I think this is my seventh attempt at choosing an opening paragraph. It is hard to believe 4 years have passed, during which I have taken a long break. So much has happened over that time period I doubt I could write it all in one post. I will save other information for later posts, and instead focus this one on the aspect of writing.
I truly hope that everyone has been well during these years. We have all had countless ups and downs, whether personal, covid, or other.
Let me start with the ‘Then’ of this post.
TL;DR – I never gave up, but I lost my mojo.
I can’t recall all the explicit details, but back in 2018, I had moved house with my brother so he could have custody share of all his kids. I like the kids, but six of them were compiling my stress levels. I have nothing but respect for my brother who can manage that many all at once.
Taking off from my last post, that illness didn’t end there either. Whilst I did recover from the sickness, once I did, I began suffering daily headaches, sometimes twice a day, for about a month. Several visits to the GP (and I think what was a physiotherapist), it turned out the issue was all the muscles around my skull.
Nape of the neck, under the ears, jaw etc you get the picture. There are a lot of nerves that pass up these areas, and the sequela of getting sick to this degree was a tenseness of these muscles and irritation of these nerves? I am not a doctor or expert in this field, nor do I pretend to be, but it was extremely unpleasant!
Several trips to have it massaged by the (physiotherapist?) and the improvements were almost immediate.
Whilst that is good news, unfortunately it actually still affects me to this day. I frequently get a sore neck and/or minor discomfort that is not quite at the extent of what I would consider a headache.
There was a second factor at the same time.
I had actually started the first chapter of the next volume of End Online, or I had finished it. In any case, I had roughly planned out the volume and ended up doing the first chapter.
The problem was, I felt this chapter was simply terrible. I could do much better, and I knew it, but I was feeling helpless at the time.
This is where I put the pen down. Not forever, just for a while.
I had always intended to pick it back up and continue where I started from, and in a way I did, which I will get to soon, but there is a complication that those who are unfamiliar with it might struggle to familiarise themselves with.
This is also something I have dealt with in the past, but unlike criticism, processing it does not get easier with experience. Perhaps it is just a time factor to overcome it? Or sheer willpower? This is a question for someone well versed in the human psyche to answer. I could ask ten different people and get ten different answers to this.
At first it is one day, then one week, then a month. I actively avoided my emails out of fear of what I may see, I didn’t visit my site, nor read any comments. I actually have 7,300 unread emails (the overwhelming vast majority of which are just spam mail or site post updates), so I do apologise if anyone sent me any emails that I didn’t see.
To be completely upfront with my fears, I think one of the greatest ones is the fear of becoming irrelevant and forgotten. After being gone for so long, would there be anyone left?
In all honestly, I still fear looking back through those old emails and am avoiding it. I’m sure I will try one day, but that is definitely not tonight!
Like I said though, it wasn’t as if I gave up on writing. That always has been, and always shall remain, a deep passion of mine. Arguably my strongest passion.
I took up a new pseudonym on a different free novel posting site, and wrote some new material, completely unrelated to my original stuff. I recall someone actually asking if I was D, so I must have some form of recognisable writing style! Perhaps it was just the terrible attempts at self editing haha.
I think I wrote 300k words before I hung up my coat over there. I tied off the ending of that novel I was writing and started planning my next work.
I will have you know that I cannot emphasise planning enough. I well and truly went overboard on this. A lot of it even went to waste when I had to re plan it due to plot shifts during writing. I planned multiple works, eventually settling on one that I was the most passionate about.
It was a little after this that I was firmly confidant that it was time to return.
A year and a half ago I started a new full time job. So my financial position is stable, and I am currently living by myself which I perhaps enjoy a little too much to be healthy.
In a way, this journey could be considered the training arc of D.
I haven’t checked the timeline, but this occurred a little over a year ago. This one was to be different. I was to properly plan things out in advance, create depth layers to the plot and sub plots within the story, and most importantly, properly polish it.
Where I am now, I had actually hoped to be at 6 months ago, and had been holding off making this post until I finished the initial version. That’s right, the initial version.
Previously, the chapter plan had always been my initial draft, the actual chapter being the revised/improved version. That was then edited and made a part of the final book.
This is taking those initial steps, but creating the entire book first. Then, I will be going back through it and more or less rewriting it from start to finish. This process is actually pretty fast. Its main focus is to refine the world, fix plot holes and inconsistencies (there are a few), and try to better achieve a balance in the two core styles incorporated into the book (more on that in a later post)
Okay, let’s move on to the ‘Now’.
I think the very first question I have been anticipating, almost dreading, is: “Wait, this doesn’t sound like EO or CotE. Should you be starting a new work without finishing them first?”
You would be absolutely correct, but I plan on finishing this volume 1 first for several reasons.
- Writing is a passion, not a chore. My writing flows best when it is entirely in the passion spectrum, and I am not treating it as a chore. Whilst it may be a bit whimsical, I do it because I deeply enjoy it.
- I started this before I had made peace with myself and was ready to return. Thus, I intend to complete this project and place any volume 2 into a tertiary priority. Should it turn out to be popular enough, perhaps I will upgrade it to secondary, but a new EO volume will be done before that.
- This contains a detailed and expansive world that can serve as a foundation for a huge number of future works, including one which I consider a masterpiece. Reader reviews pending~~
- I have already written 68,281 words. I just checked.
That’s right, I have already written most of the novel (currently increased to an expected 90k words total)
My original thought was to make this post once the revision of the volume was complete and I was starting End Online Volume 7, but I am getting closer to completion and I felt it is well and truly overdue.
Now for the ‘Tomorrow’ section.
Whilst it has taken me much longer than I expected, some weeks not even getting much of a chance to do any writing, my pace has been picking up. I have also been saving up all my annual leave and other days off over the past year and a half and will have a large break over christmas/new year where I can dedicate all my time to ideally finishing this. I don’t foresee any major roadblocks from where I currently am until the end of the novels.
My release once the initial draft is done will be as follows:
- Release all chapters of initial version on Patreon @ 2-4 chapters/week, still undecided.
- Release all chapters of initial version on Endonline.net @ same rate once final version is done and editing underway
Edit – WordPress has a bunch of new features, including a premium tier, so I may wait to see what options they also supply, whether it will be more convenient for readers/subscribers to have access to early reading here.
- Release final version on amazon (amazon rules for exclusivity + incentive to buy a more refined version)
Should the final result be that of a better novel, I may also adopt this model for future volumes of End Online and Chronicle of the Eternal. Whilst there is a wait for releases, just as unpleasant for me, it will result in regular releases and a more refined product.
Releasing the paid version at least a month after the free version is a bit counterproductive more often than not. Relevance is an important factor.
I do want to start releasing EO chapters sooner however, so I will see what I can do before then!
Stay safe and healthy,
P.S. WordPress has changed a lot! I am still looking for the button to insert the “read more” tab so the post doesn’t block out the entire home page! I will have to cheat with separating paragraphs until I find a better solution too… Oh, I found it!