Fall 2016 Quarterly Update?

Apparently I’m working on a schedule which has me updating about 4 times a year. All righty then!

It was a rough end to the summer, a rocky start to the fall, and a long haul to get out the other side, but it’s kind of like pushing that damned rock up the hill when you’re in the throes of fighting depression (anti-depressants only go so far) brought on by a confluence of unfortunate events.

But that’s what was. Now for what IS.

At this point I’m moving ahead with development on a new roleplaying game under a new company, with some new partners. It’s not all that far along, mind, but it’s something I’m fairly happy with the basics of. This is the kind of work which goes on in my head and in notes and snippets for a long time (some might call it a very long time, but that’s just calling attention to my steadily advancing age) and then needs to get shepherded into some semblance of good order.

That herding of cats is well underway, and I’m working on business aspects in parallel. I anticipate being able to share more early in 2017. (Hey, just in time for my Winter 2017 update!) Hopefully at that point I’ll have something more concrete.

For now, just think dark fantasy. Think shared storytelling. Think easy action resolution.

Because that’s what’s coming…

What I Am Up To—Summer 2016

So, four months later, I’m not actively writing any of my own fiction. Just a little here and there. Notes. Ideas as they come to me. That kind of thing. It’s a combination of factors, but I’m not exactly idle in a writing capacity…

What I’ve been doing a lot of instead is working on a number of projects for various companies. I did a crowdfunding campaign for Malka Media—a PTSD documentary which sadly didn’t get nearly the traction my last collaboration with the studio (Back in Time) did.

Currently I’m working in my familiar freelance senior writer role with USAopoly (I’ve worked on a number of games for them in the past) doing some writing, revising, editing, proofing, process research, etc. Nothing concrete to talk about (of course, there’s a great deal which doesn’t get discussed until games hit shelves) but just touching on all aspects of writing across the company. The interesting part of this being that I am actually in the office for this role, which is a change of pace and environment.

Also relevant to me (but not writing, since I mainly read when I do this) is the upcoming camping trip we have in the San Bernardino National Forest. We’re all looking forward to it. It’ll be our last trip before the kids are officially “school age”—Ash hits school in early August!

What’s New, Mathew?

[TL;DR clickthrough]

Glad you asked, Mathew. I’m working on No Gods But Us.

Didn’t you start that a while ago?

Yes, for NaNoWriMo 2015! And I wrote a few hundred tentative words of prologue!

So many?

Yep.

Impressive.

I know. But here’s the cool thing: I haven’t stopping thinking about Elegy for Halcyon Chimera since.

So, not new, but progress, at long last?

Mmm. Lots of things going on in my world right now. Very busy with adjusting to a number of things, including coming to grips with some facts regarding my most productive writing routines.

Your routines?

Right, the things I do while writing. I’ve been doing some introspection. It’s been helpful, to say the least. I feel good.

So, then blogging is productive?

Not in and of itself, but blogging lets people know I’m not dead. And knowing I’m around is important for my future plans. Like letting people take a peek at No Gods But Us

So, not dead, and experiencing epiphanies?

Something like that. Mainly realizing that I do my very best actual writing after I’ve clearly laid out my story.

You need to avoid Pantsing?

For my long form work, absolutely. But I work well on shorts (like my Dire Calls series) when I’ve got some solid outlining done as well. The works I’ve done the best with have all been as a Plotter.

Doesn’t that strike you as weird though? I mean, your personality…

Yeah. I don’t strike me as a Plotter either. Why do you think it’s been so difficult for me to come to grips with? All the improv leanings in the world apparently don’t make for a Pantser born…

But I’ve seen your Pantsing work…it’s pretty good stuff, if we do say so ourselves.

Thanks, me. But you see, while the story comes out when I go full Pantser, it’s not got the precision I need. Plus, it gets worse the longer a work is. So for an epic like Elegy for Halcyon Chimera…yikes.

Fix it in post!

Ha.

But isn’t that what rewrites and editing are all about?

Yes. Absolutely. You can pick through the raw material, the first draft, and you can tie everything together. But I’ve found that I don’t do that. I don’t work well untangling the threads when they’re just thrown out there in the first place. So things aren’t sharp.

But that stream-of-consciousness stuff is good…

Yes, absolutely! But I’ve figured out that I can still benefit from my strength there in two ways, while maintaining that Plotter framework: 1) by brainstorming a hell of a lot during the very first stages of story generation, long before I even know what the story is really about; and 2) by understanding what I’m doing across the entire arc of a story, down to the scene-by-scene goals, and allowing myself to rapidly progress through those beats, scenes, and chapters by hitting waypoints.

Huh. Seems you’ve thought on this a lot.

Yep. Meditated on it, you might say.

(Me means napping, I’m sure of it.) *cough* So why are you here?

I told…

Yeah, yeah. Not dead. I meant why are you still here? Wrap it up! You’ve got to go Plot.

Right. Ok, so:

  • I’m not dead.
  • I’m working on No Gods But Us—and the rest of Elegy for Halcyon Chimera as well.
  • If you’re interested in some of what I’m working with during this process, you can check out Story Grid.
  • More interesting stuff (sneak peek, like) is coming as soon as I get into the actual words-on-the-page writing process.

And the other thing…

Ah, right. I have something big planned that I’ll need your (readers and fellow authors alike) help with, so please, keep it in the back of your mind that there’s something on the horizon!

Outta here, you.

I’m going! Back to the Plotting! Updates coming soon!

Do You Even Tumbl, Bro?

Not a huge announcement, and not one I’m going to be hammering on to get traffic to, but if you do actually use tumblr, I’ve just converted my longstanding (since 2012) but dormant tumblr blog into a mirror of MathewReuther.com. It’s possible to do all the normal tumblr goodness over there, and it even has disqus comments installed. (Though, sadly, it’s not possible to sync the comments between the ones made here and those posted on the tumblr blog.) I really only lurk on tumblr on occasion, so there’s not likely to be a lot of reblogging or the like—just a straight-up mirror of the content you’re already getting here.

So, if you for whatever reason prefer reading on tumblr, or feel like sharing my entries around tumblr as a specific social site, now you can.

I Updated The Site, Because It’s What I Shouldn’t Have Been Doing

When in doubt, procrastinate. That’s how you write novels, you know…

So, with NaNoWriMo 2015 here and too little prep done, I spent a couple of days searching for the quintessence of the story I was going to write. Both in the sense of the overarching series, as well as what the first step (book) needs to be.

And, as you may notice (at the time of this writing) there’s a progress bar up on the sidebar which proudly declares that I have written 48/50000 words on No Gods But Us, the first part of Elegy for Halcyon Chimera. (This is what I’ve done with the setting I referred to as The Scape in my last post.) [Mathew: as I’m still getting used to the series and book titles, I erroneously referred to the series as Elegy of Halcyon Chimera in the initial version of this post.]

In fact, that little piece of code is what got me into trouble in the first place. It’s what opened up the rabbit hole of web development and sucked me in. I’m only emerging three days later. Tired, cranky, disgruntled…but with a site that, at the very least, has a couple of new or improved pieces. (One of which is the post notification subscription over on the sidebar that you can use if you want email notifications each time there’s a new blog update.)

What’s next?

Write the damned novel.