Status Report and Current Projects 6/15/08

For the past few weeks there haven’t been any of those “Writing Journal” posts listing what (and how much) I’ve been writing. The reason for that is that I haven’t been writing much of anything. I’ve been on the road for the last four weeks (Stamford, Baton Rouge, Chicago) and even this week will be spent partially in Oak Ridge, TN. This type of bullshit travel schedule isn’t very conducive to writing, and so I haven’t been doing anything beyond the bare-minimum required to keep “Court of the Abominatrix” on schedule: a measly 1500 words a week.

That’s hardly worth making a special blog post about, so I said to hell with that whole thing.

But there are a few things that need to be mentioned and/or explained:

Earlier, I announced that there would be some kind of update every week. Not too long after that, I started “Court…” which, by definition, would be THREE updates a week. Did I have this in mind when I made the weekly update announcement? Yup. Do I count CotA as my weekly update? Yup. Is that really fair? Well… yeah, it is. I know some people were looking forward to longer stuff and more frequent chapters of “In Deed” (and perhaps the return of older stories), but that’s a bit much for somebody who’s “50% Travel” job is actually more like 85% lately. As far as I’m concerned, I’m keeping my promise.


Things I will be working on the near future:
This week I plan on getting ahead on “Court of the Abominatrix” and getting a few thousand words written on the July bonus story. I used to have a one week “reserve” on CotA. I got lazy one week, and now that’s gone. I need it back, and I also don’t want to be in a rush to writing the July bonus story in the last few days of this month. I shouldn’t have any trouble making some serious headway on both of those this week.

Yes, I know I’m overdue for “In Deed,” and that will probably be the next thing I work on after those two things. There’s no date on it yet, but I wouldn’t look for it before July. You’ll certainly see it IN July… sooner is better, obviously.

Other things:
Right now, I consider both the monthly bonus stories and the CotA experiment to be moderate successes. Actually, I’m really excited about CotA, and I’m already looking forward to the next story that I’m going to tell in that format. There’s even a (small) chance that I may start a second micro-chapter story to update on Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday. I’m giving the idea some thought; no decision has been made. Donations are at around three a month, which I consider great given the amount of traffic I’ve got. If anyone has any ideas on how I can get MORE traffic, fire ’em at me because that’s what I need right now. I figured the introduction of frequent updates would bring in more visitors, but it hasn’t happened yet. Probably too soon.

That’s all that’s on my mind right now. I hope you’re enjoying the stories. Feedback (with and without donations) are appreciated.


  1. nate, June 16, 2008:

    I’m enjoying everything I read. COTA is shaping up well, and I look forward to each new installment. Sometimes I think it’s a shame you can’t apply the same scheduling to the Crusade, as I’d love to see that series continue. I guess the shorter updates would’t really work with that one though.

    As much as I like to read your stories, if you’re spending that much time on the road you’d better spend most of your time at home with your wife. In the long run, she’s much more important than we are.

  2. DarkIcon, June 17, 2008:

    “Sometimes I think it’s a shame you can’t apply the same scheduling to the Crusade”

    It could be done. Hell, it could be done with any of the old projects. I’ve thought of it, but I assumed that most people are so accustomed to seeing those things in longer, more in-depth chapters that they wouldn’t want to see them in a short format, even if the stories themselves remained just as long.

    But then again, that WAS an assumption, and you know what people say about those.

    It’s odd that you mentioned Crusade, though. The CotA story is an old one that I just never bothered writing until now, but a while back I did adapt it to take place in the Crusade universe featuring Donovan and Sebastian instead of the characters that you have now. I un-adapted it for this experiment.

    “you’d better spend most of your time at home with your wife”

    Hey nate you might want to change your password, I think my wife hacked your account.

  3. udgang99, June 19, 2008:

    I think I can tell you right here and right now why you aren’t getting more visitors … who knows about it?!? Noone except us regulars.

    The number one thing I would advice you to do is: Get a new website!!! Yes, that’s actually the first step I think you need. Your index page has a nice gloomy feel to it, but it is as anti-userfriendly as they come! What would best suite your needs, if you really DO want more visitors, is have your index a big “warm” welcomepage, where you explain what the hell it is you are doing here – AND that you are providing updates three times a week! -THAT is your salespitch right there: regular on schedule updates!
    I could go on, but I think you may get my point.

  4. DarkIcon, June 19, 2008:

    Actually, my stats tell me that the main index page is doing its job just fine. Just over half of the people who come there click a link. Half of those who click are going to the Library, and the others are going to either the Crusade, this blog, or the Book of Dark Places website. Nobody goes to the Asylum Walls… which is fine with me, I just think it’s strange considering that’s the most obvious link on the page. A few tweaks like what you mentioned will get a larger percentage of people clicking through from the main page into the other pages… but a larger percentage of a tiny, tiny number isn’t really going to do me much good. The only thing I’d consider changing on the main page in the short term is making the “Library” link stay lit, and adding some kind of text at the bottom. Beyond that, I think it’s fine the way it is.

    Oddly enough (or perhaps not) the VAST majority of the people who come to my site are looking for the H.P. Lovecraft Random Story generator, which has bazillions of links all over the internet pointing to it. They never see the main page at all and almost never find their way to any other part of the site. THAT’S the page that needs work to help capture all that traffic.

  5. udgang99, June 19, 2008:

    But DI, that means that HALF of your potential readers go away without even entering the site!!! That’s BAD business!!!

    Does your stats tell you how long they stay, after they have entered the Library, or any of the other places? And do they maneuver from category to category, or do they leave again after having been to just one place?

    If the HP Lovecraft is they most popular thing on your site, then by God you have to take advantage of that!!! Make a bigass banner, or whatever, on that page, letting people know what else is going on!
    Remember the salespitch: three weekly updates!!!

  6. DarkIcon, June 19, 2008:

    Oh, I see.
    Perhaps I should change it to something like this then.

  7. udgang99, June 19, 2008:

    Yeah … that’s exactly what I mean … *sigh* ;-)

  8. Kragon, June 19, 2008:

    HA! Nice Di….Nice….

  9. nate, June 19, 2008:

    Back to my comments about Crusade. I for one would be really interested in seeing 3x/week updates on it’s current story line, even if they’re only 500 words or so. Crusade was/is one of your best works.

    I don’t know if another December story would work as well in that format. Magekiller maybe, but not sure about December.

  10. DarkIcon, June 19, 2008:

    noted, nate.

  11. Kragon, June 20, 2008:

    You know, as much as I would LOVE to see the Crusade come back. Cutting it down to 500 words increments this late in the series, I feel, would take something away from the the story. It just wouldn’t feel right…

    That’s just my opinion on it. It’s kinda like taking a book and turning it into a movie. It’s not really the same and important things are missing in the plot, ya know. That just my two cents on that idea.

  12. DarkIcon, June 20, 2008:

    That pretty much sums up my reservations on the matter too, Kragon. It’s not that I can’t do it or that I can’t make it good… it’s that everybody (including me) has grown accustomed to seeing it in a certain format, and a change to that would be very jarring… perhaps too jarring to stomach. This isn’t to say that I’ll never try it… but it won’t be in the near future. Meanwhile, there are lots of other stories to tell.

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