Greysons: One Month In

It’s been one month since Greysons of Grimoire began, so here I am checking in, talking about the novel and the writing process, and hinting at what’s to come!   

I want to start this blog post off with a big thank you to everyone who’s been reading Greysons of Grimoire regularly. I’m basically nobody, with no internet presence or following, and yet, from chapter 1, Greysons of Grimoire has had regular readers with every single chapter posted. Heck, even on weekends, where I don’t post anything for two days in a row, there are people showing up and reading chapters or checking out the Glossary. And from all around the world too! There have been readers from the UK, Canada, Brazil, Spain, India, and Mexico, not to mention the United States! So thank you, very much. It’s been surprising how much support this little web novel has received in just one month.

As for this blog post, I really just wanted to do something like this once a month or so as a look at Greysons of Grimoire so far, as well as talk about my writing process, planning process, and whatever else there is to say about the story and writing it.

So, we’re one month in! After thirteen chapters, the full story is sitting at 108 pages and 41,445 words – that’s a lot! I didn’t realize I’d written so much already. That alone feels like an exciting achievement.

But then there’s also the number of chapters, and the consistent success at meeting my deadlines. I’ve struggled with self-imposed deadlines in the past – a lot – so part of the reason I started writing this as a public web novel was to give me a bit of an extra push. If I’m posting chapters publicly for people to read, and I say what my schedule is, I kind of have to meet those deadlines. So the fact that I’ve met every single one, and am still going strong, is extremely exciting. I’d encourage any writer or aspiring writer that’s struggling with finishing a story to take on a project like this. Write a web novel! Set a specific schedule, post publicly, and stick with it!

It’s also an exciting writing project because you can’t just write a “first draft.” You have to do better than that. If you’re posting it publicly as an ongoing story, you can’t take the shortcuts you might with a first draft. You can’t skip anything. You can’t do anything halfway. You have to edit, and take that seriously. And it feels really cool to see this story unfold as it is.

Speaking of the story, part of my own self-imposed “rules” when taking on this project was that I couldn’t write too far ahead. I couldn’t plan the story far ahead. That was so that I wouldn’t feel like I was holding out on you, my readers – if I have thirty or forty chapters completed before I post chapter one, that feels really cheap. So currently, I’m still writing Chapter 14, which is due tomorrow. That’s how my schedule’s been most often. Last week, I had Chapter 10, 11, and 12 all finished by Monday morning, but that’s not the norm. And I like it that way. It’s exciting, and it tests my creativity and storytelling skills – how well can I craft a story when I’m winging it most of the time? I have to live with everything I write – every character, every plot point, as soon as it’s posted, I can’t change it. I do occasionally look at previous chapters and notice weird sentence structures or nefarious hidden typos, which I’ll changed and fix. But plot points, characters, and just about everything else does not get changed. And to be honest, there are a few things just thirteen chapters in that I’m thinking “why did I write that? Now I have to live with that!”

That said, I’m not completely blind and disorganized. I have multiple documents, called “sketches,” that I keep updated as I write. I call them “sketches” rather than outlines, because it has a nice ring to it, but also because they’re very rough and constantly changing. I update and modify them as I go. So, despite what I said, I actually have a strong idea of where the story is going overall. I know what things need to happen (mostly), I just don’t know entirely what order it all goes in. I’m figuring it out as I go – the big surprise ending of Chapter 12 was an event I actually thought would happen much later. But it felt like a good moment to shake things up, so I went with it.

On the topic of organization, I have my main “sketch” split up into categories. Things like: Characters, The World, Story, Lore, etc. Then those categories are broken up into further mini-categories. For Characters, I have them organized like so:

  • The Greysons
  • Friends
  • Enemies
  • Friends Who Become Enemies
  • Enemies Who Become Friends
  • Unknown

So, I suppose you could take that as a minor spoiler for the future – some friends will become enemies, and some enemies will become friends! And already, several characters that I’d planned for one category have shifted as I’ve been writing. In particular, one friend who was planned to become an enemy is now firmly in the “Friends” category, and at least one planned “Enemy” is now “Unknown” (even I don’t know what he’s going to do!).

Because that’s one thing you don’t really realize until you start writing. When organizing and planning, you have certain ideas in mind, but you don’t really know your characters until you’re in the story, writing out their actions and dialogue. That’s when you find out who they really are, and someone you might have planned for a different role turns out to be much more well-suited for something else. That’s part of why I don’t often outline, and instead have a shifting “sketch” that develops as I go. I too often find my meticulously planned outlines coming horribly undone within a few chapters once I actually get to the writing part.

There are a lot of neat and exciting things coming in the future, too. I’m currently working on putting together a map of Grimoire, so you can more easily visualize what the city is like and how everything is connected. I’ve loved maps ever since reading The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings as a kid and seeing all the fantastical maps that Tolkien crafted for his stories. While this isn’t a rollicking fantasy adventure story across a massive continent, Grimoire is a big and complicated city, so I hope you’ll enjoy the map once it’s finished. I’m much slower at drawing than writing, so please bear with me.

As for what’s going to happen to our lovable Greysons, well, they’re about to find out the world is much bigger than they once realized. With Caleb and Delilah trapped on a mysterious island, things are only going to get more perilous and far stranger. If you’ll forgive me for pulling the cliché: “This is only the beginning.”

As for how long the story will be in total… I have no idea. It will certainly be more than twenty chapters. I’m not sure beyond that. There’s so much more to discover – places to go, people to meet, creatures to fight or befriend, challenges to face, trials to overcome, magic to learn, relationships to grow, and (unfortunately for the characters) betrayals to shock the senses. Thank you so much for sticking with me and the Greysons for one month, and I hope you’ll stick around and keep reading for many more. And tell your friends! Share the web novel on social media! Get the word out, if you’re enjoying it, because that’s the best way to support my work and get more people reading, if you’re interested in doing that.

And most importantly, if you have thoughts, suggestions, questions, criticisms, or any other comments, please let me know! You can always leave a comment below every chapter, page, or blog post (like this one!). Or you can contact me on social media (I’m most active on Twitter, but I do have a Facebook as well). Your praise and criticism and suggestions and questions mean so much to me. Once again, thank you very much. I’ll see you tomorrow with Chapter 14, and in another month (or sooner) with another report-post type thing about the story and writing it. Thank you very much for reading!