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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?

Filler, The Foreigner and Protagonists

I just watched the Foreigner, Jackie Chan’s latest Western film.  It was decent, though significantly less action oriented than his previous owrk. No surprise there, he is getting old.  It did have some serious acting by all involved and was quite decent in that regard.

However, Jackie Chan was a filler protagonist. After watching the entire movie, I was left with the realisation that nearly nothing that Jackie Chan’s character did actually had any effect on the plot / the bad guys. If we removed him from the entire plot, nearly everything would have played out very similar to what happened.  The bad guys would have been caught and punished (in one form or another).

He was, as mentioned, a filler protagonist.  Now, filler scenes / episodes are pretty common especially int erms of TV series / any on-going medium. You see it a lot in Anime TV series like Naruto or Cowboy Bebop or even in the Adventurer’s Heart.  In many cases, these scenes are either to flesh out characters or just to change the tone / mood.  I am, not surprisingly, not opposed to filler episodes, especially when they are done in moderation.

However, a filler protagonist is not moderation in my view.  The protagonist needs to have an effect, if not on the main ‘plot’, on the small portion of the plot the character is involved in.  Daniel in the Healer’s Gift might not change the course of the battle with the Orcs, but he does effect the small portion of the fight he is involved in.  Jackie Chan’s character, while getting the revenge he sought, ends up not affecting the plot at all.

Contrast this to Taken which is another revenge story where Liam Neeson’s character exacts his revenge and gets his daughter back.  At the end of the day, the difference is scope – the Foreigner attempts to showcase Pierce Brosnan and other sides of the story, attempting to give us a broader scope of the story.  I believe if they had focused instead much more on Jackie Chan and his story, we would have had a better overall film rather than a weird story that just didn’t satisfy in the end.