Hello everyone! It’s been a while since you last heard from me; exactly two months, coincidentally! That’s exactly one month later than I expected to be updating you, but between holidays and progress on Volume 5, it seems I lost track of time. Apologies! Every time I sat down and thought to myself, “Hey, self, you should write a blog post to update everyone!”, I would then think, “I could do that, but I could also just keep writing Volume 5!”. And then I would do that instead. That’s enough excuses, though! Without further ado, let’s get into the updates.
Easiest things first! As of tonight, I now have 104,500 words written in the draft for Restart Again: Volume 5. I silently passed the 100,000 word mark last weekend, and while I considered writing a blog post just to commemorate that, it seemed like a slightly arbitrary thing to celebrate on its own. The number is so beautifully round and even, but it otherwise means very little in terms of the progress of the book: Volume 1 never crossed that threshold, and Volume 4 more than doubled it. If I had to guess, I would say Volume 5 will end up somewhere around 150-160K words, but I’ve learned by now that I’m very bad at that sort of estimation; I’m comfortable saying the novel is definitely over half-written plot-wise, but that’s as far as I’ll guess.
The pace of my writing was a bit slow over this past two-month span (about 12K a month), but that time also includes another 50,000 words of line edits completed! I believe I had somewhere just south of 500 notes to go through, but with that out of the way now, it’s less time for post-processing at the publishing end. There will be a final pass when the whole draft is completed, but now it can be focused on big picture stuff instead of my dumb grammar mistakes. Progress is progress!
Having just now re-read my previous blog post, I threatened you all with another rant about some random writing topic that had been bothering me in late November. It took me a few minutes of thinking before I could even remember what that topic was, and the impassioned words have left me now, but I’ll at least mention what the idea was. Because of the adaptation work for Volume 1 (update on that next!), I was going through a lot of my old writing, and boy howdy did it make me cringe! I don’t feel particularly different now in 2023 than I did when I was writing back in 2019, but I have most assuredly become a better writer over that time. Or, at least, I really hope I have. It’s a bit frustrating that my first foray into writing also serves as the introduction to the series, which I feel becomes quite a bit better by the time you hit Volume 3; Volume 2 was somewhere around 75% finished by the time Volume 1 was fully edited and published, so those two novels sort of blend together in terms of my learning curve.
I feel as though I’ve mentioned this in my blogs of yesteryear, but there’s an anecdote from “Indie Game: The Movie” that has stuck with me since I watched it back in college over a decade ago (goodness I’m old now). The wonderful indie game Fez had a particularly protracted development, in large part because it was developed mainly by one man, Phil Fish. In an interview, he said that a big part of the delay was that he naturally became much better at programming, artwork, and other aspects of development while he worked, so much so that he consistently had to go back and completely re-do earlier sections of the game in his new, better style. For some reason, I’ve always held that story in my head as a cautionary tale. Knowing my own personality, Restart Again would NEVER have been released if I’d continually gone back and tried to tweak it during development, and I’m very thankful that I’ve continued to look forward instead of backwards. Still, I do hope to someday go back and touch up Volumes 1&2, but only after the entire series is published. Those two books would most certainly be combined into a single volume, and it would be nice to sharpen up some of my oldest foreshadowing with my new knowledge of where things go.
With my mini-rant over, one final update remains, and unfortunately, it isn’t good news. Until further notice, consider the comic adaptation project on an indefinite hiatus. It’s not for a lack of passion; forces beyond the control of everyone involved in the project have sadly paused production. I’ve always been rather vague about these updates, so I’m leaving this one rather vague as well, for which I apologize. I have seen multiple chapters of Volume 1 already completed in comic form throughout this production, and they are beautiful and fantastic and I hope you all get a chance to see them someday. Should I get the news that production has resumed, I most likely will NOT be informing you all here. If you ever see an update about this project from me in the future, it will either be a release date or an official cancellation (which this is not!). Let’s hope for some good news!
That’s all I have for you for now. A bit of a downer at the end, I know, but in spite of that, I’ve actually been feeling more invigorated by my writing lately than I have for a long time! Exciting plot threads are being picked up and old lore is finally being explained. I can’t wait for you all to read it! My next update will come in a more timely manner, as we have a very exciting anniversary coming up at the end of next month. (Note to my future self: Talk about Royal Road in that one!). Until then, stay safe out there, and as always, thanks for reading!