Category Archives: Ahern Would Say I’m Whining

A new chapter is almost ready for the editing gang : Some words on updates

I’m about 14k into the next chapter, and 6k for the chapter after that. If all goes well I should get the next chapter to the Editing Gang on May 4 towards the evening.

Today someone PM’d me and asked why the first two books only took three years for 1.2 million words when the third has taken four years for half that much.

Given that I’ve gone for months and months without an update, I think it’s fair to kind of go over whats been happening and why. This is a long rambling post, so you don’t have to read unless you’re actually interested.

The Early Years (OSABC, Mother’s Tears, the original STG files)

So, back when I started this entire mess, I really didn’t plan on writing three million words scattered across some fifty stories. The first couple of things were just me playing around.

At the time, I was very much trying to distract myself from my wife’s death. I was trying to throw myself into activities (writing, painting, guitar, hiking) to focus my mind, distract my emotions and let me function again after almost a year of sitting in my house and only leaving to go to work or buy food.

When I started writing I had no large plan. As I’ve said elsewhere, the whole ‘sheep and battle chicken’ thing came out of a set of nicknames, the idea of comraderie and friends for life that (at the time) I felt bitter about missing.

As such, a lot of people have commented on the disjointed, overly emotional and angsty tone of OSABC, and the depressive overtones. That’s to be expected.

My wife was dead. My brother was dead. My father was dead. My two closest friends had been blown to bits by an IED in Iraq. My cousin, the one I looked on as my heir, was diagnosed with epilepsy and couldn’t finish college. My relatives bickered over the property of dead people. My career was a wash and I had lost most of my savings, and the last bit of love I had left, my mother, had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

Go write some fucking sunshine shit when this is on your plate, and more. So I used OSABC to distract, and at times, I vented. I spewed out concepts and words and beliefs that I needed to get out before they poisoned me, even if at the time I was unaware I did it.

But more than that, OSABC chapters were often short. Some of them weren’t even two thousand words. Before I started writing I had outlined a great deal and it was easy to just fill those outlines. There was one period in which I dropped 150k words in ten days. (The DLP people can confirm.)

At some point, for some reason, people began reading, and word spread. It went from being some mangly thing with 200 reviews to having 1.5k reviews and being on the first page of FF.net results for Mass Effect fan fiction.

At this point I had just finished off OSABC and made friends with people like Bebus, Progman, Wordkrush, and jay8008, all of whom influenced how I wrote and what I wrote.


The Explosion (ATTWN, the Cerberus Files, the STG Files, and No Single Raindrop)

Due to the influence of people who could actually write, ATTWN had a much stronger emotional tone to it. Many of the critical pieces I took from conversations with Progman and Bebus, and others from Wordkrush. Things from Shepard burning her Penal Legion Blanket to the N7 Parade of Swords Passant to the honeymoon on Inte’sai — all came from the influence of others.

It was also around this time I began chafing even more at the limits of canon and more importantly, the blank spots. For such a vast universe that ME provides, we know very little. And so to distract myself further, I began to fill it.

I had to research math, cultures, physics, musical styles, biochemistry. I had to come up with histories spanning millennia, truly alien biologies, and alien mindsets that both fit canon to a degree and yet built on it in the Premiseverse way. And all this study distracted me further, because it was interesting.

If OSABC was an exploration in grandiose melodramatic storytelling, ATTWN was emotional. At times it was more draining than I expected, and other parts were difficult to write, and yet I got most of it done in a single year.

It was towards the tail end of this effort that a few of my more devoted readers had conversation chains with me, mostly via PM in FF.net. Most of them had the same complaint: I love the writing but you have a lot of typos and errors.

I attempted to make a focused effort to fix that, but work became more hectic and slowed that down.


The Current Period (TWCD, Sorrows, Memories)

When I wrote OSABC, I had outlines for everything and knew exactly what I wanted to write. When I wrote ATTWN it was just plugging things into existing frameworks, not a lot of originality was needed.

At the start of TWCD, however, I was running from whole cloth pure AU. The startup ‘tutorial’ sequence in the game never sat well with me, and in scrapping that (and tossing away the last rags of canon) I had to set out to write a story that incorporated all of the many setups and foreshadowings I had while preparing more for the later installments.

So I began to write, and at first I cranked things out fast, but the chapters felt a little.. flat. And around this time, one of the people I’d been talking to, Comma, decided it would be good to help out editing my work. The first efforts of this were done in shared Google Docs, and the chat function of Docs allowed me my first real time chats with my readers.

Their input cleaned up the work (A LOT) and also began shifting my focus. I incorporated suggestions and trimmed entire sections, sometimes tearing out entire outlines to put in a really good idea.

