy that he enjoyed my series from beginning to end!
If you have read all 12 volumes of A.R. Dragonfly, then feel free to check out the podcast. If you haven’t read all 12 volumes, then be warned that this is a SPOILER PODCAST and YOU WILL BE SPOILED on major events that happen!
Imparting My Knowledge
In addition to doing another podcast, I was invited by the Orion Writing Studio do to a Webinar about how to get into writing, talking about my experience as a published author and all of that.
I was scheduled to talk for 20-30 minutes and then take some questions; however, I ended up yapping for about 40 minutes and ended up taking questions for much longer than I had planned. What was supposed to be a 1-hour webinar ended up being a 2-hour one, instead!
A lot of fun was had and, unfortunately, I do not have a copy of the recording as of yet. Once I get that, I will post it up on here for all of you to check out.
I am sure that my knowledge, experience, and advice isn’t THE way to do things and it wasn’t meant to be presented that way. I simply talked about how I did things and offered that as one way someone could go about becoming a writer.
So, with NaNoWriMo, the focus has shifted to From Ashe. This also means that I have a new set of goals. As previously mentioned, I want to write Vol. 1 and outline Vols. 2-4 of From Ashe by the end of November. I never thought about it beyond that but I think it’s pretty obvious.
In the month of December, I plan to take about two weeks to edit both Episodes of Origins and then contact my artist Alex and begin the commission work. The commission work should be light as I only need a cover image, and about 1-2 images for Amber and Kaito and that’s it. I’m not going to be doing scenes or anything else in these volumes as these are simply meant to be companions to the main series.
Then, in January, I plan on publishing both volumes of Origins at the same time! I also set the goal of writing Vol. 2 of From Ashe in January and Vol. 3 in February. This is to get a bit ahead of schedule in preparation for a March or April release for Vol. 1 of From Ashe. Keep in mind that it’s not just about writing… it’s also about editing and artwork so that’s why I’m writing a bit ahead and leaving a window open for myself to get things done!
The New Project
Somewhere in between all of this, I want to continue Reincarnated as a Wolf Girl Assassin. I had a lot of fun writing the first chapter! As I previously said in my last update, I submitted that chapter to a writing contest. Well, today is November 1 and today was the deadline. All I can do is sit back and wait and see. I’ll make sure to let you guys know the results once they come in!
The goal with Wolf Girl is to simply write and write and write and just stockpile chapters. Then, once I have enough of them stocked up, I’ll released them on a web novel platform that I have yet to decide on. I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.
Until Next Time
That’s going to wrap up this month’s update! Next month, I should be able to give you some good news on the From Ashe front as well as the contest results! December’s update might be a little thinner since I really plan on focusing on From Ashe… but I may do a mid-month update that month to show off some of the art for Origins when it comes in! Of course, you can also expect to see cover reveals during December as well.
So, lots of good stuff coming but until then,