Summer is almost upon us and things are… *puts shades on* …heating up!
Okay, I’ll leave now.
Actually, I can’t… this is my site so I guess I’ll just continue on with this month’s progress update!
From Ashe Vol. 2 Launched!
In case you missed it, From Ashe Vol. 2 launched on June 1! Those who received an early copy of the book already provided some positive feedback on it which makes me happy. Couple this with the positive reviews and ratings of Vol. 1 and I’m starting to think I’m actually doing something right this time around, haha!
Vol. 2 is the 19th overall book I’ve published since 2017 and to think I’m closing in on the 20th is still mind-blowing to me. Still, I like to write and I like to tell stories and if you enjoy them, I’d like to hear about it.
I always say that money is secondary to me and that still holds true to this day. Just hearing that someone likes the stories I write is worth more to me than any monetary value!
Speaking of that 20th book…
From Ashe Vol. 3
Things have slowed down a bit since the last progress update. I’ve only written half of a chapter since last month because something has been bugging me.
I ran into a bit of a problem with Ashe and Renji’s backstory. There are parts that I explain that only Ashe knew about, yet, Renji was the one telling the story. How would he know certain things unless he was there? He wouldn’t. This made the backstory awkward if people were really paying attention to it. If someone mindlessly got lost in the backstory, they probably wouldn’t have questioned some of the things explained but for clarity’s sake, I decided to pause writing the rest of Vol. 3 until I edited the first four chapters.
The solution I came up with was the take breaks in the middle of the backstory and bring the reader back to the current time. Ashe and Renji would spend time doing other things while continuing to reflect on stuff. This accomplishes a few things.
The first is that this prevents the backstory from just being an info dump. I mean, who wants just four straight chapters of things that happened without any sort of reaction from the characters?
The second thing is that this gives me an opportunity to expand on each chapter by taking the reader into what the characters are feeling. Readers of the first two volumes know that this trip down memory lane hasn’t been the easiest decision for Renji to make. Even though he’s willing to explain everything, he still needs that support. By bringing readers back to the present time occasionally, I can explore that a bit more. Plus, there is another part of the backstory that gets explained where doing something like this could prove to be beneficial.
The third is that it allows me to re-evaluate the backstory as a whole and determine the remainder of the book. While there is plenty of content for me to fill the final three chapters, if I end up expanding the backstory, I might either end up making certain chapters too long, thus causing me to combine them with others, or it might cause me to push some of the content from Vol. 3 over to Vol. 4.
Either way, I’d rather take care of this issue now before I finish writing the book and then discover all of this during the editing process. I think it would be a much bigger nightmare in that scenario rather than pausing on the writing and just fixing the issue straight away.
The good news is, I’m already done with two of the chapters. It’s chapters three and four where things get a bit looser that I might want to tighten up and expand upon. Then again, maybe a readthrough is all I needed and things can carry on as planned. Either way, I’m liking how the chapters are being refactored as I think it gives a better flow and a better explanation of how things are happening.
I should have the editing done by the end of this week. I plan on resume writing this weekend and hopefully have Vol. 3 in first draft by the end of next week. Plus, this will allow me to create the art commissions and get them over to Alex! I already know I’ll need four pieces of artwork for Renji and Ashe’s parents… it’s just the scenes I’m going to probably need a few moments to reflect on because… Vol. 3 has a TON of scenes that could be drawn. It’s picking the most impactful ones that might be a challenge for me.
Expanding My Social Media Footprint
In addition to everything, I decided to finally make use of my Instagram account. I made it a while back but I never really got into using it. I decided to stop all of that nonsense and now that I’ve started, I’m liking it pretty well.
Only after a couple of weeks and I’m up to 56 followers. I know it’s a paltry number but we all have to start somewhere! Twitter still remains my favorite outlet but I’m kind of leaning towards Instagram a bit more and more.
I can definitely say that I get better interaction on there as notifications are hitting my phone non-stop. I can’t really say the same for Twitter which is a bit disheartening. Facebook… oof… I still post there but that gets about as much action as Julius Caesar does today.
I’m trying to make it to where only some posts are shared between Twitter and Instagram, though. I want each to have its own exclusive content. I see Instagram as more or less like the “Come learn about me” thing where Twitter is “Well, this is me, deal with it” if that makes any sense. Facebook is just… “oh, I have something to say about my books. Press the like button and be on your way.”
So, if you want to give me a follow on my third social media home, head on over to J.J. Piedra (@jjpiedratoh) • Instagram photos and videos
So why JJPiedraTOH and not JJPiedraOELN? I originally created this account for The Outerhaven and I didn’t want to delete it and make another since I already had a few followers on it. Felt it was just best to continue on with it from there so I’m not just starting over from zero.
Dusting Off My Podcast Voice
It hasn’t been set in stone but I did agree to do another episode of The Firestorm Podcast. Trent and Gus are pretty cool people and I had a lot of fun the last time I was on the show. I am not sure when we are going to record but I was given a heads up as to what the discussion is going to be about and it should be a blast!
Hint: No, it’s not about me and my books… we’re actually going to be talking about something interesting!
I’ll be sure to fill you guys in on the details once we get everything set up and squared away.
Until Next Time
Another short-ish update this month but since I’m not writing a series, planning an artbook, and planning a whole new series anymore, these updates will be a bit shorter than they used to be. Kind of hard to stretch “here’s what I did on From Ashe Vol. X” into something the size of one of my book’s chapters, haha.
If I stay on track, hopefully I’ll have some art updates to show you guys!
So until then,