I’m just writing this to say that I’ll be writing a proper October-y update post (and monthly updates from henceforth) later in the week. If you’ve got this page bookmarked, you might want to head over to this page, since I’ve taken this one out of the loop during my recent tidy up. Hurrah.
September 4th Update
Just a quick update for those of you who have this page bookmarked (or have landed here after finishing Episode Five): I took a couple of weeks off writing to de-stress and get my shit together. Over the coming weeks, I’m going to work on updating the site and planning out what I have to write for 2017. After that, I’m going back to Episode Six to try and iron out its problems. If I have time, I might make some minor (non-story) edits to Episodes Four and Five as well, to try and improve their overall quality.
August 14th Update
Episode Six is a bit of a mess at the moment, but it’s getting there. This happened with the draft I wrote last year, too. I guess it’s something of a sticking point. That’s writing for you, though! As a consequence, however, Episode Six will be it for this year: once I’ve dealt with it, I’m going to work on seven through twelve in bulk, a draft of which will likely take me until the end of the year, with Episode Seven itself, hopefully, premiering early 2017.
I should probably update the site at some point to cover this general shift away from weekly instalments to whenever-the-hell-they’re-ready ones XD
July 25th Update
“Don’t worry, this isn’t a big delay – a week, maybe two…”
I should keep my mouth shut. At least, unlike when I was serialising seven years ago, I don’t have to stress myself out worrying over thousands of readers potentially abandoning the story because of a few delays. Presently, I’ve not even a fraction of the readership the original series had … and I’m glad? It’s made it easier to find my pace – which, as I suspected, is about 40 chapters a year, max. That’s about 180,000 words, or a roughly 600 page novel. I’m happy with that.
And yes, I started serialising this a year ago, so I guess the first anniversary will be fairly muted XD Expect Episode Six to start soon, though, unless the final couple of chapters give me a lot of hassle. I won’t name any dates (though I have a pretty good idea myself) just in case things fall apart again.
In the meantime, I’ve separated the archives into main story and “extra material”, which, at present, contains the examination pieces. I’ll be adding, well, extra material to that in time, possibly including deleted scenes and suchlike, for those interested in see how things change/evolve (and why they always take me so long…).
July 4th Update
Hello! And if you came here from the extralude, this is not a glitch.
I’m still working on Episode Six… I could start releasing it, but I’d rather hold off until everything is ready. Don’t worry, this isn’t a big delay – a week, maybe two, depending on how things go – and I figure that, since the majority of people seem to bookmark the last page in the sequence (ie. this one) it’s easy to stick the announcement here.
As for the whole plan to release stuff in the meantime? Well, that didn’t really work out XD The first piece was much longer than intended, and I rushed it out before I was happy with it. With that in mind, I’m going to make sure I build up a backlog of pieces to put out when my backlog of chapters runs out (dawg).
But yeah. Delays! I’d rather delay than rush things, though. Between work and illness, I can’t always write as much, or as often (or, indeed, as well) as I would like. These things happen. As far as this specific delay is concerned, I also put some blame on local politics. It’s hard to focus when your country has just decided to throw itself off a cliff.
Although, saying that, it did give me some inspiration for a short story or two…
(Meanwhile, I updated the cast page with fancy toggles. It might not look it, but it took about as much work as the average chapter! Thankfully, I just have to make additions from now on…)
Well, this is new! I thought it might be a better place to post the schedule for the next few months, and it also gives me a chance to “discuss things”. If you’re reading this in the future (ie. there’s no ‘to be continued’ at the bottom of the page) then feel free to ignore this and continue with the story.
First up, the important thing: the schedule for Episode Six!
13th through 27th of June: Extraludes (see below)
4th July: Chapter 42
11th July: Chapter 43
18th July: Chapter 44
25th July: Chapter 45
1st August: Chapter 46
8th August: Chapter 47
15th August: Chapter 48
22nd August: Chapter 49
29th August: Chapter 50
5th September: Interlude
12th September: Examination/Afterword
This should be accurate, but, if I can work it, I want to try and cut the episode down to eight chapters, rather than nine. That I’m still working on (the third draft of) episode six is one of the reasons I’m introducing “extraludes”. They’re a bit like interludes in that they’re only a single, short scene, but, unlike interludes, they’re not a part of the main narrative. They’re basically side-stories to give the secondary and minor characters a chance to shine, and to generally broaden the scope of the story. The first one involves Theseus and a minotaur.
And, you know, they give me a chance to take a breath and not overstress myself ;) Episodes Four and Five kinda did that. A lot. I think it shows in places. But yeah, I’d rather not repeat that, so extraludes it is!
Not that they don’t come with their fare share of stress. One thing I’ve learned since I started serialising last summer is that a lot of these self-published series, be they through an independent website (like this), something like Wattpad, or straight to Amazon, is that they publish a lot of content. Like, a lot. Ten thousand words a week, twenty, sometimes even thirty. It’s what you “have” to do to maintain your audience, allegedly.
I’m not sure I believe it. Even ten thousand words a week is a lot. That would be like writing ‘the Lord of the Rings’ in a year (it took Tolkien twelve). Nor do I buy this “readers aren’t bothered about mistakes if the story is free” reasoning. I find the idea of posting what is effectively a first draft online and letting my readers take up the mantle of proofing distinctly uncomfortable (as did the other writers I asked). If people are going to spend their time reading my work, I feel I should at least respect them enough to deliver a quality product. That’s why I have interludes and examinations (and now extraludes): so I can put the time in to making sure things are up to standard. I mean, a single chapter takes anywhere from thirty to forty hours of work (hell, that examination on the previous page took a good five, thanks to the various rewrites and my – probably failed – attempts to channel the spirit of a twenty-something Guardian journalist). If anyone is expecting me to take up a three-instalments-a-week schedule, they had better provide me with the time-manipulation technology to do so :p
So, yeah, the idea that I’m not publishing nearly enough to appease the fickle denizens of the Internet can be somewhat stressful, but I assume that, if you’ve stayed with the story this far, you’re probably happy with the pacing. Either that, or you’re very quiet about criticising it!
On a more positive note, I’ve been working on a better cast page, which will allow you to switch between main and full listings, as well as toggle spoilers on/off. I just need to put the actual information together. That, as well as the ebook for Episode Five (which, I assume, you web reading types won’t be all that interested in) will pop up over the coming weeks. In the meantime, you can look forward to Episode Six starting in July with the news that it won’t be as focused on Dante and Emily as the previous episodes. That’s right, it’s time to get pretentious with Byron!
(Also, while I’m here, although those links down there make me feel awfully uncomfortable, votes and stuff can help “spread the word”, and anyone who donates, be it through Patreon or PayPal, will be contributing to my “commission an artist for cool portraits and shiz” fund. Every little helps!)