Category Archives: Status Update

August 2017 Status Update

August has arrived and here is where I stand.

 

  • Horror Stories Underway: I began The Dark Beneath with the intent of keeping it to 2 parts. In fact the story is now looking to conclude in its fifth installment this Friday. My second story underway is looking to be 5 parts (~10,000 words) and has been delayed while I work on a few additional story ideas.
  • New Sci-Fi Story Underway: I began The Silence of Alium with a five-part short story in mind. Upon delving into a writing community and thinking about my sci-fi work I am considering changing course to a novel or at the very least a novelette. The second chapter is underway now.
  • Delving into Wattpad: Story submissions continue to Wattpad, where you can engage directly with my stories paragraph by paragraph.
  • Arcas nearing completion: Art is nearly done and I’m working on a few revisions, polishing the script.
  • Novelette by late 2017: Calling Mr. Nelson Pugh, still has final edits underway. My hope is to have it published by late 2017 and available as an e-book, though I will be soon submitting it to a new group of Beta readers for additional feedback.
  • Short Story Horror Anthology: I am still planning to publish an anthology of horror shorts. This would include material from this site (but having been vetted through additional edits), and previously unpublished material, with close to a 50/50 new to reprinted ratio. I have passed my 70,000 word minimum goal. Edits will likely take six months to a year depending on availability of editors, and some additional connective tissue is being drafted. With that being the case, I expect a late 2018 publication.
  • Horror Novel underway: I am about 35,000 words into my first full length horror novel. It is too early to predict a completion date, but I am considering posting chapters to this site as I get further along. I would love to know if there is interest in reading it chapter by chapter as I push through the first draft. Feel free to sound off in the comments.
  • Co-written Sci-fi Comic: Finally I am also collaborating as a co-writer and creator for an additional science-fiction comic. My writing partner and I are in the early stages of this project, but I hope to have more updates soon.

There is probably a little I missed, but that’s enough for now. If anything in there strikes your interest, chime in. I’d be happy to discuss. Bye for now.

Happy Writing, All!

Quick Update

          Just a quick update today.

          I am currently out of town for a conference and unfortunately time is not on my side. I have most of Part Two of my Plodding, Perilous Quest for Readers blog finished, but I want to be sure to give the piece the time, research, and dedication that it deserves. With that being the case, rather than scramble together a subpar end to the post, I am dedicating myself to one more week of research and revisions to ensure my best quality work.

          I apologize for the delay, but I can discuss at least one recent finding from this research: a site called Wattpad. The site is the platform for a pretty amazing online writing community, with an easy interface, a mobile friendly app, and an engagement model that seems to be of the highest quality. I’ve only begun my exploration of it, but you can find me there at @ChristopherOpyr. Please check it out. If you like to write it seems to be a great place to build an audience. You can vote on other stories, comment directly paragraph by paragraph to other author’s work, enter competitions, etc. I’m already finding myself gravitating to a small set of authors and a spirit of collaboration seems to be building. It’s a thriving community and well worth at least a look to see if it is for you.

          More next week. In the meantime I’ll have the second part of The Dark Beneath live on Friday.

          Happy Writing, All!

July 2017 Status Update

Continuing the new format on this one. Short and sweet. Not much has changed from June to July, but here’s where I am.

 

