Monthly Forecast #4 — May, 2022

May 1st, 2022

   After the turbulent month that was March, I must say that posting about a month that was almost entirely positive on the front of writing is a breath of fresh air. There were many factors that made March chaotic and one of my more disappointing months from a writing standpoint. I did my best to remove such variables in April and take more time to focus on myself and what I needed to do. I am very pleased with the results that approach has yielded and hope to carry that momentum over to May.

   I spent the latter half of March vacationing, as I’m sure you’re all aware. It basically halted my writing progress for those two weeks, which was, of course, unfortunate. The good thing is that, upon my return, I felt incredibly refreshed. I had more energy each day, my stress levels — that had been steadily rising for the better part of two months — had fallen very far back down, and I found myself in an ideal mindset for writing and general productivity. That translated over to said writing very well. Gaining momentum was very easy for me this month and, once I had it, it was harder for me to stop writing more often than not.

   Not that every facet of the month was easy. This was one of the more important writing months in quite some time. My primary task was wrapping up CoP’s first year and crafting its dramatic final two chapters. This story has swelled in popularity in the last number of months and I found that those two chapters were probably the most anticipated ones I’ve written this year. I knew that expectations were high — both from others and from myself — so I really took my time and focused on delivering the most satisfying read possible. That meant a truly horrific number of drafts for both chapters and long hours spent on each, but, I must say, the reception was worth it. Patrons seemed to enjoy the conclusion of year 1 quite a bit, so I will be excited to find out what the rest of you think when it comes time for those two chapters to be publicly posted.

   Conjoining of Paragons was not the only story in a difficult spot this month. Ashes of Chaos was just a chapter short of one I’ve had planned since before the first chapter was posted. I can’t say nearly as much about this one because it would spoil something very significant, but let’s just say writing these two chapters was very difficult. Chapter 84, in particular, really took a toll on me and my time. The number of drafts discarded for this chapter is also very high, as was the output of emotional energy while writing it. I’m less nervous about that chapter than I am CoP’s conclusion, but I do think the prose still needs more refining here than there. They really weren’t a huge focus of mine after scrapping the first half a dozen or so drafts, if I’m being completely honest. Writing these two chapters was definitely the most draining stretch of my month, but finishing chapter 84 was quite the rush. Discounting CoP’s year 1 finale, it’s been a while since I’ve felt that good after writing a chapter. One would probably have to return to PoP chapter 50 to find the last time completing one raised my spirits so high.

   Then there was Perversion of Purity — a stark contrast to the other two. I completed three chapters for this story, and they were some of the easiest I’ve written in a long time. This stretch went just as smoothly as I could ever have hoped for, and chapter 59 is probably my favourite fanfiction chapter I have written in months. There’s a lot in that chapter I’m very pleased with, and I think it was quite well done, if I do say so myself.

   A couple of things did happen outside of writing this past month. We have a new edition to the moderation team on Discord in the form of Thanos. Thanos has been a great help even before he took up his position moderating. He helps Athena and I often with the website, he is an excellent beta, and his diligence and attention to detail are extremely valuable assets to myself and my team. I’d like to take a moment here to thank Thanos for all he has done, as well as for accepting his newly elevated position on the Discord server. 

   On a personal level, I have also seriously upgraded both my writing and recording setups. Credit for both of these goes largely to Athena, who put in an astonishing amount of effort in finding exactly what I was looking for and making my life as easy as possible. We joke around a lot on the server about just how helpful Athena is, but I don’t think anyone really understands how much she does behind the scenes and something like this is a prime example. 

   The only other thing of note in April is the podcast. The Chaos Central Podcast is alive and well, though not as much of it was recorded in April. That is something we’re looking to more actively pursue in May. We tentatively have a big episode lined up to record in the coming weeks with a recognizable guest I think you will all be quite excited for. It’s definitely the biggest thing we have done so far and is, I hope, a mark of things to come. I am very excited for that, as well as future episodes, and I hope you all are as well.

   That brings us forward to May, a month I have high hopes for. Momentum is a massive part of writing and I have a ton of it right now. I’m excited to carry that over into May and see what I can accomplish.

   The biggest task is, as always, Ashes of Chaos. This fic has been on hold for non-patrons for a little while now owing to the fact I need more of it pre-written. My original estimate of eight weeks proved too optimistic, I’m afraid. The good news is that I made steady progress on AoC in April. Both chapters 83 and 84 were finished. That may not sound like a lot, but each and every AoC chapter is a massive undertaking and requires a lot of legwork, hence the current delay. Chapter 84 was also one of the single most important chapters I have written in the fic thus far. It features a sequence of events I have had planned since before AoC’s first chapter was ever uploaded, so a lot went into it, as I said above. 

   My aim in May is to complete two more AoC chapters, which will happen in the month’s third week, so patrons have that to look forward to. Non-patrons still have a wait ahead of them, I’m afraid. I am of two minds on when I will return to publicly posting Ashes of Chaos with regularity. On the surface, there will be enough written in June for me to begin posting then and I am always anxious to get my readers content as quickly as possible. There is, unfortunately, more to consider than just what’s on the surface. I will be travelling for about three weeks in July and am somewhat worried I may not make any real progress on AoC during that month. I fear that, if I resume posting this fic in June, the expected lull in productivity during July may necessitate another break in the future. I would ideally like the next time I post AoC to begin a constant streak that will take us to the end of year 3, so there is a part of me that is very tempted to hold off consistent uploads until the beginning of August. 

