Desert final zoomed A. C. Schulties · Author · added about 3 years ago
Attention, Jaegers!
I hope you all had a great holiday season. I apologize for my inactivity during the past several months. After receiving feedback from some readers, I’ve decided to continue polishing Jupiters before launching a pre-order campaign. Any additional opinions are welcome!
Thank you and best of luck for 2020!

Desert final zoomed A. C. Schulties · Author · edited almost 4 years ago · 1 like
Attention, Jaegers!
It’s been a while since I’ve updated my story page, and I just wanted to let you all know that I haven’t abandoned the project. Chapter 7 is now available to read. Jupiters clocks in at 87,100 words, but I want to do some tinkering before I launch a pre-order campaign. 

Chapter lists seem to be popular, so here’s my tentative list:
1: The Dead Sea
2: Starforge
3. How to Build a Superhero
4. The Slug
5. How to Kill a Superhero
6. Coronation
7. The Barren Desert
8. The Chasm of the Beasts
9. Inferno
10. Reign
11. The Forest
12. Devil
13. Bravado
14. Dreamscape
15. The Decommissioning of Jupiter Bravo
16. Lady Justice
17. Exile
18. Flawed
19. Bloodlust
20. Walking Castle
21. Civil War
22. Severe Fear
23. Good Enough
24. Kronesthesia
25. The Labyrinth
26. Atonement
27. Fiery Cross
28. CV
29. Fantasy

Read some of the early chapters if you have the time. Thank you!

A. C. Schulties
Desert final zoomed A. C. Schulties · Author · added about 4 years ago
Hey, everyone! I hope you’re all doing well. Just some quick questions.
What is your favorite/least favorite aspect of the story thus far?
What is your favorite/least favorite aspect of the writing thus far?
Do you guys mind that it’s written in present tense?
Any and all feedback helps. Thanks!
Desert final zoomed A. C. Schulties · Author · added about 4 years ago
@Leo Valiquette 
Haha! Your advice is not presumptuous. Adding more emotional response from Alaudae is a good idea, especially in the early chapters before he grows callous to life in Starforge. I just added the fourth chapter, so check it out when you can. 

Thanks again,
E5ib5kij Leo Valiquette · Author · added about 4 years ago
Hey, A.C. My pleasure. There is certainly no definitive right or wrong answer on how to handle these challenges. You recognize the challenge yourself, are experimenting with how to address it, and engaging with an editor, all of which speaks to your commitment to the craft. And it is certainly better to prep the reader with the ground rules of your world early and to foreshadow key things. As my editor told me, don’t wait to set up the pins just before you knock them down.  In latter rounds of revision you can then focus on how you might trim back.

One idea to consider in situations like in Chapter 3 where there is not a lot of action is perhaps record more of Alaudae’s emotional response to what he is hearing and learning (you do this quite well in some parts, but not so much in others where there is a lot of dialogue exchanged). Using his learning of these things to further strengthen his emotional connection with the reader is something to consider.

Hope this is helpful and not too presumptuous. 
Desert final zoomed A. C. Schulties · Author · added about 4 years ago

Thanks for the comment, Leo! I appreciate you taking the time to read this story. There are other info dumps, but Chapter Three is the worst because no action breaks it up. I played around in earlier drafts with different ways Alaudae would learn about his world. At one point I planned to have him "realize" everything through internal dialogue as his brain digested his coded memory. 

I like to explain everything to some degree early on, then go into detail when the concept in question comes up. It felt weird introducing new things midway through the story, almost as if I was making it up as I went along. It’s a consequence of my cautious personality. Also, I build on many of the ideas and want the reader to feel somewhat secure in knowing what is happening. Please let me know if you think I’m losing or spoon-feeding the reader. 

When I first started writing the outline for Jupiters, I was writing at the high school level. I barely understood the differences between the tenses and chose present tense without weighing its pros and cons. I didn’t realize I wanted to be a writer until a few years ago, and I’ve have been scrambling to make up for lost time by reading and writing like crazy. I also hired a professional editor who has been instrumental in helping me refine my craft. After writing the early drafts in present tense, writing it in past tense felt wrong. Along with the familiarity for me, present tense adds immediacy, which I felt complimented Alaudae’s story. 

Thanks again for the feedback! Don’t hesitate to ask any more questions.
E5ib5kij Leo Valiquette · Author · added about 4 years ago
Hey, A.C., I quite enjoyed this. There is a lot of info dump, especially in Chapter 3, but it for the most part works because I as the reader find myself eager to learn alongside Alaudae. You’ve found that perfect recipe of the PoV character who wakes up in a nightmare without a clue and is desperately trying to find out all he can to prove it’s not real or find the breadcrumbs that will allow him to figure a way out of it, while his source of information is (mostly) willing to tell him what he wants to know to get him to just accept his situation. Well done.

I say it works "for the most part" because I wonder if there are ways to introduce some of this information or have Aluadae discover it besides Excelsior telling it all to him, but I would have to read more chapters to see where and how that might be possible. 

One question: You have made the decision to narrate in the present tense instead of the the more common past tense -- what led you to that decision?