  • Two New Horror Stories Underway: The first story is another true short story for once, per requests from my first poll. It will post in 2 parts. The second story is looking to be 5 parts (~10,000 words) and has been delayed to meet the poll requests. I will continue to work on it and post when you’re ready for a longer story.
  • New Sci-Fi Story Underway: I don’t know how long this one will be, but I have a more action-packed sci-fi short story in mind for once. Progress on part one is underway and I will determine posting based on results of engagement with you, my readers.
  • Joined Wattpad: I am now also submitting stories to Wattpad, where you can engage directly with them paragraph by paragraph.
  • Arcas nearing completion: Art is nearly done and I’m working on a few revisions, polishing the script.
  • Novelette by late 2017: I have a horror novelette, Calling Mr. Nelson Pugh, with final edits underway. My hope is to have it published by late 2017 and available as an e-book.
  • Short Story Horror Anthology: I am cementing plans for publishing an anthology of horror shorts. This would include material from this site (but having been vetted through additional edits), and previously unpublished material, with close to a 50/50 new to reprinted ratio. I am about 5,000 words shy of a 70,000 word minimum goal, which I foresee crossing soon. Edits will likely take six months to a year depending on availability of editors, and some additional connective tissue is being drafted. With that being the case, I expect a late 2018 publication.
  • Horror Novel underway: I am about 35,000 words into my first full length horror novel. It is too early to predict a completion date, but I am considering posting chapters to this site as I get further along. I would love to know if there is interest in reading it chapter by chapter as I push through the first draft. Feel free to sound off in the comments.
  • Co-written Sci-fi Comic: Finally I am also collaborating as a co-writer and creator for an additional science-fiction comic. My writing partner and I are in the early stages of this project, but I hope to have more updates soon.

There is probably a little I missed, but that’s enough for now. If anything in there strikes your interest, chime in. I’d be happy to discuss. Bye for now.

Happy Writing, All!

June 2017 Status Update

          I’ve decided to change things a little this month. In the past I’ve gone through a lengthy update of where I was a month ago, what I accomplished in the previous month, the things on which I had made progress (and what progress that was), and what my next steps were for my writing. That’s really coming across pretty dry and way too detailed. So, moving forward I’ll just give a top level of where I’m at and what I’m doing.


          First off, I was absent from this blog for roughly six months. My bad. Completely. I’m working to guarantee that this does not happen again.

          Moving on from that obvious point, what’s going on with my writing:

  • Ablation is complete: The final segment of the story (part 7) will post on June 5th. For anyone who bore with me on this story during the long gap, thank you!
  • Two new horror stories underway: The first story is looking to be a true short story for once, coming in at 1-2 installments and likely 5,000 total words. That will post mid-June. The second story is looking to be 5 parts (~10,000 words) and should post late June into July.
  • Arcas nearing completion: Art is nearly done and I’m working on a few revisions, polishing the script.
  • Novelette by late 2017: I have a horror novelette, Calling Mr. Nelson Pugh, with final edits underway. My hope is to have it published by late 2017 and available as an e-book.
  • Short Story Horror Anthology: I am cementing plans for publishing an anthology of horror shorts. This would include material from this site (but having been vetted through additional edits), and previously unpublished material, with close to a 50/50 new to reprinted ratio. I am about 10,000 words shy of a 70,000 word minimum goal, which I foresee crossing by July. Edits will likely take six months to a year depending on availability of editors, and some additional connective tissue is being drafted. With that being the case, I expect a late 2018 publication.
  • Horror Novel underway: I am about 35,000 words into my first full length horror novel. It is too early to predict a completion date, but I am considering posting chapters to this site as I get further along. I would love to know if there is interest in reading it chapter by chapter as I push through the first draft. Feel free to sound off in the comments.
  • Co-written Sci-fi Comic: Finally I am also collaborating as a co-writer and creator for an additional science-fiction comic. My writing partner and I are in the early stages of this project, but I hope to have more updates soon.

          There is probably a little I missed, but that’s enough for now. If anything in there strikes your interest, chime in. I’d be happy to discuss. Bye for now.

          Happy Writing, All!

December 2016 Status Update

By Chris Hutton

          And on to status update number 3. This time I’m going to attempt a little more brevity.


THEN:

          Last month I built up my content.

    I had:

  • Drafted two new blogs posts
  • Finished my science-fiction short story, Inflow
  • Started and finished my horror story, Last Call.
  • Started my horror story, In Memoriam
  • Began releasing samples of my upcoming comic, Arcas
    I had also expanded my efforts in social media:

  • Joining Hootsuite and Manageflitter for aspects of social media management


NOW:

          Since last month, I’ve completed a few new items:

          So overall, I finished one story that I intended to finish, expanded my toolset for social media management, wrote two new blog posts, and expanded my presence on Scriggler. However, I failed to resume work on my spec script, did not finalize my partnership contract, and did not finish a second story (though In Memoriam was longer than usual) or a third blog post. As for the other items on which I intended to work…


PROGRESS:

          …well let’s jump into that.

