I completed the draft! Woo hoo!
I passed the actual milestone about two weeks ago. I celebrated, quietly, and am only now making the update. Oops! I’m bad at social media, forgive me. It makes me a dinosaur, and ill-suited to take full advantage of the Inkshares platform.
So what now? Well, now I consolidate characters, tighten story beats, discard dead plot threads, strengthen language, yadda, yadda, yadda. In sum: more work.
However I will finally start posting chapters that are near completion. Starting today. I look forward to hearing your thoughts, and thanks again for sticking with me. It’s been a long haul, but the effort is paying off nicely (in my opinion). I hope you’ll agree. And if you don’t, I won’t quit my dayjob.
Although given that my day job is copywriting, perhaps I should.
I passed the 80,000 word mark, a major milestone. That was my goal for the total word count in the book, and I just squeaked past it. I’m working to wrap things up as quickly as possibly, without making the ending too abrupt. I figure I have maybe another 10,000 words or so to write, then I’m done.
The process hasn’t been harder than I anticipated, but it sure as hell has taken a lot longer. For that, I apologize. As I mentioned in my last update, I ended up tossing some 45,000 words, and though the story is much better for it, I can’t help feeling a little bad to keep everyone waiting so long. On the plus side, these newer ideas add excitement, fun characters, and a few WTF twists.
I’m going to finish this draft in the next 2 weeks (approximately), then spend a few more months smoothing out sections and tying it all together. As I complete sections, I will post them for you to finally start reading and (hopefully) enjoying.
Thanks for the patience!
Yes, great question! I know it’s probably been longer than most of you anticipated, and I greatly appreciate your patience.
Shortly after my last post, I read back through my draft, and realized that, frankly, it sucked. The characters were hollow. The plot was contrived. I know first drafts are supposed to suck, but this one was just honestly total garbage. So I tossed the 40,000 words I had, and started from scratch. I don’t mean to make it sound like a trivial decision; it was extremely tough, and absolutely gut-wrenching to do it. But as excited as I am to share my first novel with the world, I also want to give everyone a quality story, and not feel like it was in any way rushed or half-baked. I’d rather do right, even if that means throwing out months of hard work.
And I feel much better about this new direction. I’m 30,000 words into what I guess is the second draft, working early every morning before I go to work (and then more on weekends). I love the characters, there’s great twists, the story goes off in weird directions, and it’s a lot more fun.
The core premise is still the same, except now it’s about three bullied high school kids who decide to escape their small, redneck town, and then discover their tiny bubble is the entirety of simulated universe. The kids start hacking, shit gets out of hand, and their world turns into a weird, twisted video game, as the simulation’s controller tries to keep things under control. This version has a wild, awesome backstory, which wasn’t there before.
I’m keeping at it every day, getting up at 6 am and working for an hour or two before work to hit my daily word count, which I’ve upped to make up for this reset. Currently, I’m on track to finish it by end of June. Thanks for checking in, Scott. I’m excited, too, and thank you all for your patience. I can say now, with true confidence, that you’re going to enjoy :)
Been awhile. Sorry for the, uh, "conservative" backer updates.
I am not, for the record, lying dead in a gutter, presidential protests trampling my lifeless body, hand still clutching the rain and blood soaked pages of IN BETA. Nor am I in Tijuana, peeling off green leaves of Inkshare backer money to buy another round for the Los Locos biker gang.
I am working diligently on IN BETA, every day, and I’ve finally crossed the halfway point! As I mentioned forever ago, I originally wrote IN BETA as a feature film. I found early on, though, that the comedy and action from the script didn’t feel right for a novel. It reminded me of that novelization of Terminator 2 I read in back in fourth grade, which I didn’t enjoy even as a fourth grader, and would be embarrassed to hand over to you.
So there have been a few radical departures in the story to make it work. For instance, instead of Seattle, I moved the setting to a rural high school in the Cascade Mountains. This works better for a number of reasons, primarily because I can better draw on my own high school experience (fun times), and because a microcosm seems to help ground things and make the premise a little more believable. Gives it kind of a Truman Show-vibe. I’m watching Westworld, and yeah there are some similarities there, too (though much lighter in tone).
Thanks again for your patience everyone, and your support. This has been a lot of work, and a lot of fun, and I think you’ll get a kick out of it, once it’s ready.
TLDR; Good book. Coming along. Promise me be better re: updates.
I’ve revised the prologue of IN BETA to align with the deeper rewrite I’ve been doing. I think it’s better, but I’d love to hear feedback. You can find it here:
I’ll continue to post content that I’m marginally happy with :)