As time went on my job got more and more intrusive. Instead of working 9 to 5 and having from 6 to midnight to myself, I had to juggle managment, taking care of Mom, dealing with church events, and a much longer work schedule.

To help out further the Editing Gang was officially formed, and at some remove, a Discord was created…bringing us to today.


Look, LP, that’s all great but why the fuck did you go from putting out 150k in 10 days to one chapter every four or five months?

Four reasons, really.

  1. OSABC and ATTWN generally followed at least parts of canon and were outlined and partially drafted before I started putting anything on FF.net. TWCD, on the other hand, only has an outline of the ‘big events’ and is completely AU. As more material gets added, it means I have to make sure I’m not contradicting my own lore, inducing plot holes, or other such nonsense.
  2. OSABC and ATTWN were both written without a serious attempt at polish, editing, or redrafting. I just let my fingers go and then hit publish. TWCD has several drafts that I go through now: one initial rough draft, then a check for plot holes and inconsistencies, and then a draft that the Editing Gang sees and usually tears apart, sometimes so much I have to rewrite large portions of the chapter. The pre-drafts usually take a least a couple of weeks and it can take a week (or more) for the EG to all finalize their work.
  3. My personal life has gone from mostly stable to… somewhat unpleasant. I’ve had to take a demotion, my heir has turned out to be a disappointment, and my family has become intolerable. On top of that, I now have had multiple medical issues — my back can seize up and cause me pain that lays me out for days and now my wrist is causing me pain when I write. For about three months I simply couldn’t write more than a few short sentences at a time.
  4. Most importantly, writing TWCD has been a lot harder on me emotionally than the first two. Digging to find the emotional depth opened up some scars. It’s tiring, and the reason there’s so much new side material is that I enjoy writing that more than the main story sometimes.

I am glad you have all made this insane journey with me, and barring something terrible happening to my health, I plan to keep writing out my series. For the moment I’ve put my original fiction on hold (although I dabble at it from time to time) because the market is so bad right now.

I know the stories are at times… not the best. There are typos or missing words, or too much focus on the Rule of Cool. There’s a lot of angst and perhaps not enough light. I am trying to make it enjoyable and entertaining, for no other reason that I’ve had people tell me what I’ve written has gotten them through a shitty day, or inspired them to write, or helped them get past a dead relative.

If I can do that, then what started as just me trying to distract myself is a goal worth pursuing. Thanks for reading.



The GDPR and You — more shit you didn’t need to know.

I don’t give a fuck about your personal information.

I don’t believe I collect any. If I did, I guarantee I will only sell it to people not involved in the production or support of Kanye West videos.

On a more serious note, this is what I have:

  1. The website itself (which includes the forums) : I collect your username, a ‘real name’ (which can be anything), your IP (although this is not something I view or keep) and your email address. I currently only utilize the email address for the mailing list and newsletter. As far as I know, my security features (Wordfence and Akismet) ensure none of this is exposed. I certainly don’t sell it and the only time I look at your IP is in preparation for total exterminatus banhammerings, so I doubt it will matter much.
  2. Discord Chat: Discord handles all the data functions there. As far as I know they are GDPR compliant. If (how in fuck I have no clue) they are not and this becomes an issue we will look for alternatives.
  3. Google Docs: Google handles data functions for this. If you are in the Editing Gang and use Google, there’s a good chance Google is going to fuck it up. Just be aware it’s them and not me.
  4. Fanfiction.net Data: Who the fuck knows? In theory I can’t see much beyond your penname. I can see rough counts of where people are signing in from by country. Everything else is handled by FF.net.

If you have a concern regarding the GDPR and LogicalPremise.net feel free to leave me a reply here or an email. I can’t imagine anyone doing so, but I’m always prepared.

Business Travel & Personal Bullshit

I’m unfortunately traveling on business, and in an area that’s from the 1950’s or fucking something because internet is beyond shitty.

Aside from that, I’ll be back on Friday, but Monday morning I’m going to be in court due to some family complications. I haven’t had a chance to do anything with the fic, but (so far) my health is stable and I should have a chance to work on it when I get back.

There’s no telling what the Editing Gang or the Discord Group have gotten up to in my absence. If another crackfic chapter is produced I cannot be held accountable.

🙂

July Update

I’ll be brief:

  • My back has not improved, and due to some complications, surgery is … risky. I will need to wait until my vertebrae heal to have that done.
  • Until I have the surgery back pain will get worse along with possible nerve damage
  • Finances are not good enough to risk taking long leave periods and work is … unstable.

As a result, it is very unlikely that the next chapter of TWCD will be out before August. I’m sorry to have to put things off at a cliff-hanger, but that’s the facts.

The fic is on hold, not dead. Even in the extremely unlikely event that I cannot finish it I would find a writer to continue it and provide ideas and support.

