Monthly Forecast #12 – March, 2023

March 1st, 2023


February was a difficult month, as I’m sure many of you guessed when I failed to post a Monthly Forecast for the first time since the blog’s inception. I pushed really hard to finish CoP two months ahead of schedule, I backlogged several months worth of chapters, there have been some sizable revisions I’ve been doing on my novel, and I lost a family friend a little over a week ago. All that has actually led to quite a bit of fatigue this past week and not a lot getting done. I do have some time away in March planned, though, so that should serve as a good refresher. For now, I suppose we’ll see if I remember how to write one of these blogs since it has now been three months since the last Monthly Forecast. There is a lot to cover.

That vacation was a wonderful breath of fresh air. I can count on one hand the number of days I took off between August and Christmas. I had to catch up after my month-long vacation in July, then I had to revise PoP Book 3, then I had to backlog enough chapters to focus exclusively on my novel in November, then there was NaNoWriMo itself, and finally I had to backlog enough chapters for another much needed vacation.

I was worn out by the time I left. Not in terms of my motivation, but in terms of my mental energy. You can only grind a stone so hard for so long before it dulls, and I was definitely reaching that point.

The vacation itself was wonderful. I got to spend time with a couple of my best friends abroad and really just live carefree for about three weeks. The best part might have been how refreshed I was by the time I got home.

I told you guys in the 2022 Year-In-Review Blog that I would probably finish CoP at some point in the spring. That was the smart — and probably the healthy — thing to do, but when I got back home, I was just so full of energy and motivation that I set my sights on finishing that story. There have also been several Road to Hell chapters written, some plans laid behind the scenes, and some other writing to talk about. Like I said, there is a lot to cover, so let’s get started:

I’m going to start with CoP since that is the biggest news. I have completed work on Conjoining of Paragons. It was a massive undertaking that swallowed several weeks of my life while I basically ignored everything and everyone in order to make it happen. That’s another reason why February has been so tiring; I let a lot of real life stuff build up whilst finishing this story and paid for it in the following weeks.

Not that I’m complaining. My projection for wrapping up CoP was April, so finishing it in February is a massive win. The best part is how happy I am with the finished product.

CoP suffers from the same affliction as my other currently posted fics — that being that I had no idea what I was doing when I started it, and it therefore has a weak beginning — but I am really happy with CoP’s second half and doubly so with its closing stages.

This is the first long story I have finished and there is a lot of pressure there. A lot of people enjoy this story and I know that I will be judged by it. I was worried that might affect the writing and make me overthink things, but it didn’t. The end of this story has been planned for a long time and I changed very little from my original outline — sans one major thing I might talk about one day. It turned out really smoothly and I will say this much now.

It will be a divisive ending. I have said this for a long time and maintain the stance, but what’s important to me is that it is the right ending, and I think it is. It ties together my intended themes in a way I think is narratively satisfying and fulfills a lot of promises woven subtly throughout the text.

I hope you guys enjoy reading the story’s final stages as much as I did writing them. It really was a joy and a surreal experience that went much smoother than I expected.

This will be the last time I talk about the writing of CoP in one of these blogs since there’s nothing left to write. I will talk about the story briefly during the forecast following its conclusion on Discord, then perhaps again when it wraps up on FFN, but that’s about it, I think. I may do a separate blog talking about the story when it’s finished, but I think I’m more inclined to do a Q&A or something of that sort. Maybe I’ll just end up doing both, who knows?

I’m really going to mix up my usual order and talk about The Road to Hell next since there has been quite a lot of movement on that front.

I got a cluster of chapters written for this story in the past couple of months and I will soon have a lot more. I have been passively writing this fic since last June, but it has thus far been a side project rammed forcefully into the limited time I had between other projects. Now that Conjoining of Paragons is in the books, I can work this into my regular writing schedule and really get a lot done.

I will be taking the rest of this week to work on my novel since most of the last week amounted to revisions and not actual writing. I have a little bit of PoP I have to write next week for reasons I’ll get to later in this blog, but between this weekend and the day I leave for my vacation, this will be my primary focus.

I hope to get the next three chapters done prior to flying out and I think that’s doable. That puts me right around Christmas in the story’s first calendar year, which is a good spot to be.