   I would be interested to hear your guys’ thoughts on this and if you would prefer sooner uploads with the potential of another pause in posting, or a longer wait with a lower chance of said pause being required.

   It feels surreal to have finished CoP’s first year. I’m not sure if it’s the halfway point in terms of word count — I am awful at predicting that and won’t make myself look foolish by proving it now — but in terms of in-story time, this is the theoretical halfway mark. One more year will be featured in CoP, followed by an epilogue that takes place thirty-seven years later. I will begin writing CoP’s second year during May’s second week. I do need to nail down a more detailed outline, so I’ll probably shoot for two chapters that week, with the first day or two being dedicated mostly to that outline and making sure everything is in place.

   Then there is Perversion of Purity, by far the easiest of my stories to write. The writing of this went very smoothly in April and I hope for that to continue. I’ll touch on this a bit soon, but the only week in April that I consider anything but a success on a writing front was this past week. That’s why this next week is dedicated to Perversion of Purity; both to resolve a nasty cliffhanger in chapter 59, and to dive into something easy after a somewhat disappointing week of writing. 

   I mentioned it in the Weekly Writing Update on YouTube a week ago, but I am about sixty percent finished with PoP book 3. That number could vary by a few percent either way and I am not one hundred percent sure about the exact number of chapters remaining, but I am confident in the rough estimate of sixty percent. So long as I do finish three chapters this week like planned, I will be past the winter holidays and potentially as far as February in terms of the in-world timeline. Fingers crossed it goes as smoothly as it did in April because things are about to get a little bit more intricate as we slowly march towards the year’s conclusion.

   The one bit of breaking news I have in this blog comes now — I actually finished a chapter of Fabric of Fate! I’ve mentioned how nothing has happened for this story in each of these blogs, plus what feels like most of my Weekly Writing Updates. Finally getting one of these done felt really good and, honestly, it’s one of my favourite chapters in the fic so far. 

   Thank you to Lily, Sothis, and Athena on this front. The former two really helped get me in the mood whilst Lily, in particular, pushed me to write this chapter in all the right ways. She understood when too much was too much, but was definitely a reason it got done when it did. Athena has been as encouraging as ever and has really helped during some of my more difficult writing stretches. This was no different. She has helped me understand that, when struggling, it’s okay to switch focuses and write something else that doesn’t lead to increased stress levels or immense amounts of frustration. Without her helping me learn that lesson, this next chapter would probably not have been written in April. 

   It’s currently available only to patrons and I’m unsure when that will change. It will depend entirely on pre-writing, and I am aware that has not gone swiftly. I do intend to start lumping this in with other stories — I hope to write a chapter next week along with the two CoP chapters, by example — but we shall see if that’s a winning formula.

   I’ve referenced this past week a couple of times, so I suppose I should actually talk about it. It was the one week each month I dedicate to writing my novel, but it did not exactly go to plan for a couple of reasons. I was away last weekend and very fatigued by the time I arrived back home. Shaking that off took me a couple of days. That was when I wrote FoF. I was a little bit too sluggish to maintain prose the likes of which I demand from myself whilst writing the novel, so I settled for something simpler. Athena is also visiting as of now and she arrived late this past week. That has also disrupted writing a little bit, as she herself would admit, so not much got done this past week. (Editor’s note: Zero regrets. Absolutely none. And for those on the Discord who may have been wondering, he sighs and snorts just as much in real life as he does online.) It bothers me more than is probably healthy and really bums me out because of how much I LOVE working on this story, but there’s little that can be done.

   I won’t touch much on the podcast since it’s something I’ve written about above. I’m hoping output for patrons becomes a bit swifter and more consistent moving forward, but that depends on a number of variables. Other than that, thank you all for the support on it so far and I hope more of you consider checking it out. Again, we have a big guest in the works and think most reading this will be excited to learn who that is, but I won’t say more than that.

   Lastly, I’ll just touch on a couple of admin things:

   This month, I plan for uploads to return on AO3. I had an issue with the site late last year and never really got back into the flow of posting. I abhor the site as a writer for numerous reasons, but plenty of people enjoy reading there and I apologize for how long that delay has been. I hope to begin catching up with uploads on AO3 beginning this week and falling back into a consistent posting schedule. 

   For those of you on the Discord server, stay tuned for this month’s server event. We will begin the monthly polling process in the coming days and see what kind of event interests you all. Last month’s was the most fun I’ve had on one so far and the turnout was incredible, so let’s keep that up in May. 

   Now that people are using the voice channels more consistently, I also plan to bring back chapter drop VCs — meaning when I release a chapter for Discord members, people hop into a VC for live reactions and I, in turn, join to discuss the chapter and answer any questions. This is something we did way back in the day but haven’t really done since the server blew up. They tend to be a ton of fun, though, so here’s hoping they can be reestablished. 

   On that note, I would like to offer all Discord members a sincere thank you. We will more than likely reach 4,000 members in the coming days and that number boggles my mind. I will never understand how so many people flocked to my early writing given just how poor it was, but I’m glad you’ve all stayed along for this journey and your collective presence means the absolute world to me. Let’s see if we can hit 5,000 members by the year’s end!

   I know many of you have upcoming exams, so I wish all students the best of luck. Make sure not to stress and to take care of yourself even as said tests approach. For the rest of you, stay safe and enjoy what I hope is a stress-free month.



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