(Liethr: Medical details are in the chat, Cat can tell you, I’d appreciate your opinion. )

Progress on next chapter

It’s about 10k words so far, and progress, while a bit slow, is a lot faster than on the previous chapter.

My back is not being cooperative, but I am working steadily towards getting this chapter out as soon as I can.  So far, so good.

Updates and no I am not dead

The past… weeks? Month? have been extremely bad!hectic!messy. The reorganization, several other issues at work (all of them retarded), back pain, financial issues and a lot of other stuff have derailed the update schedule completely.

The Good News: I have material ready from co-author Jacob, most of a Lions chapter, most of a tech guide update, and most of a Cerberus files thing on the batarians, as well as 4,000 words of the next chapter of TWCD.

The Not-so-Good news: My work responsibilities have become a lot more demanding, cutting down on my free time

The Bad News: I don’t know when things will let up.

 

I am taking a vacation in early April to try and decompress. I may work on the stuff then, or I may just finally rest and work on it when I get back, but it will get updated.

Some of you have donated to the Patreon. We’re currently looking for a new artist after some issues with the old one. Anyone who is interested in making money (a lot, not $5 or $10 but potentially several hundred dollars) who can do artwork is encouraged to contact me DIRECTLY at viley@att.net with your portfolio — we have art waiting to be done.

Aside from that, I’d like to also give a reminder to everyone that you should be reading Aberron’s Living an Indoctrinated Dream. 

Holding pattern

As you probably have noticed I haven’t been online much — I am sorry for not responding to emails, PM’s, reviews or the chat.

Let’s just say I am not going to be able to do any collaborations, or get any writing done, or pretty much do much of anything except work and sleep and deal with fallout for the next week at the very least.

Work is currently, ah, chaotic and details aren’t something I can go into, but things are going to be messy for another week or so. I really wouldn’t expect much from me until probably the second week of March.

Aberron: Make that two blade servers… one of which is our virtualization, cluster and authentication server. You can explain that to the chat room why I am currently, ah, occupied.

Busy at work & other stuff

I haven’t been around much (or gotten any work done on the next chapter) due to some busy stuff going on at work due to the re-org — moving offices, changing certain work schedules and on-call schedules, and longer hours.

I’m typically a ‘my company right or wrong’ kind of guy, and I’m certainly not complaining per se — but it does cut into the whole ‘time off’ thing. IT and CS should calm down next week so I hope to kick off Arc II of Lions and the backdraft explosion of the Angstrofuck of Doom by next weekend, with (hopefully) a new Lions chapter out by the end of the month at the latest.

I did (finally) get a pair of books and a set of microfilms I have been waiting on to do some more work on the tech guide and the batarians, but those are pretty low priority.

So, new chapter should be done … soonish ™

This was a really crappy week. A person I knew died, a reorg at work sent everyone into a tailspin and I spent all week working 10-11 hours a day with meetings with the brass, and my back and ankle have given me crap.

The next TWCD chapter is … sort of ready. About 80% of it is, but I’m still working on the last bits. The Editing Gang is looking over what’s completed already.

I do not have a good ETA on when it comes out. My mind is still a mess from the week and I’ve got several big structural things to think about in the coming chapters. That being said, I would hope the next one is out in the next few days or so, and the chapter beyond that in a week.

Current Status (2017 State of the Premiseverse)

Hey folks.

So, here we are in 2017. When I started there was only Abyssal Shadows and AD Lewis and Sherry E cheering me on, and my writing was… not so hot.

I’m now at the 2.5 million words mark. So, given I did not achieve my 2016 goals, where do we go from here:

  1. Medical Crap: My mother is over both cancers (both in remission for more than six months). I still have back and knee issues, although I haven’t had a flare up in a while.
  2. Financial Crap: My job still seems secure, although we just underwent an internal reorg in IT and things are still shaking out. Unfortunately, my unit is entirely focused on the Verizon account — if something bad was to happen to that I am not sure how I would end up. The Patreon donations have given me the funds to start work on the original fiction story and to pay off the artists for work being commissioned now.
  3. Personal Crap: I am continuing to deal with some family issues but I am slowly moving past those by simple expedient of ignoring the ones who think I am a bag of money to be withdrawn from. I have had some minor altercations with friends of mine who think supporting Trump or hating Trump is somehow more important than friends you’ve known for fifteen+ years, but that is fine — I rarely if ever react to such things.
  4. Mental Crap: It’s been six years since Alysha died, on the 11th of April. I’ve continued to distract myself around that time as best as I can with writing. I’m glad the Andromeda game comes out in March, as I expect my mental stability will be shit from late March to early May as it is every year.

