Writing Update April 2021 Blog

April 2nd, 2021

     I think one of these has been overdue for quite some time. Sometimes, I think it is important for a creator to pull back the curtain and allow their audience at least a brief glimpse into some inner workings and maybe a bit of their thought processes, so here is my attempt at that.

     Questions are constantly asked about all of my works on Discord, many of them having been answered time and time again. I am grateful for this, mind you. It means that people enjoy what I am writing, and it often means that the server is growing and adding new members who have never seen me answer these questions. With the official release of “Harry Potter and the Perversion of Purity” having taken place on FanFiction.net and AO3, I expect an influx of new users over the coming months. It is largely with that in mind that I have finally decided to try my hand at one of these. Whether or not it will be interesting remains to be seen, but I do at least hope it will be informative. I almost definitely won’t do one of these a month, but a few per year might be nice.

     I am going to give my very honest thoughts, feelings, and plans about all of my ongoing projects, as well as let you guys in on some things that are being planned for the future. Again, I do hope you find it interesting, at the very least, so let us begin, shall we?

I suppose it’s only natural to start with the story that brought most of you to the server, and the story that most of you are probably reading this to hear about — that being “Harry Potter and the Ashes of Chaos”. 

     When I finished this titan’s second year back in February, I had promised I would continue working on the story and that there would be no extended breaks. I had said the pace of writing may slow a bit — primarily because “Perversion of Purity” was well and truly in the pipeline by then — but I did promise I would be constantly continuing to work on “Ashes of Chaos”, and I am happy to say that I have kept and will continue to keep that promise.

     I don’t view “Ashes of Chaos” as the most technically well-written story I’ve put out. That title comfortably goes to “Perversion of Purity”, and I do think that story may well end up above AoC in many people’s minds one day, but there is just something special about writing “Ashes of Chaos” that I don’t get from any other story. 

     For one thing, it is, as I have said, the story that brought most of you to my Discord, Patreon, and website. It is also the story that made me begin taking writing seriously — hence the ludicrous increase in quality from the early chapters to the later ones. In many ways, “Ashes of Chaos” is the catalyst for where I am at right now as a writer, and there is just an unparalleled level of fondness that comes with that. Nostalgia, you could call it, but also just fulfillment. 

     I have been planning future arcs in “Ashes of Chaos” since the late summer of 2019. Seeing things come to fruition that have been planned for that long is a difficult feeling to describe. It is as satisfying as any sensory action one could imagine. It is often said that planning is addictive — and that is absolutely true — but seeing those plans manifest and blossom in front of your very eyes is something akin to a major sporting victory or something similar. The culmination of a great deal of work that just leaves you feeling incredibly satisfied. There is no story in which I feel that more in “Ashes of Chaos”, partially because of how long it has been planned. And there are a few of those moments in year 3, so I am quite excited to reach them.

     I do find it ironically amusing as well that one of the biggest complaints about “Ashes of Chaos” is one of the reasons I enjoy writing it so much. Plenty of people have told me that I have no idea how to pace a story and that it is much too long. While I completely understand that opinion, I have said many times that I do know exactly how to pace a story — or, mostly, at least — I just choose not to for this one, because I use it as a tool for learning. Giving myself as many words as possible is really just giving myself ample opportunities to learn. Again, if you want novel-like pacing, go and read “Perversion of Purity”. 

     With that miniature rant out of the way, the long, over-the-top arcs in AoC are just fun. Realism isn’t as integral and I just do things in AoC that, because of the way the story is set up, work extremely well, but these are often things that wouldn’t work in many other stories. It’s fun to write with such fine detail and expansive pacing, because it really does enhance the earlier mentioned feeling of fulfillment even more, and I find the challenge of keeping a story so long constantly interesting to be one I enjoy very much.

     Chapters will continue to be posted on Discord once every month. I will probably stick to posting around the middle of each month until weekly uploads resume in September, but I am keeping the exact dates flexible. I can officially now say though that chapter 56 will be out for Discord members on April 16th. That chapter and the one after are already out for my lovely Patrons, and I plan to get back to writing AoC for them soon. I have promised that I will write at least three chapters of “Ashes of Chaos” each month. That pace will allow me to get a good head start on the year before it begins posting frequently for non-Patrons, and it will let me stay well ahead, even in the heat of posting. 

     At the same time, it is manageable. As much as I love this story, doing more than three chapters a month can definitely take a toll. This fic might be the most rewarding to write, but it is by far the most taxing. The chapters for this story are just massive undertakings, especially when many of them approach or surpass ten thousand words. That is to say nothing of the absurd number of logistics I have created and must keep track of. I really enjoy doing that, but it does make writing this one a task and a half, so three chapters per month is the ideal number, I think. I may write more than that some months; it will really just depend on which chapters are being written and how much they take out of me. Writing chapter 56 — which contains the trials of James Potter and Albus Dumbledore — was especially draining, because that scene took somewhere just north of twenty drafts before I was reasonably satisfied with it.

