Monthly Forecast #5 — June, 2022

June 1st, 2022

My, these months do speed by. This year, in particular, feels like it’s passing with startling speed. It feels like yesterday I wrote the last one of these, yet here I am again, typing away an update at top speed almost a full month later. 

The good news is, it was a good month for writing. There are no extraordinary updates to give, but it was productive and consistent. I am close to finishing Perversion of Purity book 3, I have begun work on Conjoining of Paragons year 2, and I have finally returned to making real progress on my own original novel. 

Another thing I was pleased about this past month was the podcast. There was a stretch of time during which recording halted. I worried briefly that we may run out of pre-recorded episodes. That has thankfully not happened. The past week has been filled with podcast progress. 

Just four days ago, I recorded a podcast with MJ Bradley. You may know him better as DarknessEnthroned — author of A Cadmean Victory, among other things. I think that marked a significant moment for the podcast. We once spoke of hosting guests, and we have once or twice thus far, but I think Matt was the first guest we’ve had on who is truly recognizable. The conversation also just so happened to be interesting, and I think some of the questions sparked some entertaining discourse. 

We definitely won’t be doing podcasts like this one super often. There are only so many people like Matt around, for starters, and I fear the law of diminishing returns. I have watched other podcasts rush all the notable people in their sphere onto episodes early on and burn themselves and their audiences out quickly. I have no interest in doing that and, honestly, enjoy recording for recording’s sake. The one with Matt was quite fun and we have plans for a couple more notable guests this year, but it’s not something I would like to make a weekly, or even monthly, occurrence. 

That episode should be posted on Patreon in the coming week. All podcasts are available for patrons at the $3 tier or higher as soon as they have been edited. If there are other, specific guests you would be interested in listening to in the future, we always welcome suggestions in the #cc-suggestions channel over on the Discord server. 

Now that I have brought up Discord, I would like to take a moment to truly thank each and every member of that server. I believe I spoke of how we would soon reach 4,000 members during the last one of these blogs, but it has now actually happened. Envisioning a number and seeing it are two very different things, and I still find the entire idea of 4,000 people flocking to something I created hard to believe. 

That server is probably what I’m proudest of, so far. It has not only been a joy for me, but I know it’s helped others through some dark times. Hearing those stories is always touching and, as an artist, there is no higher praise. Not that I can take credit for most of that. The Discord server has evolved far beyond my whims and has formed into a blossoming community I could not be prouder of. Thank you all not only for joining, but for making the server such a special place filled with joy and positivity. I would not give up an ounce of that for the world. 

Now, onto the actual updating:

Ashes of Chaos remained dormant in May, I’m afraid. I am going to cease giving estimated release dates for non-patrons. Each time I give one, it seems that something in my plans changes. This past month, I made the decision to focus primarily on Perversion of Purity. This choice was made knowing how close I was to the end of book 3. I substituted a week I would usually use to write this fic and focused that time on Perversion of Purity, so I have no updates to announce here.

In a perfect world, I will get a chapter or two of this written during the latter half of June. I hesitate to make promises because of just how tight my schedule is this month. There is PoP book 3 to finish, not to mention a short piece, CoP year 2, and hopefully the next quarterly one-shot. I’m feeling quite anxious about fitting that all in. My plan is to write AT LEAST a chapter of AoC in June, but we shall see what the month gives me in terms of time. I must also prepare later this month for my vacation in July, and I’m sure that will take some of my time and energy as well.

I suppose this is as good a time as any to speak on Perversion of Purity. My energy was well-spent on this story last month. Six chapters were completed, which, I believe, is a single-month record for any given fic since I consistently began juggling three a month. 

These six chapters have taken me very close to the year’s end. I estimate that I am about 85% finished with book 3’s first draft and that there are four chapters remaining. That number could swell to five depending on a given chapter’s word count, but I think that’s unlikely. I have one thing that needs writing before I can switch focuses to this fic, but once I do, I will be writing it until book 3 is done instead of spending my usual, one-week block focusing on a given story. I can usually write three PoP chapters a week pretty reliably, so four shouldn’t take much longer. The finale will be one I write with great care, so I expect that chapter to take more time than usual, but hopefully not by too much. 

One way or another, patrons can expect the entirety of book 3’s first draft to be posted within the next couple of weeks.

