Writing, writing formats and the Adventures on Brad

 

A Dungeon's Soul
A Dungeon’s Soul

Book 3 – the last book in the series for a while – of the Adventures on Brad is now out.

There are a number of reasons I’ve pulled the series to a close. Among them is the fact that this is a great stopping point, where there’s a little bit of hope and curiosity but the arc is now over and done with.

However, another major reason is recent considerations about how I write and writing formats.

 

Writing Formats

I call the Adventures on Brad my light novel inspired series. Each book is short and more slice-of-life than ‘plot’ driven, a meandering look at the characters. While many light novels have plots, they also take these long slice-of-life looks at the characters.

In addition, when I wrote A Healer’s Gift (and to some extent, An Adventurer’s Heart), I posted the books on Royal Road, chapter by chapter.  I’d sit down, write a full chapter, post it and do it again a few days / a day later. With the structure of specific daily chapters in mind, my writing styled itself to keep each chapter somewhat self-contained.

When writing A Dungeon’s Soul, I wrote the entire book as I do normally these days, picking up from scene to scene, trying to work a plot into it without drifting into random chapters. I think it worked, but it started drifting I think from the initial light novel aspect, with less time with the characters individually.

Unfortunately, between RL jobs and writing at least 1 other series, being able to focus and write a chapter here or there didn’t seem to work anymore. However, looking back, I think the entire series actually benefits from the ‘start and stop’ style, at least if I want to keep it to the same ‘feel’.

You see this as well in the way certain novels are written. The Wandering Inn, is very much a webserial. It meanders, wanders around and does a ton of slice-of-life things and flashbacks, switching POVs constantly and having a slow moving ‘plot’. Then again, it’s a web-serial. Buying into the serial is buying into the idea that you’ve got years to finish this. The medium changes the format of writing.

A ‘novel’ is often self-contained, with a common ‘Western’ beginning, middle and end. It requires significanltly different structuring. Which is something I find a bit more difficult to do with the Adventures on Brad.

Shifting POVs

I have a bad habit of head-hopping. It’s funny really – head hopping used to be very prevalent in older books but these days is strongly discouraged. Unfortunately, I often find myself doing that while writing and partly it’s because I limited myself to Daniel’s POV when I started the series.

When I pick up the series again, I probably will shift from a limited POV of Daniel for the entire book to shifting POVs for specific scenes to Asin & Omrak.  It’d help to make the book a little more interesting I think.

So what?

All of this is my way of saying that the series is going on hiatus. Sort-of. What I’ll probably do is write in it once in a while when inspiration strikes me, adding a chapter here and there till  I have a ‘book’. When that happens, I’ll be ready to publish, but it probably will take some time.

This will allow the series to continue in its rambling ways without putting too much pressure on ‘when’ it gets released. It’ll also let me play around with the POVs and format a bit.

17/11/28 Writing Update

A few things to update.

Adventures on Brad

A Dungeon’s Soul releases tomorrow! Quite excited to see it out. We’ll hopefully have the audiobook version out early next year if things work out well.

Do let me know if you would love to see more of Daniel & crew as that’ll move them up in my writing queue.

The System Apocalypse

Book 3 of the System Apocalypse has finished its first run through. I’ve got an Editor booked for end December, so I have to finish my edits by the middle of the month and hopefully get the books out to beta readers soon after.

That being said, there’s a bunch of scenes that need to be added and I have to go through the entire book with this being the busiest time for me in my day job, so… yeah. It might be end January instead of mid-January for this to release.

I have edited Lana’s short-story and I’ll be sending it out in December. So keep an eye out on your e-mail inbox if you’re subscribed to the newsletter!

Other Projects

While I give my brain a short-break from John & crew, I’ve started working on a new series that will fill the in-between slot left empty by the Adventures on Brad. It’s basically an urban fantasy with a LitRPG twist. It’s moving along quite well, though it seems to be shifting towards being more GameLit than LitRPG (i.e. significantly less game mechanics). We’ll see how it goes.

I do have a Virtual Reality LITRPG series idea in the works too. I’ve tackled writing in it a few times, including finishing up a short-story. It might end up being a series of short-stories rather than a full novel. Unfortunately, the 2nd story hit a writer’s block so it’s (once again) on hold till inspiration strikes.

 

Writing Update

Adventures on Brad Book 3

Book 3 (titled A Dungeon’s Soul)  is mostly done. I’m having one last Beta Read on the book because I’m too close to the book to tell if it’s good. If it comes back good, I’ll release the book soon after. If not, I might have to revise the book significantly.

On another note, Book 3 is going to be the ‘end’ of the Adventures on Brad series for a bit. I’m going to put the series to bed while I work on a different series / concept in the LitRPG genre.

I will likely return to the series at some point, but I just want to transition to trying something else. So Book 3 will be the last book in that universe for a little bit.

The System Apocalypse

Book 3 is 2/3 done right now. It’s at about 60k words or so, with one more major section to write and then the ending / conclusion. Surprisingly, this book might actually end up being slightly ‘smaller’ than the previous books. At this rate, it’ll probably end up around 80k words instead of the 90k words previous books have been. Not that I’m trying to hit a word count, just curious.

It’s also very different from Books 1 and 2, so hopefully you guys will like it.

The exclusive short-story for Lana is written as I’ve mentioned before. I haven’t had time  / mental space to do an edit so it’s sitting on my  desktop. Sorry.  It’ll get done before the end of the year, but editing is a different headspace (for me) than writing and between writing and my RL job, I just haven’t had time to get it sorted.

Fan Fiction & Other Uses

So… I’ve had a couple of people ask me in different ways about the use of the System Apocalypse for fan fiction / etc. So here’s my personal stance on this.

