This is the second time I’ve written this post. The first one got wiped out when I let it sit overnight, and the site didn’t save it. I’m an idiot.

So, here we are.

What did you do this week besides lose your post?

I spent time finishing out the new outline for The Retainer.

We haven’t talked much about The Retainer, but it’s a novel I’m working on. The original idea was for a novella I could give away on this website as a promotional item—a reason to subscribe to the newsletter or whatever. My reasons are largely irrelevant at this point. After writing about 20,000 words, I became wrapped up in the characters and wanted to develop this simple novella into a multi-project franchise.

I wrote The Retainer from a vague notion. I had a piece of short fiction I wrote that I based the idea on and just went from there, pulling it from my brain one piece at a time. That mentality goes against the grain for me. I’m not usually the type of writer who writes by the seat of his pants, but instead, I choose to map out my story and flesh out the world, characters, and plot. I explicitly went against this instinct to see what the results would be.

They ended up being fantastic.

What does that have to do with an outline?

Because the novella had a hard world limit I was trying to stay within, I truncated many of the events and pre-edited out a lot of potential material. Since I’m expanding the novella to a full-length 80,000-100,000-word novel, I need to add everything I left by the wayside. My outline turned into six pages filled with more details, development, world-building, and subplots.

My goal is to have the entire book completed by October.

Did you do anything else?

I mentioned briefly in the last update that I was going to work on rebuilding the portfolio so I could share some of my work once again. As part of this revamp process, I’ve been producing some promotional images for my old projects to expand their pages and augment their concepts to give them more visual appeal. I have a few images to share from the process so you can see that.

Obviously, these are A.I. generated, but building these promo images gives me the ability to make all my work more visual and unique compared to using standard stock images. They’ll add a new dimension to the portfolio. I’ve got a ton of others in progress that look incredible. We’ll discuss more about all this later, but I hope the images get you a little bit excited.

(Just FYI, these are not from the same project.)

So what’s happening next week?

The plan is to keep going as I am—write more and continue working in the background to enhance the portfolio. The portfolio won’t see substantial work until much later, but I’m putting together assets for it now. Each project will have to be touched to convert it. Depending on its complexity, each project will probably take days to weeks. Some, like Obi-Wan, don’t need much of anything.

Oh, by the way, I’ve got the headers sorted out. I’ll start producing them over the next week or so. Building and processing the images will take some time, but I’m excited about the vision I have in my head. You should see those changes within the next thirty days.

That it?

I think so. Thanks for reading, Mom. I’ll see you next week.

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