Metrics for my author’s platform:

Facebook

  • My official page had a moderate gain of 26 followers for an audience of 156
  • My Arcas page held steady with a gain of one like for a total audience of 18 persons

Twitter

  • Gained 956 followers for a total audience of 1989 followers

Instagram

  • Gained 18 followers for an audience of 147

Scriggler Profile

  • Gained 12 followers for a total of 17
  • My stories have received 5165 views on Scriggler, with three posts surpassing 1,000 views

My blog

  • Has been visited by 393 unique users
  • Has had 1,130 pageviews

          I hit my goals with my twitter and Scriggler, but fell short on all other platforms. I’m still counting this as a win.


My Writing:

  • Finished part one of an original science fiction short story, Ablation
  • Am moving forward with my partnership contract
  • Began pages on a 3rd graphic novel script
  • Am pushing forward with Arcas promotion, releasing samples via my blog:

          That being said, I generally met my goals for writing specific to my website, but have yet to resume work on some of my offline projects.


NEXT STEPS:

          So let’s keep on rolling…

          I’m going to continue my twitter focus and aim to grow the audience of my author’s platform, while pushing out new original content for my blog, and somehow finding time to continue work on my non-blog posted writing (so the same as last month’s goals).

          In total, I aim to:

  • Increase my twitter audience by at least 50%, but will push to double it
  • Increase my Facebook and Instagram audiences by 25% each
  • Increase my Scriggler audience by 50%
  • Find ways to increase audience engagement on my blog
  • Finish writing Ablation
  • Draft at least two new short stories from scratch
  • Write at least 2 new blog posts on writing
  • Resume work on my next graphic novel script
  • Continue my work on my 3rd graphic novel
  • Resume work on my first horror novel
  • Continue compiling my horror short stories into a potential collection

          Despite not meeting all of my goals last month, I continue to feel ambitious


          Happy Writing, All!

November 2016 Status Update

By Chris Hutton

          The second of my monthly status updates…


THEN:

          Last month I had entered into the thick of managing my online presence.

    I had:

  • Created professional social media channels on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
  • Created a professional channel for Arcas on Facebook
  • Established a blog to provide content to my audience (You’re reading it)
  • Joined the Scriggler writing community
  • Completed a horror short story – Seeing is Believing
  • Drafted three blogs posts on writing
    I was in the middle of:

  • Establishing my online brand with audiences of:
    • 127 Facebook followers
    • 17 Arcas Facebook followers
    • 487 Twitter followers
    • 106 Instagram followers
    • 3 Scriggler followers
  • Building my presence on the Scriggler writing community with:
    • One Scriggler story post
    • Admittance to one club
    • 505 persons having read my work on the platflorm
    • Achieving a #12 ranking on the story chart for September
  • Building my blog audience, which had:
    • Been viewed by 133 unique users
    • Had 492 pageviews
  • Working on my writing with:
    • Ten pages complete on my next comic book idea
    • Two parts of a new science fiction short story complete
    • Forward movement on my partnership contract
    • Around 35 pages of the Arcas graphic novel completed by illustrator and collaborator, JC Thomas
  • And I intended to:
    • Double my social media audiences
    • Finalize my partnership contract
    • Finish the Inflow science-fiction short story
    • Draft a new horror story
    • Begin another serialized story
    • Resume work on my iZombie Spec


NOW:

          So how’d things go? Well, let’s see where I’m at completion-wise first. Since my last update I:

          So overall, I finished the two stories that I intended to finish, expanded my toolset for social media management, wrote two new blog posts, and expanded my presence on Scriggler. However, I failed to resume work on my spec script and did not finalize my partnership contract. As for the other items on which I intended to work…


PROGRESS:

          …well let’s jump into that.

