October 2018: Update

Ah, October. The spookiest month of the year, and the best time to work on novels with horror and suspense elements. It’s around this time last year that I started writing “The Gloaming”; it’s only fitting I should start writing a prequel on the anniversary of its inception.

A New Project: “The Wereforest Academy”

Yes, you read that correctly. For the past few weeks, I have been hard at work on a standalone prequel for “The Gloaming”. I came up with the idea for the prequel soon after finishing the draft of the main book, but I intended to delay writing it until after said book was published. However, due to some issues with editing “The Gloaming” (which I’ll explain shortly), I decided it was better to start sooner rather than later.

“The Gloaming” Update

Despite my best efforts, I haven’t made much progress with “The Gloaming”. I’ve made all the basic changes I needed to, but cutting the word count has proven much more difficult than expected. I managed to get rid of 3,000 words (leaving me with 170k), but after that, everything I tried was a disaster. Every chapter has at least 3 reasons for being there, and deleting one created a whole host of problems I wasn’t prepared for. By the time I finished implementing all the changes, I was left with 9 major plot holes and a substandard story that was still 40,000 words longer than it ought to be.

In light of this, I’ve decided to temporarily put “The Gloaming” on hold, rather than waste hundreds of hours trying to fix the length issue when I could be working on something more productive. My plan at the moment is to finish one (or more) of my other WIPs and try to get them published first. If they’re successful, agents and publishers are more likely to grant me some leeway in terms of word count for future books (i.e. “The Gloaming”). Even if I don’t achieve any significant success with those other books, by the time I’ve finished and published them, there’s a good chance I will have found a way to solve the length conundrum without destroying the story.

Goals Achieved This Month

  • Completed a new 140k version of “The Gloaming” (a failed experiment; at least I tried)
  • Wrote a new short story and started editing it
  • Re-wrote one chapter of “The Rabbit in the Moon”
  • Wrote a 61,000-word first draft of “The Wereforest Academy”
  • Re-wrote 4 chapters of “The Wereforest Academy”

As you can see, I didn’t meet my goals from last month, mainly because my goals changed. As I said on Twitter, working on “The Rabbit in the Moon” was like drawing blood out of a stone, which is why I abandoned my goal of re-writing ten chapters and moved onto something more productive.

That’s all the news I have for this month but hopefully I’ll have something more significant to report next time.

Sincerely,

J. R. Schuyler

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