I continue using the word draft for a reason. I’m afraid me finishing third year doesn’t mean everyone will get to read it right away. I plan on a round of novel-style revision for all of the book 3 chapters, and that will take some time. I can edit them all much, much faster than I wrote them, but several weeks is still a conservative estimate. When this story returns to regular updates, it will be back on a weekly upload schedule. In an ideal world, those begin in August. September is probably a more realistic estimate and will be what I consider my soft deadline. It’s not something I’ll hold myself to at all costs, but something to think about when the editing grows dull.

Life is filled with many spectrums and, on the opposite side of one from Perversion of Purity, rests Conjoining of Paragons. Instead of wrapping up a year in CoP, I began one in May. The first two chapters of CoP year 2 have been posted over on Patreon. The year’s opening chapter still needs some serious revising and it was the hardest chapter I have written this calendar year. Conjoining of Paragons is very much a tale of two halves. Beginning the transition from one half to another has proven difficult, but the reception has been positive. I hope to write two more CoP chapters this month, something that should pose no problems. 

After reporting progress on FoF for the first time in months, I’m afraid I must once again return to bearing bad news. No FoF chapters got written in May. Balancing so many stories of such length and demand is a difficult thing, and this one often gets swallowed by the others’ shadows. I am beginning to learn that focusing on a given story at a given time tends to yield more positive results. That’s something I may play with as the year goes on — the trick is maintaining an ideal schedule not only for me, but for my patrons — but I doubt this will ever progress beyond a side project I greatly enjoy. 

I do not expect any of this will get written in June because the schedule this month is demanding. I am quite stressed about it, actually, so I don’t imagine I’ll have time to fit anything else in. It is great fun to write, but I, unfortunately, do not own a time turner.

The highlight of May was returning to my own, original world. Taking some of my characters up Lukian’s Pass was quite fun, and a different character was the focal point of what I consider to be the best chapter I have ever written. Beyond the slight tease above, I am still remaining tight-lipped on this project. I’m hoping that, by the end of 2023, I’ll be able to share more. That necessitates me making some good progress in the next year and a half though, something I’m really looking to do a better job of. One step I plan to take is dedicating my November to original fiction, but that’s a topic for a blog several months from now. 

Many of you have voiced interest in my original work, which is something I appreciate more than you will ever know. I may not be able to share that novel for some time yet, but I have decided on something a little bit different this month.

I was supposed to finish a one-shot back in March that never got written. I was overseas at the time and am notoriously bad at writing in hotel rooms. I tried getting back to it later, but the idea had lost its intrigue and I realized about five hundred words in that it couldn’t be executed the way I’d imagined — not smoothly or without a significantly higher word count than I cared for. This, unfortunately, resulted in that one-shot never getting written. Seeing as I have another quarterly cycle starting soon, it is something I must see to, but I have no plans of persisting with my first idea.

Instead, I will be writing a short bit of original fantasy. Keep in mind that, when I say short, I mean short. I have some longer pieces planned for future cycles, but this one is more of a taster and will be much shorter than my previous one-shots. My writing style has changed these past months and my abilities have grown. It’s an odd thing. I don’t want to alter my writing too drastically with pre-established stories because I’m afraid it would be jarring. Something new and original, though? The exciting thing is that I can cut loose and write in a more reflective style. 

I’m interested to see what people think, but I’m afraid not everyone will get to read it. Until June 21st, it will remain locked to all but top-tier patrons, as per normal. Usually after each solstice, I post the last quarterly one-shot on FFN and AO3. Given the fact this one will not be a fanfiction, I will not be doing that. It will remain exclusive to patrons at the $10 tier or higher, since that is something I can actually do with original writing. 

I would usually begin the next quarterly one-shot in the latter half of June and I have tentative plans of doing that. It may not be posted before the month’s end given how much I am juggling in June. It sort of depends. I have a couple of fanfiction ideas I’m toying with, as well as an original idea or two. If I write the latter, it will take longer. If I write the former, then it will be out sooner. We shall see what happens — I can’t really say much on it yet given that I have yet to decide on an idea.

That didn’t turn out quite so rambly as I feared, so I consider this blog a win. I will end this here with the usual thanks to my readers, Discord members, and especially patrons. You all make this wonderful journey possible and each and every one of you means the absolute world to me.

Enjoy your month, everyone, may summer smile brightly upon you all!

Cheers,

Ace

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