November 1st, 2022
Here we are yet again. Another month gone, another blog to be written. I can hardly believe this is the tenth of these.
October was probably my favourite month since returning home from a lengthy vacation this summer. The hockey season is back, and now that I actually have a streaming service that will show most games, I’m watching more than I have in years. Couple that with House of the Dragon and one of the most anticipated UFC events of the year, and I stayed well-entertained throughout October.
That’s probably for the best because it was, yet again, a very busy month. Not quite so busy as September — whose effects I felt both physically and mentally for the first week or two of October — but busy nonetheless.
If September was the month of revising, October was the month of writing. If you read the last blog, you know my plan was to create a large backlog of chapters — that way I could focus on my novel for the entirety of November while still maintaining consistent Patreon uploads. That meant writing an extra handful of chapters during one of the months I projected as being especially difficult for reasons I’ll get to shortly.
My ambitions proved a bit lofty, but I’m still okay with how things turned out. By the time this blog is posted, I have about two days left of work until that backlog of chapters is one hundred percent finished. I hoped to start on the novel on November 1st, but I guess November 3rd or 4th isn’t too bad. Things began getting tough near the end of the month. Some of those factors have been resolved and others will probably linger, but here’s hoping I can make some really good novel progress during November.
I talked plenty about Ashes of Chaos last month and I have no new updates here. If you’re unaware of that story’s status, go read the last Monthly Forecast — for the rest of you, just know that everything I said in that blog remains true. Given how hard I tried to work ahead this month, I can’t say I spent any real time trying to solve the problems I voiced last month regarding AoC. I probably won’t be looking into it much the next couple months either, so this may be the last mention it gets in the blogs for a while.
I’ll just get the negatives out of the way and mention that no progress was made on Fabric of Fate. I had some hopes I might get to this fic, but given just how much I had to do, I realized pretty quickly that wouldn’t happen.
I really don’t know where I’m going to find time for this story. It’s one I really enjoy, so I’m not giving up on it, but it may get the AoC treatment and not be mentioned in future blogs unless I have a tangible update to give. It feels a bit redundant mentioning over and over again that no progress was made. There are just too many things that need writing and not enough hours in the day. Given how I plan to spend more time writing my novel next year, I’m unsure when this will properly fit back into the rotation. Here’s hoping I make it work down the line.
Now that the negatives are behind us, let’s get onto more positive things. It feels odd talking about how busy I’ve been while telling you in back-to-back paragraphs that no progress was made.
This month marked the start of Perversion of Purity Book 4, and I’m happy to say that progress is going well. I don’t think I’ve written so many chapters of a single story in such a short time since starting these Monthly Forecasts.
The first ten chapters of PoP Book 4 have been written. Six have been posted on Patreon and four more will follow in November.
I knew this month would be PoP-centric. The Book 3 revisions really did drag on. I went nearly four months between writing the end of Book 3 and the beginning of Book 4, so I was incredibly excited to start on this again.
I expected this month to be difficult. That might sound odd since I have often voiced how PoP is, by far, the easiest of my epic-length fanfictions to write. While that’s usually true, I find the start of each year is always the hardest part. There is usually a point somewhere in the middle that’s a bit tricky and I know plenty of people find endings to be their kryptonite, but I’ve always been pretty good at those — even back before I had much writing prowess to speak of.
Beginnings are always tricky. So many new threads to weave while always being mindful that they must connect back to the tapestry hanging behind you. Then there’s tone. Any good story must set its tone early, and I do view each new year as its own story contained within an overarching narrative.
I did feel this in the first few chapters. The first one came easily since it’s a chapter I’ve had planned since before the first words of this story were written. The next three or so chapters were trickier and took a lot of time and energy. Things smoothed out after that, though, and the last four chapters have been an absolute joy. They’re some of the best things I’ve written and I’m very excited for patrons to read them. The last two, in particular, should be all sorts of fun. I expect chapter 79 to be controversial and I do love me some controversy.
Then there is the fan favourite, Conjoining of Paragons. The last couple months, my writing focus was exclusively on this fic, so I dialed it back a bit in October in order to focus on PoP. Only Perversion of Purity was posted on Patreon during October, so I only wrote two chapters of CoP this month — I’m actually working on finishing these off at the time this blog is being posted; this is the last bit of my backlog I have to finish. I’m cutting this one a bit close since CoP 46 is scheduled for posting tomorrow. There’s an outside chance that gets pushed back to Thursday, but here’s hoping I can polish that off today.
I expect this next chapter to cause… quite the buzz. Chapter 45 was the single most explosive CoP chapter so far — it really isn’t close — so plodding forward following the nastiest cliffhanger I have yet written will be nice. I won’t give too much away — and there’s a slight chance the word count forces me to split the chapters up, so if that happens, this will apply to chapter 47 — but let’s just say that patience will be rewarded. I thank all my patrons for sticking with me after that brutal cliffhanger, but I think you’ll find yourselves satisfied with this ending. This one’s not a cliffy, I promise. No tricks or swerves — just something I have been promising for a very long time 🙂
Not much else was written this past month. The idea for an original short story came to me somewhere near October’s middle and I did write some prose for that. I got about 1,000 words in before realizing there was nowhere near enough time. It’s a shame because it would have been a perfect Halloween story despite it not being Halloween-themed. I may revisit that when I have more time because I think the idea has some merit and writing the psychology involved excites me more than most things.