     Since I’ve already spoken on “Perversion of Purity”, I might as well talk about this one next. There is a reason I’m posting two chapters a week for Discord members, as well as the folks on FanFiction.net and AO3 — I am just so far ahead. I am doing this one a bit differently for posting on the official sites. I will finish an entire book before I start posting on the fanfiction sites, which is why I didn’t make this story public until book 1 was complete. 

     Of course, Patrons will be enjoying the chapters as they are written. They have been treated to a rapid rate of uploads as of late, though I do have to admit the streak is near its end. There was a period of about two weeks in which I posted chapters of this for Patrons every day or every second day, but I have taken a few for the next one — chapter 24, the 11th of book 2. That is partially because the first scene is a delicate one that is proving to be difficult, and it is partially because real life has decided to take up more of my time these past number of days — the nerve of it. I can fortunately say nothing super negative or overly serious has occurred, just a lot of frustrating logistics deciding to rear their ugly heads. 

     This next chapter will be the last of this story Patrons get for a little while, but I may be back to this sooner than I plan. This changes seemingly week to week, but right now, this is the story I am having the most fun with. It feels every bit as natural to write as “Ashes of Chaos”, but it is just so much easier. For one thing, the chapters are usually about half as long and for another, the pacing is, like I said, appropriate for an actual novel. That seems like child’s play next to the vast and expansive arcs of “Ashes of Chaos”. The combination of joy and ease makes this story a pleasure to write. It also doesn’t hurt that I have grown leaps and bounds as an author, so I really do believe that this is my best story yet. That also helps, as far as motivation goes. I have been blessed with frequent audiobook chapters lately, too, which is an odd boost to motivation as well. I will speak on that a bit later on, but just know for now that they are coming. 

     As much fun as I am having with this story, I am going to move on after this next chapter is complete. I am extremely far ahead, like I have mentioned, but that can’t be said for my other stories. I feel very satisfied to leave it off for now after this next chapter, at least for a few weeks. Though I love writing this story, I do want to write something else after this next one, and it’s quite a natural breakpoint to leave Patrons at for the next few weeks while they enjoy content for some other stories. I do hope they won’t be too cross with me for where I leave them hanging. 

     Seeing as I’ll be leaving that one off for a bit, it seems only natural to transition into the story I plan to write next, which is “Fabric of Fate”. I know my beta Yoshi will be quite pleased with me, and I apologize to him above all others for the long delay on this story. I could change my mind and end up writing one of the other ones, but I am pretty sure this will be next. Season 1 is complete, as the readers of this story know. My current plans are for there to be five interlude chapters, and then to start off season 2. Ideally, I would bang out all five of those interlude chapters during the next couple of weeks, then go and write “Ashes of Chaos”, leaving the season to be opened when I next returned to this story.

     I will confess that I write this story in bursts. I write a significant chunk, then just sort of leave it for upwards of a month. It’s just kind of how I do this one. The thing is, I love “Fabric of Fate” dearly, but it is a strange one. For one thing, it is centred in the Percy Jackson universe, not the Harry Potter one. I enjoy Percy Jackson, but I enjoy the Greek mythology more than I enjoy the actual book series, and I don’t enjoy it the same way I do with Harry Potter. 

     Basically what that means is that I need to be in a very specific mood and headspace to productively write “Fabric of Fate”. The thing is… when I am in that headspace, I usually write a lot of it all at once, because it flows with an absurd amount of ease. It’s a very different tone to any of my other works, so it’s one I need to ease into but once I do, I can easily pump out a chapter of this every day, or every second day. So yes, I do apologize to readers of this story for the long breaks you must endure, but I do hope you appreciate the bursts when they happen, and I hope you understand that this is the way I will produce this story at the highest quality possible. Which, at the end of the day, is what I care about above all else.

     Speaking of long delays, I have not forgotten about “Harry Potter and the Conjoining of Paragons”, even though it may seem like it sometimes. I will be honest, you all will still be waiting a little while for the next chapter of this one. This is sort of a side-project, by my own admission. It is also the most difficult one to write, but that actually has almost nothing to do with why it isn’t getting written at the same rate. This is just a story that is very fun to write in between my other works. I have just been so busy with “Perversion of Purity”, not to mention three chapters of “Ashes of Chaos” a month at the same time, that this one hasn’t been updated as frequently as some people may like. It is also the only one of my stories that does not and will probably never have an update schedule. I do just hope people understand that maintaining multiple relatively rigorous upload schedules simultaneously is a lot of work — not to mention that I do have a life outside of writing — so I don’t always have the time to write this story.

     I’m not entirely sure whether a chapter of this will get written in April or not. If it does, it will be near the end of the month. One will definitely get written early in May if not, and I do think I will try and get at least two chapters of this story done in May. That is not a promise, by any means, but it is something I would like to do; because I am aware of how long the breaks have been on this story. 

