AP2 Update: March 2024 ( Also: Unicorn Overlord and Superman)

Chapter 25, Draft 4: DONE.

Now let us bow our heads in silence as a tribute for Akira Toriyama, the creator of Dragon Ball. He died on March 1st. I loved his works, and some of my own writing is inspired by him.

So this chapter is for you, man! It will be a thrilling battle for survival between enemies, friends, and rivals! And yes, this intro counts as being silent because I’m writing instead of speaking aloud. Here is the vague spoiler-free poem that describes the chapter:

Adversaries clash, as well as good buddies;

Peers will rumble and ward off monstrosities.

It’s an epic brawl worthy of Dragon Ball Z;

Akira Toriyama: this chapter’s for thee.

Continue reading

AP 2 Update: February 2024 (Also Borderlands Trailer and P5Tactica)

Chapter 24, Draft 1: DONE.

Yep, not draft 4 like usual; I wrote this bad boy from scratch. And while I did use ideas from later on in the book, (I moved them up a bit) I didn’t just copy/paste from the later chapters.

And why did I do this? It’s because Kim knew that my characters needed to work harder to figure out the ultimate mystery of the book.

See, back in draft 3 the villain just kind of tells everyone: “Here’s the secret you all missed! Wow, you’re all really stupid for not figuring out anything yourselves! It’s almost as if the writer didn’t leave any clues for you to find!” 😅

Yes, I was weak on clues. Kim told me that the heroes don’t have to figure out EVERYthing, but they should at least meet the villain half-way.

I agreed, so that’s what I’ve been setting up: clues; protagonists catching on; and finally confronting the villain.

And this month I wrote so much for the ‘confronting the villain’ part that it became enough to make a new chapter on its own. 😅

It all turned out great, though. Here’s the usual vague poem. Hm, maybe that needs a headline too.

VAGUE POEM:

A piercing denied; a piercing complete.

Flee while you can; chasing friends you can’t meet.

Though the flag’s been brought down and the prizes now claimed,

It is only now that we can start the true game. Continue reading

AP2 Update: January 2024 (Persona 5 Tactica/Cyberpunk 2077/Mega Man Battle Network)

Chapter 23, Draft 4: DONE.

Yeah, that’s how I should start these blog entries. Just hit you in the face with the chapter in bold followed by the status of DONE, BABY!

Funny thing back when I wrote draft 3: even though it’s the start of the book’s finale, I tossed out all of draft two and rewrote everything. It was almost a fit of madness. Because at this point Kim had read most of the book, her criticisms were mounting, and I was being driven to despair over the sheer amount of work that needed to be done. (Work that I have now completed.) But at the time it seemed like so much.

So all my feelings were UNLEASHED in this chapter. I put myself in the place of the protagonist and struggled against a seemingly-unwinnable situation! 😤

And here’s the summary of the chapter, in poem form!

Continue reading

AP2 Update: December 2023 (Live Action Yu Yu)

I just finished chapter 22 of the 4th draft of Abandonment Party 2. This one has the final bit of set-up as we head to the finale of the book.

Such tension! Oooooh what’s gonna happen!? Speaking of: I actually put in some OUTRAGOUS levels of tension in draft 3 of this chapter, just to test Kim when she read it. To see how far I could go before the reader stopped ‘suspending their disbelief’ as they say. Continue reading

AP2 Update: November 2023 (Chapter 21 and Brad’s Secret Video Hoard)

The 4th draft of chapter 21 is complete. Here’s what happens, in vague poem form:

Fine treats are doled out to the littlest chum;

Even those that have failed soon receive some.

Though one treat is squeezed in a frustrated hand;

The best treat of all is the grasp of a plan.

Mm, sounds like a juicy chapter. With the help of Kim’s notes, I had four main goals to achieve here. Let’s go over them. Continue reading

AP2 Update: October 2023

Jump, jump: the dreamer’s awake;

Fall, fall: quite a risk that you make.

Three remain in the game and the dame’s set to get maimed.

Stay, stay: it’s the stance that you take.

Okay! Done with chapter 20. Book two, draft four in case you need a reminder.

Kim had requested some changes in the first half, and those have gone well. I was able to come up with some surprising solutions to a couple of problems I was having.

I erased a great deal from the middle of this chapter. The erased portions added little to the story. I replaced it with all-new content that helps set up the finale.