Discord members may also have noticed that another chapter of The Road to Hell was posted for patrons. I think I addressed this in a previous blog, but I’ll do it again here since I have been getting a lot of questions sent to me each time I do the ping letting you guys know a new chapter is out for patrons:
The Road to Hell is a fanfiction I will be posting once Conjoining of Paragons is complete. It’s a story in which Harry is not only thrown back into the year 1977, but he finds himself in a strange world ruled by Dumbledore and Grindelwald. None of this fic got written in October since I’m only working on it when I have time between my current projects, but I thought it was worth mentioning since I get a surprising number of questions about it each time a chapter is posted.
It should be noted that this fic will, of course, be posted publicly once CoP is finished, but that non-patrons will not see any of it for quite some time still. If you want to check out the first few chapters, feel free to pledge on Patreon, but just know this fic isn’t in my regular upload schedule and I just sort of throw out a chapter every once in a while when it works.
Then there’s the podcast. This one comes down to time yet again. There was scarcely any of it in October during which my and Athena’s schedules lined up in a way that allowed recording time. Hopefully this returns soon. I really do enjoy the podcast and promise that, one day, you’ll finally see that MJ Bradley episode. I feel like half of you must believe it doesn’t exist at this stage, but I hope the interest is still there.
We’ll probably record a Q&A for one of our first episodes back since it’s been a while. Stay tuned on the Discord server — that’s where I’ll post when we’re looking for questions.
Then there is the server itself. There is one big thing that needs mentioning here:
We will soon be launching our second annual ACI100 Charity Fundraiser for the Holidays! There have been some polls posted already.
It’s really important for us that your voices are heard. We would never ask any of you to contribute to a cause that’s not impactful all across the world. This community is a global one, so it’s important the cause too is global. More than that, we feel that if we’re going to run a fundraiser, we should let you all choose what exactly funds are being raised for.
We want to do this bigger and better than we did last year. We have a couple of things we’re working on behind the scenes involving this to bring the scale up a notch compared to last year’s effort. I won’t say more than that in case anything falls through, but let’s just say I have high hopes this year.
Just like last year’s, this fundraiser will come with incentives. If you guys help us reach a certain amount of money, then you’ll get something in return. This could be extra chapters, special events on the server, giveaways, or a ton of other things. This is also among the things we’ll be ironing out in the coming days/weeks. If you guys have any recommendations for incentives that you’d like to see and think would drum up interest, PLEASE POST THEM IN #cc-suggestions OVER ON THE DISCORD SERVER so we can consider them.
We want this to be a community effort! The community will do great things just like it did last year — we want the community to have a say every step of the way, so please let your voices be heard!
It’s difficult projecting what I want finished in November. It’s always harder predicting how many novel chapters I can finish. They take longer than fanfiction chapters, but there’s a certain rhythm I can sometimes find that is always a bit out of reach while writing fanfiction. I’m not the fastest writer when it comes to the novel — I am very critical of my prose and do a lot of editing/rewriting while I plug along — so I’m not quite sure what to expect. I just want to enjoy the month — I enjoy writing fanfiction, but none of it holds a candle to working on my own, original writing — and make some really good progress. I’ve been excited about this for months, so finally getting a dedicated month is going to be a joy.
For any other writers on the Discord server, let’s make #writer’s-chat buzz this month! It’s National Novel Writing Month — NaNoWriMo — and, even if you’re not working on a novel, I want to see your progress! Whether it’s original fiction, fanfiction, poetry, or something else entirely — keep us all updated in writer’s-chat this month! I will try and post my own updates both there and on Twitter.
I also encourage you guys to help each other out. Writing is an art form and your art can always be sharpened. Others can contribute to this process in a big way and nothing would make me happier than seeing the server come together and help that happen. Who knows — if I’m not too buried in my own work, I might pop in and look over a few things if people are interested.
Outside of the obvious fact I’m using NaNoWriMo as an excuse to spend more time on the novel, there is another reason I’ve had this penned in for November since the year began.
I mentioned this in my end-of-year blog for 2021, but November and I usually don’t get along. I’m not quite sure what it is, but my mental health really tends to dip between mid-October and mid-December. That low tends to peak some time in November. I’m usually pretty steady when it comes to that sort of thing and I’m not all that impacted by mood swings and the like. Just something about this time of year gets to me. Writing the novel is something I enjoy more than almost anything else, so I’m hoping this will help my psyche out a bit the next four weeks.
Not that I’m too concerned. I am very fortunate to have an incredible group of people around me who will doubtlessly help weather any potential storms. Lily and Athena, in particular, have been a great help the past week while I started feeling these effects a little bit, so I thank both of them for that and apologize in advance for what November might bring. Here’s hoping the cure is novel writing — if that won’t fix it, I don’t know what will!
Thank you all for reading my ramblings once again. It continues perplexing me why so many people enjoy these, but they’re always good fun, so I’ll happily keep writing them.
Happy NaNoWriMo, everyone! Whether you’re a writer, a reader, or none of the above, I hope you all enjoy the month to come!
PS: Fuck Daylight Savings — why must we shackle ourselves with such a foolish tradition that is nothing but counterintuitive?