Emerald Specter 46: Progress and What’s Next

Writing is happening, actually happening, and I’m focused on producing the first thing in a long time that will appear on this website that I’ve been promising for years: serial fiction.

No column for months and then two in the same month? Whoa.

On the Specter Show, and on this blog, I’ve mentioned the SerialBox and SerialTeller serial fiction sites. I don’t know what the word count is (nor how many episodes there are) on SerialBox, but I experimented a little with the SerialTeller word count suggestions and I have to say that anyone reading a story in tiny little pieces like that must be bored to tears (waiting week to week releases, or in some cases, once every two weeks).

As a short recap, SerialTeller suggests releasing at least twice a month between 600-1,250 words an episode. While I love that they think this will make a novel within a year, I can’t even fathom how small a book like that would be… not to mention the fact that while I was setting up each of my test episodes, I could barely tell a story in those short bits and certainly couldn’t build any tension.

That was rough trying, too.

I have started writing the first draft of a series I don’t really have a working title for, and instead of getting worried, you should understand that I have given it many names in the past. This latest installment, though, will be given new life in the form of serial fiction exclusively on EmeraldSpecter.com. Each episode will consist of 6,000 to 8,000 words and there will be between 12 and 13 episodes. I’m using the HBO model, where I can technically put out four different series a year, though even I’m smart enough to understand I don’t shoot for four right out of the gate.

Let’s concentrate on one, first.

I have asked my wife to edit my writing and her requirements were that I write only a single thing, stay focused, and finish that thing before attempting to do anything else. Part of my bullet journal (#BuJoRPG if you hear me!) will be removing all other distractions to focus on that one thing: writing. I will continue to learn Vietnamese, but I am dribbling that out slower than I thought I would, so the new language won’t really get in the way.

The key to giving me mad drive towards getting this writing project done will not necessarily be XP, though that will play a big part in the process. Anyone that has been following the BuJoRPG development knows I’m working on breaking up Quests into short term and long term, as well as developing a “gear system” to help achieving achievements. This will be helping develop that tiny aspect of the BuJoRPG.

Now, now… don’t think this is going to turn into a bullet journal column. I’m writing about writing. I also want to tell you how I got to where I’m at, so buckle up.

George R.R. Martin has created the wonderfully complex A Song of Ice and Fire, off which Game of Thrones is based upon. If you didn’t realize this in the myriad of reviews, videos, blogs, and other information about how he came up with this wonderful story, then let me full you in… the series is basically the same thing as the real life War of the Roses, which was how England kind of arrived at what they have today as far as royalty and such.

My first inclination was to grab some other historically awesome conflict and write the same type of thing… and the basis I wanted to use was Eastern culture (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese… THAT Eastern). I couldn’t really find anything I felt fit the bill, and I took the rough (rough, rough, ROUGH) draft of an old story, put a twist in it, and started mapping out what I wanted to do.

Initially, I had a pretty complex map laid out (similar to the beginning of the first Martin book/Game of Thrones season one) but when I ran that by my wife, she rolled her eyes and said she wouldn’t edit that…

Because I haven’t really finished anything and if I can’t tell a single story, how can I tell multiple stories?

So, I went back to the drawing board and looked at what I had. Yesterday, as I write this, I figured out that I should start with three characters, each with a different perspective, and I can still have the world around them continuing on as normal while they show us the world through their eyes.

For example, Joe Schmuckatelly shows us how one facet of the world operates, introduces us to the different species on the world that they inhabit, and gets to meet some of the visitors to this one specific location that will be leading us to other important things in the future… Jane Doe also is one of our characters, who also gets to meet some of the other people who will be important in the future AND she is going to be venturing out into the world on an assignment, allowing us our first glimpse at what the world looks like and how that world operates. John Q. Public is our third character, and he has a very specific task, which paints a completely different picture of the world (looking the other direction, basically) about what is going on and what is on the horizon.

I can’t really give you analogs of who is who compared to Game of Thrones characters because they’re each their own character. I am excited about writing this and I am currently 3,000 words in on the first draft already.

Things are starting to look up for making the entertainment I wanted to make and hopefully that continues well into the future (with more series!).

Thanks for stopping by and have a successful day, everybody!

Think on it.