General Status Update — March 2020

I continue to be really bad about regularly posting here.

In actual news, I have finally finished A Thorne Is Born, the ninth and final installment in The Phoenix, The Nightingale, and The Magpies. That was posted last week. I’ve got a bunch of different SCP things in progress or planned, none of which I will commit to right now because I have learned my damn lesson.

I also have a podcast now! Myself and several of my friends and frequent collaborators have gotten together to do a role-playing campaign set in Three Portlands, which I’ve been recording, editing, and posting as an actual play podcast. Because we all needed another one of those. This is almost entirely a trick I’m playing on my own brain to force myself into accountability, but it is also occasionally funny, so feel free to check it out. You can follow it on our hub on the SCP Wiki (here) or on our page over at our hosting provider RedCircle (here). Or on whatever app you get your podcasts on, most likely.

Work on Newshound continues in fits and starts, but the overall manuscript is up to about 20,000 words and I’ve finished the first section. It’s difficult to gauge my progress because it’s something that I don’t keep as a constant focus — if I dedicated myself to writing at least 1000 words a week, I could absolutely do it, but it would come at the expense of something else. Right now, I have a bunch of senior-level physics courses occupying a good chunk of my time, so long-term projects like a novel are getting less of my attention.

The New Newshound

It’s been a while. I’m really bad at using this blog. (Don’t ask about the football thing.)

Some of y’all might remember Newshound, that web serial I was working on a couple years ago now. I took an extended hiatus from it because I wasn’t satisfied with where the story was going and I decided that I didn’t want to finish it as a web serial because I’d rather like to get paid for writing stuff someday. So I let it fester at the back of my mind while I did other stuff, and gradually, a new, arguably better version began to take shape.

So, if you’re unfamiliar with the original serial or just want to know what’s changed, here’s the conceit for Newshound now: In the year 1982 in a world not quite unlike ours, Heather Stone is a werewolf journalist working for the Phoenix Sentinel. The A-plot is nominally about Heather covering the upcoming Arizona gubernatorial election, but this is interwoven with various threads about her conflict with the local werewolf pack, her relationship with her girlfriend, and her ongoing struggle to deal with her own lycanthropy. Spliced in-between the narrative chapters are excerpts from various in-universe documents to provide Stand On Zanzibar style context worldbuilding.

Anyways, with the full novel completely outlined at this point and the first 10,000 words or so done, I’ve reached a point where I want to start looking for more beta readers. I have a couple people who’ve been looking at drafts and been looped in on my brainstorming sessions for a while now, but what I really need is fresh eyeballs who haven’t been privy to every single one of my thoughts and plans for the direction of this story.

A couple things to note:

  • These are going to be extremely rough drafts for a while. I don’t have an exact idea for how long this is going to run, but it’ll probably be at least 60,000 words, and I’ll be revising the whole time.
  • I will intentionally be trying to keep you in the dark about my plans because I want to get feedback on the text itself. I might present drafts with a list of questions that I want specific feedback on, but I’ll typically be looking for general impressions.
  • One specific piece of feedback I’m always looking for is whether specific plot points or world details are clearly and properly explained. If there’s something you have a question about, I want to know. It might be that it’s something that needs to be clarified further in-text.
  • I do not have any fixed writing schedule and no real deadline for when this is gonna be done. I write when I can and new drafts will be made available when I feel like it.
  • This should hopefully not need to be said, but just in case it does: Don’t share drafts. If I share a draft with you for review, I expect it to stay with you.

Anyways, if you’re interested in being a beta reader, leave a comment down below or on Twitter. I’ll mainly be distributing drafts by email or by Twitter DM — if you have a different way you’d like to receive drafts, indicate so in your comment. Do note that just because you indicate interest in being a beta reader does not mean you’ll be one; existing online acquaintances and people who followed the original Newshound serial are more likely to be chosen.