Like I said in my apology post, I don’t feel I can conscientiously finish this series as it stands. If I do make another attempt at it, there will have to be a complete reboot. Will it be serialized again? I’m not sure — I think it depends on just how different the story turns out the second time around (and yes, for that reason, it wouldn’t be a “true” serialization but a story that I finish and then break into scheduled pieces).
The universe would be fundamentally the same — so probably a lot of the underlying plot mechanisms/reveals would be recycled and I don’t think anyone wants to read the same thing all over again. It’s the characters and the overall story structure that might see some changes in this theoretical reboot. But how big those changes would be, I have no idea.
That said, any reboot is currently very, very low on my list of priorities — just too much emotional baggage left over from this attempt. I think I’ll need a lot more distance before I touch this universe again (although I always did have another story planned in a very different time period of the same setting).
Rest assured I will NEVER take down this existing version of the story, no matter what I end up deciding.
Honestly, this experience with AUSOS has made me a little gun shy about ever serializing again… although it’s a bit of an irrational fear. As mentioned, I did some experimenting on a throwaway pen name during my AUSOS hiatus and successfully serialized (and finished) a novel-length space opera romance, among other things. (I will not reveal the title[s] because I don’t want my names connected, and don’t bother looking for it because it was not posted on blogs.)
Even while writing AUSOS I did have two other story ideas in mind that I thought would make for good serialization, and there’s been a third concept I was planning to just publish as linked stories/novellas if I ever finish them but could technically be serialized as well.
- Chronicles of the Zodiac Arcana: a terrible Asian (Chinese) American YA portal fantasy. Like Twelve Kingdoms meets Fruits Basket! (Actually, not really. It just sounds catchier that way. Haha! And note that unlike AUSOS, which starred teen characters but wasn’t actually ever intended as YA in my mind, this series is definitely rooted in the category.)
This will be launching, barring any mishaps, on February 8th. If any of you have ever wandered over to my writer blog, you’ve probably seen the old excerpts I posted, which I won’t link directly because I’ve hidden the post in anticipation of the launch. I’d feel nervous about serializing this because it’s in theory one of those big sprawling plots that’s tricky to wrangle in public, but I also have the universe/characters pinned down in a way that I’ll feel pretty comfortable just making up the story as I go. Very different from the way I approached AUSOS. However, the update schedule will most certainly be low frequency, likely around twice a month.
- Wayward: In the crumbling ruins of a broken world remade, a young swordswoman sets off on a journey to search for her long-missing mother…
Post-apocalyptic slice-of-life fantasy (I mentally always categorized it as wuxia but I think it doesn’t really fit the current popular understanding of the genre). This one has a genuinely episodic plot, and so would lend itself to the serial format more easily. I recently dug up the old scraps I’d written, buried in code — this was WAY back when I was experimenting with visual novels/interactive fiction — and found them quite intriguing. That said, the pace is pretty slow, so I’m not likely to touch it any time soon unless there’s a TON of interest for some reason.
- The Berengar Files: A Golden Age mystery series masquerading as a Ruritanian fantasy. Or is that the other way around? I’m like halfway done with the first story and hadn’t wanted to mention it in public because that’s a good way to ensure that I’ll never finish it :P, but if there’s interest, it could be interesting to serialize in extremely short chunks. Otherwise, like I said, they’re just going to be published directly as linked standalones as I finish each entry.
Okay, now we’re hitting the stuff that most people aren’t going to be interested in because it won’t be serialized, but in case there were some crossover fans from my other stuff still paying attention and who would like updates, at least one other project I was working on during the same period as AUSOS fell victim to similar outlining issues, hence the looooong absence/silence.
- Black Tortoise, White Snake (Ghost Tiger sequel): This I actually just put on hold, period, because I was SO convinced I was “almost done” with both AUSOS and a certain other project. We all know how that worked out.
- The Land of Eternal Winter (Vortex Saga): This one. This is the fellow outline victim — it was at about the same state of completion as AUSOS, too. I don’t quite remember why I outlined it either, probably just trying something different? -_- Anyway, since it wasn’t a serial, that meant I could go crazy “fixing” things I thought weren’t working. Which only compounded the issues. A recent total reboot of the story has been going so much more smoothly, it’s kind of sad.
- And the Rivers Sang (same universe as Ghost Tiger, takes place several decades before and has some overlapping characters but is mostly unrelated to the main storyline): This is a not-really-romance novella, I’ve been working on it on and off, sometimes getting distracted by research… Hasn’t been a priority because I don’t think anyone would want to read it but me, lol.
- miscellaneous shorts/other universes — I think I’ve mentioned these at various places, don’t remember which ones and where, but they were pretty much put on the backburner when I started experimenting under the pen name. They’re still not a priority.