Sunday, May 8, 2022

Plugging Away

As of a month ago I'm now working again on a part-time basis (three days a week). In January I walked away from a position I'd held for over 20 years because I was feeling extremely burned out and over-worked, and took about two months off before starting this new position (which happily pays about the same for 3 days a week as I was earning at the other place working full-time. I had worried that going back to work even part-time would take me away from writing, but I'm happy to report that it has actually done the opposite - the discipline of knowing that I have to cram all of my creative work into the four non-work days (but that I also have those four days available for creative work) has energized me and cleared away a lot of the ennui and procrastination that had kept me from doing much substantive writing (as opposed to low-effort social media posts) during my ostensible break time.

Within those last few weeks I've written about 16,000 words of new adventure material (a bit more than the total word count of "Melonath Falls," which was just under 15K words) detailing 76 rooms across 3 levels of a planned 6 level ~140 room dungeon and am not feeling burned out or blocked - I've got a pretty solid outline of what will be on the remaining 3 levels (and have drawn preliminary maps - one thing I did get accomplished before I went back to work) and feel like I can keep my momentum going and actually get this thing wrapped up. 

It's part of the same setting as Melonath Falls and is a prequel of sorts (since it's intended for 1st-4th level characters instead of 3rd-6th), both based on an ambitious outline I wrote several years ago. It's written in the same style so those who didn't like the first one aren't likely to like this one much either, but I'm pretty happy with what I've got so far and hope that those who did like Melonath Falls will feel this is of-a-piece with it (and hopefully superior, given its larger scope and at least theoretical additional lessons learned based on how the last one was received). I'm very eager to get it in front of some players to see how they'll be able to deal with it, and whether or not I've totally overestimated the capability of  1st-2nd level characters (or possibly underestimated it, but that seems less likely). Writing all this stuff and being excited about it but not being able to share with anyone yet is frustrating! 

The ultimate plan is that once this dungeon is done it, Melonath Falls, some town and outdoor material I wrote a few years ago, and a couple more sections still to be written, will all be combined and published together as a single volume, likely somewhere around 120 pages in length, which can be run as a low-level "campaign in a box" taking characters from 1st to 6th (+) level over a couple dozen sessions, or can be pulled apart and used in bits and pieces as each individual purchaser sees fit. I don't have an ETA on when this will happen yet because I've still got an estimated one-third or so of the thing still to write (and the not-inconsiderable challenge of procuring professional quality maps, art, and ideally a second set of editorial eyes) but with the progress I've made in the last few weeks it definitely feels like things are moving and the end is a lot more realistically in sight than it was before. Stay tuned!

9 comments:

  1. Awesome! Glad to hear the muse has been calling

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  2. Was the Gemstone River reference in “Melonath Falls” a nod to the Jewel River in Celene?

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    1. Any resemblance between anything I've written and non-OGC third party IP is of course entirely coincidental. That said, in this upcoming book you'll learn details of the town of Warnell located near the junction of the Tanglewood Forest and the Whither Woods, through which flows the Gemstone River that marks the boundary between the Free Shore and the elvish realm of Lunaire. That some readers may choose to substitute those for equivalent locations in another setting would be entirely on their own initiative with no encouragement from me ;)

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  3. Excellent news! Looking forward to these. -- Melan (Unable to get in due to this new login system?)

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    1. I can no longer log in on my phone (using any browser) or on my laptop using anything but Chrome. Thanks, Google!

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    2. Yes, it seems like Chrome is the only one accepted right now (I am using Brave, and occasionally Edge when that does not work). Thanks Google, indeed!

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  4. Best of luck. Hope you writing streak continues.

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    1. Thanks! Was mostly busy with other stuff the last couple weekends so didn't as much writing done as I'd have liked to (only about 2,000 new words) but was able to do some map-revisions and outlining that has hopefully set me up to make faster progress when I pick it back up next week. I've still got about 45 rooms to go in this dungeon but I know what will be in almost all of them :)

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