     I just hope that the people on Discord who repeatedly ask for this story keep all I have said in mind and read this blog. I don’t mind answering questions, but it can become a little bit taxing when the same few people are repeatedly asking questions they know the answers to. I do appreciate them, honestly, because it means you are enjoying it. Yet at the same time, I hope the people who ask them read this blog and take what I have said to heart. 

     As I’m sure many of you know, I do also have audiobook projects for most of my works. The “Ashes of Chaos” audiobook is currently on hold. I have my brilliant narrator, 3CP, working extremely hard on recording all of book 1 for “Perversion of Purity”, and he is also recording the “Conjoining of Paragons” chapters as I post them on FanFiction.net and AO3. This, plus him actually maintaining an active social life and being a university student, means he doesn’t have a whole lot of extra time to do the AoC chapters right now. I sometimes wonder how he manages to record as frequently as he has been, as of late. This does not mean the audiobook for “Ashes of Chaos” is finished, by any means. I am planning to revise the early chapters of the story at some point with the help of my editor and one of my betas. Once that is done, whenever that might be, I am likely going to make “Ashes of Chaos” his top priority in terms of recording audiobook chapters.

     I did speak of audio chapters for “Perversion of Purity” as well, which is something you all have seen nothing of as of yet. First of all, they are great. It is by far 3CP’s best performance thus far as a narrator. His narration is on a different level in these chapters and some of the voice acting for the characters of this story is superb. His Draco Malfoy in this fic might be my favourite voice he does for any character in any of my stories. I am really looking forward to you all hearing it. The first five chapters are currently recorded, and six should be done on Sunday. Once book 1 — the first thirteen chapters — is done, the goal is to start posting them on YouTube and Spotify. The only thing that might hold this up is editing, because it is by far the thing that takes the longest. My fingers are crossed that it won’t take too long. Both my narrator and my editor are very graciously doing all of this for me free of charge, however, so I have no plans of trying to rush them. I am simply grateful for their generous contributions.

     A few of you have asked whether or not “Fabric of Fate” will ever get an audiobook of its own, so I will very briefly address that now. The answer is that I have no plans of doing so in the near future, but I am not closing the door on the possibility. 3CP just sort of naturally fell into the role of my Harry Potter narrator. We have actually become quite close friends, and it happened naturally. Much as I do adore the man as a narrator, he is absolutely not the one to do “Fabric of Fate”. By his own admission, the British accent would not carry over to an American setting. 

     If this happens, the project will be done by an American. Again, the other projects are mostly happening because the people doing them are saints who have chosen not to charge me for their services. I do not know an American who would do well and would offer me that same luxury. I have gotten rates from an American voice actor and they are very fair, especially considering the man’s incredible work ethic and immense amounts of talent. With that being said, while I technically could afford to do it, it would be a very unwise financial choice on my part, especially considering that this is my least popular story. I don’t really see that fact changing any time soon, but who knows. Again, the rates are better than fair and more than worth it, it just wouldn’t be super wise for me to do so. 

     If an American is willing and thinks they are able, they are more than willing to submit a piece that can be used as an audition, but I am not actively seeking a narrator. If it happens, great; if not, that is also fine.

     The final thing I am going to speak about is progress on my first original novel. Things have changed a little bit. I had a very set series of five novels planned that I was going to work on. Hell, I even wrote a prologue. These are absolutely still going to be written at some point, but I have lately been playing around with an idea for a series of high fantasy novels set in an alternate, medieval world. I may toy with both ideas, but I think the high fantasy series is the one I am going to first pursue. 

     It is very much still in the worldbuilding phase right now and not a word has been written, but here’s hoping I make some good progress with that. Some of the higher-tier Patrons will get copies of this once it is one day published. Whether or not they will get early chapters for this will depend on how I choose to publish and some of the logistics that go along with that. I am not yet at the stage where I have looked into that, but stay tuned. Again, the Patreon tiers who are owed copies will get those no matter how I publish. I will make that happen one way or another, because for those amounts of money, they more than deserve it.

     That is all I will say on original work for now, but just know it is planned and if I suddenly start writing a bit less fanfiction, that may be the reason why. More details will hopefully come later this year, though I have no expectations of finishing a novel in 2021. My goal is really to just get a decent start on one.

     I do hope you found this all interesting as well as informative. Sometimes, I do think pulling back the curtain and letting readers into the inner workings is important, and I hope it did allow you to gain a new perspective on a number of things. I do actually want to write more blogs, as they are fun and a nice, easy break from hard writing. I did an announcement about this earlier on Discord, but if anyone has any ideas for future topics, feel free to post in one of the Discord channels about it. Just make sure you notify me by @ing my username. You can also message those ideas to me privately on any platform if you wish; be it Discord, FFN, Patreon, Twitter, through this website, or via Instagram. 

Happy Easter, for those who celebrate, and I wish all who don’t a pleasant weekend in their own right.

Stay safe and happy reading!

Regards,

Ace

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