Before anything else: Thank you. You all supported a project with barely an idea of what it looked like, just because I asked you to. I can’t imagine your reasons for it, but I can imagine, whatever they are, they’re undeserved. Thank you.
Let’s not hype this too much. I’ve cancelled A Light in the Void.
I need my first novel to suck.
I have no idea what I’m doing. I have a basic idea of how to write a novel, a pretty good idea of the kind of story to tell, and absolutely no experience to guide me along the way.
The advice from most authors at this point would be to shut up and just write. I can’t. I care too much of what you think of me.
When you pre-ordered ALITV, you bought a promise from me. It’s incredibly important to me that I deliver on that promise, and I’m pretty sure I don’t have the ability to do that. Not yet.
I’ve been told by Inkshares refunds should be sent out to you guys starting next week. Let me know if you don’t hear anything from them.
This doesn’t mean that I’ve given up on writing a novel. On the contrary: I’m free to experiment and write an awful novel, and no one ever has to see it. I’m more excited about writing than I have been in the last few years. That, more than anything else, tells me this is the right decision. I hope you agree.
Thank you again for being here when I needed you to be. Maybe one day I’ll earn it.
In your debt,
I owe you guys an update. You won’t like it. Bear with me - there’s some good news in here, too.
You’ll notice the excerpts have been removed from this page. They’re scrapped.
The beauty of a first draft is that nobody ever has to see it. The nature of Inkshares, and the time-crunch presented by the Geek and Sundry Contest, forced me to show parts of the first draft, anyway, before I really knew my characters or world. I knew the philosophy I wanted to explore and a bit of the narrative framework, but I didn’t know enough about myself as a writer to make A Light in the Void (ALITV) work.
So it didn’t work. I hated writing it. I took a year off to figure out why, using that time to write and submit a few short stories and flash fiction, and analyze where exactly I went wrong. Here’s what I discovered:
The excerpts and outline were framed around the writing model I knew best at the time, namely the Hero’s Journey. If you’re unfamiliar with the topic, it’s enough to say that most Western stories can be boiled down to the chronological growth of a reader-proxy main character. There’s more to it, of course, with ideas like "The Refusal of the Call," or "The Ultimate Boon," all of which I tried desperately to shoehorn into ALITV. The draft outline became something that wasn’t all that unique, watered down, convoluted, and ultimately boring. It would have been awful to read, more awful to write.
There are other models which I’ve played with a bit last year in some of my other writing. I think I’ve found one that fits. You’ll see what I mean once you read ALITV. I hope you do, anyway.
The main elements I wanted in ALITV are still there. Bryce is still the lead, if a bit older than I initially planned. A cat, not-cat, still plays a large role. Elements of both L’Engle and Lovecraft are deeply embedded in the story if you look for them, though perhaps not in ways that you think. Quantum physics and astro physics are still present throughout, though I’m more interested in the magic of them than the hard science.
I want you to be surprised, I want you to be disturbed, I want you to be touched, and I want this book to stay with you long after you’ve read it. I really think the new outline can achieve that.
I’m sorry the book isn’t farther along, guys. If it helps, know that I haven’t and won’t see a penny of the money raised by the book so far - all of it will go into production and promotion costs, once it’s finished.
The new production timeline:
The timeline can, of course, change, but I think this time I’ll be able to more or less follow it. Once ALITV has gone through a few rounds of edits, I hope to post an excerpt or two.
One thing I try to remember is that this is my first novel. It won’t be my best, and it may not even be all that good. But it won’t be anything until it’s done.
Thanks for sticking with me this far. More soon.
Indebted and grateful,
Many of you follow me on Facebook, so some of this news won’t be quite as fresh for you as it will be for others. Keep reading anyway - there’s some good exclusive stuff coming up towards the end.
First: we made Quill. We sold 250+ books. We will be published. Thank you. Thank you for having faith in my writing, for promoting my book to your friends, for believing that I will actually produce something worth supporting. Thank you. I won’t let you down.
We do have a month longer for preorders. I’m mostly focusing on writing and editing this month - more on that in a second - but if we somehow get a lot of folks attentions, I may dedicate some time to pushing for 750 preorders and full publishing support from Inkshares. That’s a big lift, however, and therefore a big if. I’ll update you guys if anything changes.
In the meantime, I will continue updating you guys on this page with fresh excerpts every few weeks while I work towards completing a manuscript worth sending to my editor. I’m hoping to get most of that work done this month. Sometimes I may throw some other content as well.
As a thank you, I put up a new excerpt It’s a little different from the other excerpts: a poem I wrote today that has a good chance of making it into the novel. It may help elucidate some of the larger themes of the book. My strengths lie more in stories than they do in poetry, so any feedback is definitely appreciated. You all are a part of this novel, and I take your opinions very seriously.
Thanks guys. You’re really the best.
Guys, we’re doing great. We’ve sold 233 books. Two hundred thirty three. That means we’re just 17 books away from reaching the Quill Goal and getting published, and we have a month to do it. I don’t see how we can not do that. Seventeen books is nothing. Thank you guys. I’m in absolute awe. You all rock. This is big.
Let’s go bigger.
I’ve mentioned the Geek and Sundry contest before. As a recap, if I make the top 3, I will be able to earn additional publishing and distributional support. We need to sell 75 books in the next six days to do that. I know, it’s a huge task. But it’s doable. I just need your help.
A number of you have told me privately how much you’ve enjoyed the excerpts released so far, and that’s been tremendous in keeping me motivated in pushing this campaign forward. What would be a huge help is sharing your opinion on the books page. There are two ways you can do that:
1). Simply go to the latest excerpt, here, and click on the star on the bottom of the screen. That’s it. This will highlight the book as recommended and gain more views from the Inkshares community.
2). On the same page , instead of just clicking the star, also choose "leave a review." This will help others see that you like it, and maybe encourage them to give my writing a chance.
Everyone, you have more than proven to me what good friends you are, and your support means everything to me. Let’s get this past the finish line, and beyond, together.
With deepest gratitude,