First Floor: Homocidal World-builders

Yep, figured I would try a witty title for this article. It’s not really much to do with worldbuilding this week, it’s kinda a blend between my own inner muse, some progress on the last couple of weeks, and some musings I’ve had. This isn’t really much of an article, it’s just a series of random thoughts and events which have occurred the past couple of weeks. I hope to get back to doing this more often, so with luck expect to see a lot more from me soon! This generally covers all things in my life including writing, video games and just overall looks into my life as it goes.


Early Musings


  • Writing has been going very well the past few weeks. Not as well as November (In which I pushed through nearly 70,000 words), but I’ve been doing a steady amount most days, and when I don’t write, I’ve been planning and outlining further ahead. The Thousand Scars is drawing nearer to release, and it’s going to be extremely exciting getting the book out after so long.
  • Alongside editing Book I of Counterbalance, I have been writing Book II: The Aegis Mora. I recently hit 90,000 words in the second of the trilogy, although it is far from finished. The good news is I can finally plan out how I want it to go.
  • I have even started planning the final book this week, something which hasn’t happened up until now. Word of advice peeps, if you are writing a novel, DON’T do what I did! It will make things much harder, trust me. I should know. I toiled with it for over four bloody years, and only the last fortnight has the seeds of the growing tree started to fall upon the ground.


Book progress, and Self-Doubt

In the past month I have made huge waves on the second of my Counterbalance trilogy. Effectively starting the book again from scratch during the summer, the first draft is currently 120,000 words long, with sixteen of the projected nineteen chapters complete. It’s a behemoth, and it’s something which I hope goes against the trope of many “middle books” out there. I think when a story is split into three books, the action is usually in the first and third, leaving the second as a bit of an…should I say amble? You see it quite often, especially in fantasy.

Now, I’m not going to give anything away for Counterbalance (mainly because the first book isn’t even out yet! Not that it should particularly matter at all…..whistles and walks off as the world burns…what? xD) but the second in the trilogy is pretty heavy in action from start to finish. There is intrigue, a hell of a lot of fighting, and a lot of suffering. I’m capable of writing some pretty dark stuff, but some of the events which happen in this book really take it a step in the obsidian direction. By that, I wonder if I’ll have people ringing me in the dead of night, crying and screaming out loud “MICHAEL! WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU?” Because I’ve had that happen in the past with some…pieces of writing. (Points at certain events in the Thousand Scars whilst coughing loudly)

My goal was to complete the first draft of the second book by roughly the time the first is released to the public. (Should be around April, but it’s something we’re not going to rush. Why? Because rushed work to publication often shows in shoddy formatting and bad quality. I’ve always believed in quality over quantity). That meant roughly a chapter to be completed every two weeks. At the start of February, i had around six chapters to go. In less than two weeks, I managed to finish three of them, around 30,000 words in total (split across four chapters overall. I write big chapters). It’s mainly the final three to go, as well as going back and adding a few scenes onto a couple more, but that is something to do in the first edit. Than I hit a burnout, and with it, a bit of a world-building downer.

Incoming World-builder’s remorse rant!!! Danger!!!

Any other writers out there stuck in the world-building quagmire? I’ve felt that a lot lately. I’m happy with my progress as a writer, but I do feel and fear sometimes I’ve barely done enough as a world-builder. Kinda important when writing fantasy, you know? I struggle with it a lot, especially now. Sometimes I just feel I lack imagination and creativity to imagine parts of my world, and often I’m scrabbling to create it. I did feel that in a lot of the Counterbalance universe (a lot of it has still yet to be made), I’ve felt a lot of the areas of the world, cities and layouts are just placeholders. A lot of fantasy is very similar to each other, but I never wanted to be just another one of them.

This could be due to the fact that I first created the Counterbalance universe when I was 12 in a very military-based creation process, and I’m struggling in holding onto parts of that? Fleshing out the important parts of the world is something I’m having a lot of trouble with, and it’s hit me pretty hard. It could just be my anxiety flaring up. Maybe when the betas roll out and The Thousand Scars is released, people will like it and not tear the world to shreds.

But I think it deserves that, and I acknowledge that it is something I need to work on. I think I’m good at the overall scope of digging out the world, creating characters and dialogue, but I hate and struggle with writing good, immersive descriptions of the setting. It’s been something which has been getting me down a great deal, and possibly it’s something I’m obsessing over for nothing? I’m not sure. It’s something I need to work on, both with battling my inner demons as well as continuing to flesh out the world of Rengar. Surprisingly, I’m having far less trouble on this when creating the world of Uldur….which is very strange. Maybe because it’s entirely new to me, whilst the world which Counterbalance is part of has been created (very haphazardly I might add) for over a decade?

Literal crapshoot of random points


Oh, I wasn’t lying with this! This is going to be the most random conglomeration of thoughts and things that have happened, or I have been doing in the last couple of weeks.

  • I have finally got round to start watching Merlin. I’m ten years late in watching it, but I remembered my mother watching it when it was on. I was certainly missing out! Currently up to Series 3 (But I’m aware of what happens. Fuck the ending. Not cool, bro!) It’s certainly very enjoyable. I feel they kind of ruined the villains (although a certain one’s slow decay into darkness was pretty awesome), but it is an excellent watch, and I’m rather invested into it. Merlin and Authur’s dynamic is hilarious, the king Uther is a colossal asshole yet somebody who I could almost relate with the tyrannical oppression of magic, and there is a hell of a lot of comedy and serious action. It’s a show I have really gotten to enjoy and just coast through it. The entire main cast is great, and the villain in the first series was damn FINE! *coughs*
  • Off to Nottingham this coming weekend for a few days. Should be nice, having a break from home, and I get to see my lovely friends. Should be interesting, I don’t get to go on holiday much. I’m not exactly looking forward to the coach, five hours long. If the toilet breaks again, I may have to send them something more threatening. Severed fingers just ain’t cutting it these days!
  • I turned 27 last week. Whoo. It was pretty good. Low-key, which is how I like it.
  • I finally summoned the energy to push through the Elite Four and Champion battle in Pokemon Moon. I gave it a solid review, and it was number 4 in my favourite games of 2016. But….it pissed me off. FORTY MINUTES OF UNSKIPPABLE CUTSCENE AND CREDITS WITHOUT SAVING! And the boss battle you can’t get out of. You make it faint or you accidently restart? LOL YOU HAVE TO BEAT THE CHAMPION AGAIN! And than sit through the painfully slow cutscene once more. Doesn’t stop it being an enjoyable game, and I’m looking forward to what’s left of the post-game content (Not much, I’m afraid), but this is one of my biggest pet peeves in gaming. Ubisoft pulls off this crap all the time, but come on Nintendo! This was just taking the piss. ARGHHH!
  • I haven’t been playing that many games lately. A lot of time has been focused on the writing side.
  • Started reading the Harry Potter books all over again, with a bit more…critical thinking. They really aren’t that well written, but it’s still an enjoyable read.
  • I need more books in fantasy to get stuck into. Any suggestions?


That’s all for now. I’ll try and be back soon!



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