A lot of people have asked when this story will begin updating regularly. I don’t want to spoil too much in my answer, but I will say this now and the more astute among you can read between the lines if you would like.

You know already that this is a time travel story. Harry lands back in the past in late June of 1977. Once I finish the next three chapters, I will roughly be at Christmas of the same year. My plan is to write until I have reached June of 1978, then revise what I have written and begin posting this story on a weekly schedule. I will just be a lot more comfortable having a calendar year written and backlogged; plus it allows me to do the other fun thing I will announce here.

The current plan is for an audiobook to accompany the written version of this story.

I have attempted a couple of audiobook projects back in the day. Some of you might remember the ill-fated AoC and CoP audiobooks that consist of only the first few chapters — there are even raw files of PoP’s first six or so chapters recorded that were never posted. This is because it was done by my good friend, 3CP, for free and out of the kindness of his heart. 3CP just happens to also be a university student who quickly found himself lacking in free time, and being under no obligation to spend countless hours talking into a microphone, he did the sane thing and focused on his schooling.

This one will be different. I will be commissioning this audiobook from Sam Gabriel, a professional voice actress who has recorded long and well-done projects like A Cadmean Victory and Alexandra Quick in the past.

Sam and I have been friends for quite a while, but I always held off on an audiobook. The primary reason was that, back in the day, I knew I didn’t really want one. I wasn’t good enough — it was as simple as that. That has changed now and I am excited for one. I suspect all of you will be too, so we are making this happen.

Regular recordings will begin when I have the first calendar year written, but it is our intention for Sam to record the prologue sooner rather than later so it can be posted as a little teaser of what is to come. Once regular recording is underway, the audiobook will also be posted weekly and those chapters will be posted BEFORE the written ones on FFN and AO3.

It is my hope the audiobook is enjoyed by many and draws people towards the YouTube channel — where it will be posted — but I will just point out that it is an expensive venture.

If you guys are excited for or enjoy the audiobook, any pledge on Patreon would be appreciated and would go a long way towards supporting it. I also have an ACI100 PayPal if you would like to directly contribute to the funding of the project. No one is under any obligation whatsoever and it will happen either way, but any additional help in the funding would be appreciated.

Moving onto the story that has the most shine lately, that being PoP. Patrons are really enjoying Book 4 and I’m glad. I have done something a little bit different with it and somewhat flipped the canon script and almost written its inverse, in a way, so I was a little bit nervous. I think this is the most well-received anything by me has ever been on Patreon, so that’s exciting and has been a bright spot during a long, bleak month.

Book 3 wrapped up posting on Discord this past month, so I’m afraid Discord members will be waiting quite a while for more. I may release Book 4’s first chapter prior to Book 3’s completion on FFN as a way of promoting the server, but that would be about all you guys get until Book 4’s rough draft is complete. Patrons currently have the first sixteen chapters of Book 4, and they will be receiving two more next week. If you want to avoid the long wait for Book 4, I recommend heading on over to the Patreon page.

I hope to write another chapter or two of this prior to departing for vacation, but it will be tight. If I let anything fall off my schedule prior to my trip, it will be this because I’m already ahead and can write this one on the road without too much trouble.

I haven’t talked about Ashes of Chaos in quite a while and I am still regularly buried in questions about it, so I will talk about it here. I recommend you guys check out September’s Monthly Forecast for the last real in-depth update I gave before reading this.

I won’t rehash all I have said about AoC other than to say I have mentioned being displeased with the product and disenchanted with the future direction I once planned for it.

I mentioned a while ago that I would attempt to find creative ways out of the corners I have written myself into, and thus far, I have made no progress.

I will be entirely honest right now and say that I don’t think this story is going to get continued. I am not officially abandoning it yet and am still exploring options, but there are a couple other wrinkles here I hadn’t mentioned the last couple times I talked about it.

The biggest one is original fiction. I have mentioned before that my long-term goal is to be a professionally published novelist. I don’t think that is too far in the future. I think we’re probably looking at a couple years before that really looms up over the horizon, but that time passes fast. My goal is to be traditionally published and I highly doubt my publisher will let me continue posting fanfiction when the time comes.