Metrics for my author’s platform:

Facebook

  • My official page held roughly steady with a gain of 3 followers for an audience of 130
  • My Arcas page also held steady with no gain for a total audience of 17 persons

Twitter

  • Gained 546 followers for a total audience of 1033 followers

Instagram

  • Gained 22 followers for an audience of 129

Scriggler Profile

  • Gained 2 followers (up to 5 now)
  • Had stories admitted to 2 more clubs, spreading my presence across 3 clubs
  • Seeing is Believing has now been viewed by 714 persons, climbing to #9 on the Story charts for September
  • Inflow has now been viewed by 485 persons, climbing to #4 on the Story charts for October
  • Last Call has now been viewed by 223 persons (place on November charts unknown)

My blog

  • Has been visited by 293 unique users
  • Has had 857 pageviews

          As far as social goes, I hit my goals with my twitter, but fell short on all other platforms. As twitter was my focus for October, I’m counting this as a win.


My Writing:

  • Finished part one in an original horror short story, In Memoriam
  • Am moving forward with my partnership contract
  • Am pushing forward with Arcas promotion, releasing samples via my blog:

          That being said, I met my goals for writing progress beginning another serialized story, and am continuing progress on my contract and my first graphic novel.


NEXT STEPS:

          So where do I go from here?

          I’m going to continue my twitter focus and aim to grow the audience of my author’s platform, while pushing out new original content for my blog, and somehow finding time to continue work on my non-blog posted writing.

          In total, I aim to:

  • Increase my twitter audience by at least 50%, but will push to double it
  • Increase my Facebook and Instagram audiences by 50% each
  • Double my Scriggler audience
  • Find ways to increase audience engagement on my blog
  • Finish writing In Memoriam
  • Draft at least one new short story from scratch
  • Begin another short story
  • Write at least 3 new blog posts on writing
  • Resume work on my iZombie Spec
  • Resume work on my next graphic novel script
  • Resume work on my first horror novel
  • Begin compiling my horror short stories into a potential collection

          Despite not meeting all of my goals last month, I’m feeling ambitious once again and have definitely increased my goals for the month ahead. This ought to be fun.


Conclusion:

          So another month done, and my list-crazed mind has pumped out one more of these insanely bulleted updates. Eek. If you’ve read this far, well I guess you’re really interested in what I’m up to with my writing. Thanks. If not, well, you’ll never see this line anyway, so let’s just stop there.


          Happy Writing, All!


P.S. – I may be opening up a terrible can of worms here (or no can at all if this gets nothing bug crickets), but if you have any thoughts on what you would be interested in reading about for new blog posts, suggestions for methods of engagement that you would like to see integrated into the blog, thoughts on increasing my social media presence, or ideas around types of stories that you would like to see written, please leave me some comments. Thanks, again!

October 2016 Status Update

By Chris Hutton

          My blog and its subject matter is still a work in progress. It probably always will be. I have now spent nearly a month stumbling through social media, my brand, and my writing platform (this blog and other writing communities such as Scriggler). I do feel that I have come closer to an understanding of my method and of my path forward, but there is still much to be tested. So this week, rather than exploring a general writing topic, like the value of partnerships, the need of support networks, and the importance of social media in gaining an audience, I’m keeping its simple. Consider this the first in an ongoing series where I update on the state of my brand and my writing – a quick review of where I was and where I am now, what has been done and where I’m headed.


THEN:

          A month ago, I was doing my usual – working on a gazillion projects. The list is ridiculously large considering my minimal free time having both a full-time job and being a parent.

  • Finalizing a partnership contract with a writing colleague to move forward pitching some television pilot ideas as a writing team
  • Adjusting the Arcas script, for my upcoming comic, to meet certain rating criteria
  • Working on a horror novel
  • Collaborating on a science-fiction novel
  • Reviewing my latest pilot for rewrite notes
  • Watching every episode of iZombie and taking scrupulous notes, while preparing to write a spec episode for contest season
  • Doing absolutely nothing with social media, branding, or the internet in general


NOW:

          Thinking to where I am now, my first thought instinctively, and with a pessimism common to many writers that I know, travels to what I have not done. I haven’t finalized my contract, I haven’t finished my horror novel, my collaboration on the science-fiction novel has reached a necessary hiatus, my pilot rewrite has been placed on hold, and I haven’t finished rewatching and taking notes on season 2 of iZombie. It would seem at first glance, that other than my progress with Arcas, I am no further now than a month ago.

