Status Update: Newshound Progress, Short Stories, SCP Wiki

I keep telling myself that I’m going to use this site more often, and then 4 months go by without me even looking at it. Writing up long-form blog posts is hard when you’ve got ADHD and Twitter. Still, I want to try and cover what I’ve been working on these last few months and my plans for the next couple months.

Newshound

First up, Newshound. Back in June I put out a call for beta readers in the overly optimistic assumption that A) enough people read this site for that to be a useful method of recruiting and 2) that the manuscript version I was on at the time was close to the “final” form. Both of those proved to be incorrect.

Some background on the evolution and progression of Newshound. I’ve been working on and off on various story ideas for many years now, although most of it remains unfinished or unpublished at this time. (There are a number of reasons for this, but I don’t want to get into those right now.) Many of the characters and concepts in Newshound date back as far as 2014, albeit in very different forms, and with different ideas of what the final product would be: novel, web comic, RPG, web serial, novel again, etc… These projects tended to go through working titles as the overall plot and direction changed, while recycling characters and other details and then tweaking them to fit the new direction. In this way, the central cast began to evolve independently of the stories I was trying to tell with them, until they reached their current forms.

The first iteration on this cycle to be called Newshound was the web serial that I began in 2017, which I abandoned for reasons that are now well documented. I took a year off to work on other projects, and then I started seriously thinking about rebooting (for lack of a better term) the project again. This New Newshound is the one talked about in the previous blog post. It shares a number of characters with the web serial (although of course their characterization has evolved), but the setting and plot have been changed and refined.

Within the New Newshound, there are, currently six different “takes” that I’ve gone through, all using the same setting and characters but with slightly different plots or presentation. The first four takes all focused on the same general plot (gubernatorial election, werewolf politics, etc…) but approached it from different directions. Usually, I would write until I got unhappy with the current direction, then just start a new take using a different opening chapter while recycling a large amount of the previous iteration.

When I posted back in June, I was on the third take and felt reasonably confident in it at the time — I still do, in fact, although I have since decided that it’s not the best entry point for the world of Newshound. Hence the fifth and sixth takes, which move the story start back in time a few months and refocus the plot onto some of the immediately preceding events: ongoing litigation over anti-werewolf policies, and an investigation into a potential vampire conspiracy. I personally think that this provides a much better introduction for the characters and setting, and I’m a lot happier with the way this iteration is currently unfolding. I’ve been working on it in fits and starts as I have time — about a thousand words a week, although I think I can improve on that — and I’m absolutely not going to start over again. This one is it. I swear.

(The previous takes aren’t going to be discarded either. Assuming everything goes to plan, I intend to use them as the basis of a sequel; with the way the current manuscript is going, this will only require a little bit of revising to accomplish. And all writing is productive, because it’s practice at writing, so it’s not like that was wasted time or effort.)

Short Stories

In addition to Newshound, which is my current Big Project, I am also working on a number of different short stories that I hope to publish. One of these is already finished and is being shopped around, and the rest are at various stages of conception to completion: one is about 70% done and needs me to just flesh out the last 1000 words or so when I finally get the motivation for it again, another one is in the early drafting stages and might be done next month or next year, and a third one is my current “main side project” which I hope to have done by the end of the month. This third one is set in the same universe as Newshound, but focuses on different characters and a different time period, and is being written in response to a specific call for submissions. Assuming I can actually finish it (and it gets accepted), you might actually see it sometime next year.

Sorry for being so vague on these, but I don’t really want to give away too many plot details online. Will continue to update on these as they progress.

SCP Wiki

God, this one. So, I currently have two different unfinished tale series right now. The Phoenix, The Nightingale, & The Magpies and Unusual Investigations — Quid Pro Quo are both waiting on their final installments, and have been for some months now. Real sorry about that all, but SCP stuff tends to be the first thing sidelined when I have other projects to work on. The final tale of PNM is actually almost finished — there are perhaps 500 words left to write for it — and will probably be out before the end of the year. The final tale of QPQ is also partially completed, and has been for about a year now, it’s just been a low priority for me given my other commitments. And, in the event of my untimely demise, there are detailed outlines available that my collaborators in the Third Law Canon can use to complete them if necessary — although I dearly hope that won’t come up.

I have plans for some additional SCP projects that I want to tackle eventually, but as with all SCP related stuff, they’re sort of on the backburner while I work on things that I might actually get paid for. There is definitely an end state in mind for the Third Law Canon, although it will probably take us several more years to reach it.

Now, I’ve been writing this while procrastinating on writing a paper for a college class, so that’s where I’m going to leave things for now. I will try to post more frequently here in the near future, because if I’m going to pay for this domain name I might as well use it.

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