The plan for 2017:

That Which Cannot Die: currently being worked on. I doubt the new chapter will be ready this weekend, the earliest I would expect it, given writing difficulties I am having and the Chief Editor having hospital duty, would be January 28 — and that would be for the Editing Gang to begin their work, which will probably take at least a week.

ETA to completion? Very hard to say. You will notice that my writing speed has dropped — this is due to both my work being more demanding and the fact that now I have to carefully interweave things with what I’ve already written in a dozen documents. I would guess TWCD will be done by this year — probably towards the end, as none of us is going to be writing shit for a while when Andromeda comes out.

The Cerberus Files : Humanity is nearly completed. There are only two more pieces to go over — Corporations and independent colonies.  Also an OOC chapter, but that’s easily written. The biggest delay was in figuring out how to handle the AIS and with that out of the way the rest is much easier.

It should be finalized and marked complete by no later than mid year.

The Cerberus Files : Badass Nutjobs (i.e., Special Ops) is currently being worked on. One of the Editing Gang is doing the Volus section, while I am doing the finishing touches on quarians based on the idea of another team member. That only leaves the Salarians, Hanar and (the most complicated) the section on N7’s. I already have notes on the Salarians so that shouldn’t take long and I may end up using an idea that I discarded from my original fiction for the hanar.

Not sure when it will get done though — it’s one of my projects I work on when I get writer’s block or bored.

Ahern’s Guide to Shit You Shouldn’t Be Fighting will get updated very irregularly.

The Cerberus Files : Outcasts (Batarian/Quarian/Krogan) is up for being worked on. I have the research done on most of it, it’s just sitting down and writing it. I’d like to get it done and out of the way so I can play around with other concepts.

The other Cerberus File, Separtists (Hanar/Drell/Vorcha), will be done later in the year. I don’t have most of the drell research done yet.

The Fluff Stuff (Memories, No Single Raindrop, ANN Media Report) will get updated as I get around to having ideas. Sometimes, like with Dragunov, it just hits me.

The Tech Suite (Guide to Tech, Biotic Encyclopedia) is probably NOT getting updated this year. It takes too much research to get anything done in the Tech Guide, and I’m not sure what I want to add to the Encyclopedia yet.

The Analysis Pieces (The STG Report and STG Files) are always irregular. I’ve put off finishing the Benezia Report until I’m done with the OSABC overhaul and the STG Files will come out as needed.

The crackfic Of Serendipity and Balance WILL be getting a REGULAR (i.e., not Editing Gang) update later on this year, if possible.

If at all possible, I’d probably be writing up the entire text of the Message, Sarah William’s transmitted plea to the galaxy that got the asari (well, Uressa) to stop the turian decimation of Earth. I’ve always wanted to write a story about it, but it’s both very depressing and very emotional, the kind of shit you write while listening to sad remixes of the Imperial March and having spent the past four hours reading every TV Tropes entry under Heroic Sacrifice.

As for the Naruto stuff, it might get touched this year, but probably not.

Artwork  currently lined up includes:

  • The marriage scene
  • more OC portraits (Dragunov, Ahern, Rasa, Pel, probably some of Garrus’s team)
  • Mech and Battlesuit designs
  • The three battles (Benezia vs Aethtya, Shepard vs. Okeer and Shepard/Garrus against Tetrimus
  • Maybe more.

 

What can you do to make sure the Premiseverse continues?

  1. WRITE: The main thing that drives me to do more is knowing that people get into writing (anything, not just fan fic or ME stuff) due to reading what I wrote. I will happily showcase and mention your stuff on here or on FF.net if you let me know.
  2. LEARN: I will be expanding the Links of the Now Section a lot in the coming days, as well as a bunch of links on cultural anthropology, physics, biology, and more. The main thrust of what I write is hopefully to make people think — and if possible, think critically.
  3. JOIN IN: While I certainly did not expect the chat room to be of that much interest to anyone, I’m pleased with the results and amused at the strange cross-section of people who like my work. If you have questions, use the forum or the chat room to ask and I’ll do my best to answer — you can also email or PM on FF.net.
  4. DONATE: no, not to the patreon. If you are good at art, or music, or have a specialty skill (medicine, math, and physics), or if you are a pilot or something else unusual, your opinions, experience or contributions are invaluable. I am a best a dilettante in many fields,  and true expertise is always useful. Likewise, if you are good at art and want to give your take on something, please do — the wonderful portrait of Matriarch Trellani was done by someone volunteering, as was the piece on Victor Manswell.

 

For now, assume things will continue to move forward. There are no new projects planned at this time and the only outstanding works remaining would be the Cerberus Files covering the Geth, Yahg and Collectors (which I probably won’t even do, TBH) and the possibility of the Fall of the Inusannon Empire piece which is still in vague outlines.