          That line of thinking is a load of bull. In the past month I have:

          This may not be where I want to be, but I tackled social media head on and began branding myself and that’s a big and necessary step. Additionally, even with all of the time that went into creating those channels and getting them up and running, I found time to complete a new short story and those three blogs. I think I’ll cut myself some slack on those things that I have not finished.


PROGRESS:

          So I’ve completed a few things over the past month, but as my audience you’re likely already aware of that. With that being the case, what’s the difference between where I’m at now and my progress? Well, basically what’s done versus how far along I am in other tasks. We’ve talked about what is done, let’s look at what is moving.

          First off, I created a brand, but where does it stand?

Facebook

  • Established an audience of 127 persons around my official page
  • Established an audience of 17 persons around my comic’s official page

Twitter

  • Gained an audience of 487 followers

Instagram

  • Built from scratch to an audience of 106 followers

Scriggler

  • 3 followers
  • Posted one story
  • The story has been admitted to one club
  • The story has been seen on this platform by 505 persons
  • The story has climbed to #12 on the Story charts for September posts

My blog

  • Has been visited by 133 unique users
  • Has had 492 pageviews

          Admittedly these numbers are low, but they did all hit my initial targets for month one, save for the Arcas official page, and I hadn’t even heard of Scriggler until near the end of September, so I’m ignoring those follower numbers for now. Additionally, my story post to that community has done well to climb up so fast, so on that front, I’m considering it a win for my branding.

          Next up, my writing. I have a few works in active progress such as:

  • Drafted the first ten pages of my next comic book idea
  • Finished two of three parts in an original science-fiction short story, Inflow
  • Am moving forward with my partnership contract
  • Have around 35 pages of the Arcas graphic novel illustrated by my collaborator and colleague, JC Thomas


NEXT STEPS:

          So what’s next?

          Over the past month I have been gaining an understanding of my social media strategy. I’ve been testing it, building on it, tweaking it, and I expect that I will continue to do so, but I have gained some understanding on a path forward for this blog. I will vary it with regular Monday and Friday posts, along with occasional Wednesday posts.

Mondays – new stories

Wednesdays – samples from upcoming works for publication (when available)

Fridays – blogs

          The blogs themselves will vary. Once every month to two months I will draft a blog encouraging support of peers and colleagues currently working on projects / or having finished projects to which I would like to draw attention. I will also draft a status update each month, like this one, to keep my readers up-to-date on my current work. Finally, I will fill in the remaining Fridays with topical posts on writing, comics, tv, film, and other creative mediums, and with guest blogs from collaborators when appropriate.

          In regards to my social media channels, I will continue to test marketing strategies and work on growing on my audiences. I would like to double each channel’s audience by my next status update, but will be focusing primarily on twitter growth during this initial phase of brand-building.

          Additionally, I aim to post two more stories to the Scriggler community, each after they have received a minimum of one week exclusivity on my blog.

          Moving on to my writing – the whole point of all of this. I aim to:

  • Finalize my partnership contract
  • Finish the Inflow short story
  • Draft a new horror story
  • Draft two more stories or begin another serialized short story
  • Resume work on my iZombie Spec

          I don’t know why, but for some reason, I’m feeling uncharacteristically optimistic that this is all doable.


Conclusion:

          Anyway, that’s that. Where I was, where I am, my progress with my current work, and my plan for the month ahead. Maybe you find this useful. Maybe you’ll want to skip these updates in the future. Your call, but they keep me grounded. As one of my favorite television writing professors used to always say, “Onwards and Upwards!”

          Happy Writing, All!