Progress Report: Warmaster 1.1

…And I’m back! Welcome to Outpost Dire, home to the shared Dire Universe of epic, grimdark fantasy, military sci-fi, thrillers, and more! Let’s dive right in.

It’s been a hot minute since I’ve written, but I’ve been so busy that I’ve had little time to myself anymore. But you’re not here for a discourse on my personal life, so let’s get to the stuff that matters: writing.

I am firmly entrenched in writing the sequel to The Demon’s Fate (TDF). I passed the 50k mark not too long ago. If you counted all the worldbuilding I did behind the scenes, the novel would be finished by word count alone. That said, the cast has yet to reach Celesta Six, and it’ll be a while yet.

I have a bit of mixed news on the sequel. I sent the first 11 chapters to two beta readers. One I have heard back from, and one I have not. This isn’t a strike against her, but she does tend to exaggerate certain elements. Most of the time, it’s funny and charming, and we indeed laughed about it when we spoke on a video call, but this early in the story, I find it troubling in terms of building blocks. The first beta reader isn’t thrilled with the story or the progression from the news I’ve received. I’ve had an open dialogue back and forth between the two of us to address each issue reported. It turns out they aren’t issues so much as personal preference or expectations.

What isn’t liked about the sequel: in short, the worldbuilding, the ensemble cast, and the expansion of the story. In TDF, there are two primary locations: the ship, and the planet, Celesta Six. The cast is a small group of five characters with a few minor roles once they reach the planet. There’s little to no worldbuilding as it’s not needed.

The sequel, by contrast, is like night to day. So far, there are about thirty characters mentioned, from minor roles to nonexistent, e.g., parents—not to mention the characters in the first book. This story builds upon the original in an expansive manner. It shows the vastness of the human race—or lack thereof. When faced with near-extinction and thrown into space, a little history is in order, from survival needs to the formation of their government, and all the nitty-gritty in between.

That isn’t to say I’m not throwing all advice out the window. Nor am I altering the story yet. I still have another beta reader who I haven’t heard from. As I tell those in my writing group, don’t change something just because I say to. Wait until two or three people say the same thing, then consider it.

There are also other factors to consider, like the leftover plot threads from the first book and the element of repeat. I was told, no matter what I did with this book, if I went back to the same planet as the first book, I’d just be repeating what I did. And that bothered me. When I expressed this to someone else, they said, “Take every murder mystery book out there. There’s a killer, a dead body, and a cop to solve the case, yet are all of them the same?” That answer, of course, is no. So, that makes me rest a little easier.

So, I’ll continue plodding along with this story and see where it goes. Now that I have the worldbuilding far behind me, and the crew is en route to the planet, I’m sure the writing will pick up in pace, and I’ll be able to smash this story out … if I can get my personal life to comply.

That’s it for this round, short and sweet. I shall return…

If you enjoyed this content, check out my books, The Bearer of SecretsMark of the ProfaneThe Demon’s FateThe Dark Portal, and For Heathens of Heaven on Amazon. All works are available on Kindle Unlimited, eBook, and print. Reviews can be found on Goodreads and Amazon.

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