If it’s pure fan fiction (i.e. non-commercial, no money is being made on this) – feel free to have fun. Not only would it be silly for me to try to stop you, I think it’s cool.

I cut my teeth writing fan fiction (and its like) ages ago. It’s where I learnt / practised a chunk of my writing. I know some authors dislike fan fiction, I’m not one of them.

I do ask if you’ve gotten something written / etc. to let me know if you don’t mind. Just out of curiosity and ego really, but if you’re shy, I understand.

The only line that I draw is when you are looking to produce this for commercial purposes. For a variety of reasons (legal included), I will have to say no. Unless we have a contract, etc., from my (very basic) knowledge of trademark and copyright, if you are making money on my work and I am not stopping you, I actually give up rights to my own work. Obviously, this is bad.

Changes in the industry – Pronoun closing

So, for those of you who don’t know (probably most), Pronoun was a book distribution service that allowed me to upload the Adventures on Brad series and distribute it wide. That meant everything from Kobo to iBooks to Google Play to Overdrive (Libraries).

This was really cool, though as I noted, sales from these areas didn’t seem to matter as much (i.e. total sales is like 1% of my book sales).

Pronoun is now closing and I’m debating between:

  • Staying wide and continuing distribution to all the various other stores
  • Going to Amazon only and putting the books up on Kindle Unlimited

Let me know your thoughts. I don’t ‘have’ to make any decision just yet but if you read on other platforms, it’d be good to know.

A Bad Scene (Redeemer of the Dead) – Spoilers

DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVE NOT READ BOOK 2 YET

What’s going to follow is a scene that I wrote and actually completely deleted and rewrote. There are a number of reasons for this, but mostly, it’s just a bad scene.

I could explain why, but why don’t those of you who have read the book and now read this scene tell me why it’s a bad scene. Or heck, if you like this scene better.

SPOILERS. SPOILERS. SPOILERS.

Continue reading A Bad Scene (Redeemer of the Dead) – Spoilers

Writing update

So. Update on writing.

Book 3 of the Adventures on Brad series is complete and getting edited. I need to get some more editing on it done since the basic pass was not complete. Hopefully we’ll see book 3 in the next few weeks.

Book 3 of the System Apocalypse is at… 25k words or so. Word says 28k but that includes various notes / blurbs / thoughts / etc.  I am stuck, since book 3 is somewhat more complicated and so I’m having to actually plot the book a bit more than I normally do. I’m… uncertain if what I’ve got plotted is workable, and how much of this is because of usual writer jitters and how much is truth and how much because my brain is dead.

Oh yeah, on that note – brain is dead. I’ve been fighting a cold and a bunch of minor health stuff for the last 3 weeks. Since I have a day job, by the time I get back to writing, often I’m just wiped. So I’m not feeling super-creative right now.  Which is why I’m holding off on writing the ‘hard’ book since I’m not entirely sure what I’m writing is good.

Lastly, good news – the exclusive to newsletter subscribers side story for Lana is written. I actually had a few ideas for it, but ended up writing a slice-of-life story due to above brain deadness. I’m going to need to find some time when my brain works to edit it. It’s a story that is likely never going to be publicly released.  It has no plot, no narrative beginning or ending. It’s very much a ‘this happened’ story but it’s a fun look into the background things happening in Whitehorse.

That’s about it for updates. Leave comments if you have any thoughts, etc.

The System Apocalypse Arcs

Had a few questions and comments about the System Apocalypse after Book 2 was released.  One comment I’ve seen is that Book 2 was more of a ‘filler’ book, which seems strange to me. I guess what people are looking for is somewhat different than what I envision(ed). Here’s roughly what I’m working on:

Arc 1 (First Trilogy)

Introduction of the System to Earth and basically takes place in 1 year.

Book 1 basically sets the scene and deals with John’s response to it.  Book 2 is a coming of age for John and a realisation of what he is and what he needs to do. It also continues to play out the changes including the Dungeons and Swarms.

Book 3 has the world shaping up to what it will eventually be with high level zones established, big nasty monsters running around and the conclusion of the Whitehorse arc.

Arc 2 (Second Trilogy)

By the way, everything from this point on is nebulous. I’m a panster not a plotter, so everything I have here is rough ideas.

The three books (and this might easily be more!) in this arc cover Earth. I tenatively have Canada & North America to be dealt with in Book 1 (it might be book 2 for the US actually) so there’ll be timeskips and time compression galore

Book 2 or 3 will cover a wider range of areas and continents. We’ll definitely see what happens in Europe & Asia, and we might see a big timeskip as Earth slowly redefines itself along with humanity.

Arc 3 (Third Trilogy)

This arc basically takes us out of Earth and into the wider Galactic scene. We finally see some of the other worlds that have been hinted at and will basically conclude John’s journey.

A word of caution

Now, I call them trilogy’s because I like writing in 3’s. These arcs are also a bit more malleable since I expect I’ll be time skipping a lot more in Arcs 2 and 3.

Tentatively, what I’ll probably do is write the entire series as best I can in the above arcs and then fill in the blanks later.,   Part of it is that writing the same thing for each city will get repetitive, and if there’s an interesting plot for a city, it might take up a whole book.  Rather than derail the overall arcs, I might hold off on writing that and skip pass to write that plot as an individual ‘stand alone’ book later.

That being said – ‘pantser’. I might have an overall idea of what each scenario / book / theme is going for, but the eventual book is often different from what I planned. Often better too.

Now, before anyone asks.  Book 3 is being written right now. I’m about 15% done. It is VERY unlikely to be out before end of the year since my day job gets very busy during this period.  Expect it maybe February?

Author page and Blog for Tao Wong