I do plan on finishing both PoP and The Road to Hell before that happens and will probably delay publication to ensure that happens if need be.

The thing is, those two stories will wrap up much before AoC would if I were to continue this fic.

If I jumped back into this now and swore I would finish it, I would probably be delaying the publication of my novel by several years and that just isn’t something I want to do. I am willing to do it for projects currently ongoing that have a realistic end in sight because I love you guys and think I owe you the conclusion of those two stories, but this was something written in 2017 and posted three years later on a whim. It has no real end in sight and the originally plotted path isn’t all that interesting to me anymore. Not until about year 6, anyway.

The other wrinkle here is that, honestly, I would need to reread this fic and don’t really want to. I remember what’s happened, I remember what I had planned, and I have notes, but I don’t remember which characters know what pieces of information, what they have and haven’t told each other, what they do and don’t think about each other beyond what has been shared in the text, and a lot of subtle stuff like that. I could, of course, reread this, but that would just make me more dissatisfied with it and less inclined to work on it. It’s a tricky situation and I do feel guilty about letting this fic go, but I just don’t think it’s any good aside from some cool concepts littered throughout the tangled mess.

Fabric of Fate finds itself in a similar spot. I’m actually more inclined to work on this one and there are times when I really want to, but it also falls into the category of “I won’t have enough time to finish this prior to going professional”. That is, obviously, assuming my professional aspirations are realized, and that is not a surety, but I am a strong believer in manifestation and planning primarily for one’s desired outcome.

It’s, once again, a tricky spot. I actually want to write this one and have a lot of fun stuff I’d love to get to, but it feels wasteful pouring hours, days, and weeks into something that I won’t have time to finish.

I could be convinced to plug along at this one in my spare time if enough of you are interested, but that’s the other thing; I don’t really think there’s a great deal of interest in this story to begin with. Which is a shame because I think it’s a lot of fun.

Let’s move onto brighter news — my original novel is really exciting to me. It is much better for the revisions I have made and I am looking forward to moving the plot along.

Part of the reason why I have gotten so far ahead in terms of fanfiction is so that I can spend at least April — once I’m back from my trip — focused exclusively on this novel. I also plan to spend as much of May working on this as possible, though I may need to write a couple PoP chapters if I want to do that.

So ideally, that will be two months of work on the novel back to back. My hope would be to finish big character arc in that time and to begin making good progress on the second major arc I hope to finish. There are four major arcs in this novel, with a couple of minor point of view characters thrown in with interconnected stories, so I still have a long way to go, but I could not be any more excited to chip away at it bit by bit.

It might also be worth noting that I have a separate novel outlined and will probably write it between either Book 1 and Book 2, or Book 2 and Book 3 of my main series. I know myself well enough that I will eventually need a short break from my primary project, so I will do that with a delightfully dark short novel one of these days. I don’t expect to work on this at all in the next few years, but it will eventually be a lot of fun.

That was a lot, wasn’t it? I haven’t even talked about podcasts, weekly updates, server events, or any of that. I will save that for next month’s forecast. I’ll be travelling for most of March so I won’t have a ton to say about writing in the next forecast. It will give me an opportunity to focus on all of that stuff since I won’t be able to move on much of it this month anyway.

I know this blog probably comes with mixed feelings for a lot of you. There was really exciting news like the audiobook and CoP’s conclusion, but also sad news for some of you regarding AoC and FoF. I hope I have done well articulating my thoughts on all fronts and that you all understand where I’m coming from, both on decisions that please and displease you.

Oh, one last Discord thing I will throw in here:

I have wanted to run writing prompts/challenges on the server for ages now, but the interest just wasn’t there. If you guys want that to happen at some point, go throw a bunch of prompts into #cc-suggestions. Once enough of them accumulate, I will absolutely make that happen. I would love to do a spring-themed one coming up, but I doubt we’ll have enough appropriate prompts in time.

But hey, go ahead and prove me wrong!

I wish you all an early happy Spring since the next blog I write will follow its coming.

Well, at least for most of you; spring in Canada remains a distant thing 🙂

Enjoy the rest of your week, everyone, I remain humbled by and appreciative of you all.



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