The end of the chapter was what Kim liked the most. I cleaned it up and steeled myself for what happens next:

You see, there is a cliffhanger at the end of the chapter. And Kim felt that the resolution in chapter 21 flopped. 😑

I’m usually angry or annoyed whenever Kim says something like that. At first, anyway. But my tune changes when I think about what I need to do and, eventually, when I solve the problem and come up with something amazing.

And I remember that I wouldn’t have come up with that amazing thing if Kim had gone easy on me. If she had just said “It’s fine; whatever.”

But enough about that. Let’s have some more fun with the AI generation site.

First, I typed in the poem that I wrote up there at the top of the blog post:

Interesting interpretation. A one-legged woman jumping, falling, and staying all at the same time. It’s even Halloween in the background. Happy Halloween, by the way.

Next I am going to describe a character from THIS chapter. Yes, a new character that only a few other people in the world know about! Are you ready?

Wow, cool! Just about everything is wrong, as usual. The hair is almost right. And there’s no hovering drone. Sorry, I guess this isn’t exciting for you unless you have the description. Let’s do something else. What character haven’t I done from the first book? Dring?

A bony teen with hexagonal sunglasses. His hair is short with a rat tail in the back. He’s sitting in an office littered with empty water bottles.

Haha,ha what? Does the AI not know what a hexagon is? Let me change the art style. That was ‘comic book.’ Let’s try ‘cyberpunk.’

Okay, better. Now the water bottles are on the monitor he’s watching? I guess that could be his desktop picture. Whoa, there’s a manga style now? I gotta check that out.

Now we’re back to the blue shirt and grey hair. And everything else but the face is just turning into more of a mess, ha,ha,ha. Dring is lost in his own little world now. Water bottles piling up, the monitor floating around, and the hexagons exist everywhere BUT his sunglasses.

Ah well, I’ll see you next time!

AP2 Update: September 2023

Time to update everyone with my progress on chapter 19 of the 4th draft of Abandonment Party 2! And, oh my, did Kim have problems with this one. In her notes she said I was trying to get too creative and artsy, and I might have hurt the story in my efforts to push the envelope.

I won’t tell you exactly how the chapter goes, but imagine something like this: Mean and her friends have received a vital clue about the destruction of the world. They are searching for a long-lost character that has important details. As the chapter begins I describe the location in exquisite detail. The characters discuss their surroundings with awe and excitement. Where is this person? What secrets will they learn? Continue reading

AP2 Update: August 2023; Making my Book Characters in AI!

Now I’m working on the 4th draft of chapter 18. It’s pretty short and it revisits a book one location, but with a twist. Did I do that already? I can’t remember.

Here’s the poem that describes it:

An invitation from a girl that’s been ignored.

A trip to a pristine house, quite adored.

Once-rivals meet while a question’s unspoken:

Is it fair to keep my world, while allowing yours to be broken?

—–

I’m still having trouble finding people to illustrate my next book cover. I’d also like pictures of my characters for the bios section on this site. My friend Matt told me about AI illustrations that are generated on websites. And I can even use them for free! Could my problems be solved!?

The site I found is called ‘Stable Diffusion.’ It has a space to type positive prompts, for the stuff you want; and a place to type negative prompts, for the stuff you do not want.

So let us begin with Officer Mackaba! He’s the early antagonist that chases Mean around the abandoned Hardpan City. I’ll put the positive prompts in italics for your viewing pleasure, followed by the resulting picture. Continue reading

AP2 Update: July 2023 (The Titanic book and Renegade by Styx.)

Okay, now I’m on the 4th draft of chapter 17! It’s an event that you’ll KNOW is going to happen from early on in the book, you’re going to WANT it to happen, and it’s my job to make it as satisfying as possible. Here’s the preview:

The wilted bloom takes the stage at last;

her presence and strength bound to the past.

How best to cultivate this flower?

Apply pressure! Truth! Swell with power! Continue reading

AP2 Update: June 2023

I’m currently working on the 4th draft of chapter 16. There is quite a bit of pointless drama to cut out this time. It’s mostly romance between characters and explicit displays of affection. You know, the kind of stuff people hate reading about. Kim told me it was all unnecessary, so it’s gone now. Whew! Close one.

But I couldn’t just leave it at that. I replaced the cut scenes with the kind of drama that everyone loves: character-driven emotional outbursts! I really like this one. And remember: I wouldn’t add something unless I thought it was an improvement over what I cut out. But… I can’t go into detail without spoilers.

So as usual, here’s another vague poem to describe chapter 16: Continue reading