Update: Work and School

So figured I’d write a quick thing here

With the spring quarter starting up, my time to work has kinda drastically decreased. Some days I’ll be at both my job and school, resulting in me spending almost 12+ hours away from home for around half the week, with the other half dedicated to catching up on homework. I’ve been rather exhausted as of late from all the work, and hitting some serious motivational humps regarding my writing and hope for readers and such

The long story short is, I can’t really guarantee a proper schedule anymore given all these factors. I can only really upload stuff when I can. Just wanted to update all my followers here, and I hope you all won’t mind

Don’t worry, I’m still alive!

Hey everyone, sorry for the long absence of work on my site. As of late, I’ve been absolutely hunkered down with work and essays at school. I’ve been edging at the next chapter to Joy and Simon every now and then, but I’m barely finding time to work amidst everything else going on in life.

I don’t update much here, but I do have a twitter I’m active on, so do follow me there if you want to stay up to date with my stuff!
Here’s the link: https://twitter.com/BenFishLit

Hope you’re all having a good week!

Boosting reader interaction

So I was curious with the increase in viewership the last few days thanks to Sheepapp, I’ve been trying and hoping to interact more with my readerbase. Does anybody know of other good ideas? I mostly just hope they comment and respond, but I’m not getting any feedback or responses or whatnot to my writing at all

Congeria Sneak Peek

It’s been a little over a month since I last quickly wrote somethin, so here’s a peek at my next project. Gonna be another Congeria story, so enjoy! If all goes well I’ll have it done in the next few days. Just wanted to post something.


Sunlight beamed down onto the endless expanse of stone, sand, and dead-looking trees that made up the Radi Desert. Far off in the west stood a massive construct of steel, thousands of square miles in size. From Axios, this country of machinery, several clouds of smoke endlessly streamed from numerous vents, and from the walls of the city, vast rivers of waste streamed outwards. The sludge cut through the desert, visibly turning the surrounding sands a greenish-brown, the surrounding plant life all but dead except for the short branchy trees, tainted the same color as the sands. These rivers of sludge continued forwards for miles and miles, until it reached lands where the sand gained more of its natural color back and the sky was back to a natural blue.

It was here the rivers would come to an abrupt end, now entering large man-made water refineries topped with numerous solar panels. Around these refineries laid hundreds of building constructed out of wood, clay, scrap, or whatever else the populace could use as material. Houses, markets, stores, bars; Enough variation in types of buildings to call it a city, but more scattered rather than densely structured. There were still plenty of people moving about between buildings or this single of many settlements scattered near rivers of sludge. Just about every civilian wore practical work clothes, often with a gun of some sort slung over their shoulders or tucked away in a holster.

At one of these settlements, amongst the crowds of people, a small group of overall-wearing men, covered in soot and scratches, pushed towards a single wooden bar in the midst of several commerce buildings.

They opened the door to a quiet establishment, one person sitting near the back with their legs on the table, a few others at the bar itself drinking, and another few trying to enjoy a meal. One of the overalled men called out, “Which of you is the android?”

The figure in the back raised an armored arm up into the air. The men hurried over as the figure took their feet off the table, standing up revealing a fully armored body, a large revolver at her hip another smaller pistol on her other, and a knife snugly tucked away behind her metal boot. A feminine face made of synthetic skin looked towards them, casually smiling.

“Ferra Jane, pleased to do business with you! So, what do you need me to do? Sludgebeasts in the purification system? Help with repairs? Outlaws bugging you?”

“Well…” The man at the front of the group stared at the ground for a few moments before making eye contact with the droid. “Have you ever dealt with demons before?”
She raised an eyebrow. “Cultists, and maybe a few little things here and there.”

A different overalled man stepped forward. “Cut the drama man! Cultists slaughtered several civilians to summon some massive beast right in our water plant! We just need you to kill it, and we’re willing to give-”

She held up her hand. “We can negotiate payment later, sounds like you all have an urgent situation on your hands!” From behind her seat she picked up a grenade launcher, slinging it over her shoulder. “Hurry up and show the way!”

 


After several miles of trekking through the desert, the men lead her to a smaller settlement than Ferra’s, but barely a soul was seen outside. She glanced around, every shop and home was closed and locked up tight, the only few men walking around holding rifles and wearing tattered military garb.

“The mayor ordered martial law as soon as we told him about the demon” said one of the men. “Apparently every person that thing eats makes it a bit larger, so he doesn’t wanna take any risk with worsening the situation. I can’t believe we were harboring people who just wanted to use this town as a feeding ground for some reason…”

She nodded. “That’s the risk you all take by living out here thought, right?”

Continuing through the deserted streets, they arrived at the front of the water plant, where six other men waited, each also with old looking rifles and discolored uniforms. They took notice of Ferra and hurried over.

“So, give me a quick rundown of how it’s like in there.” She said while drawing and checking her revolver.

“An uncounted number of cultists are holed up in the water storage room, along with that beast of theirs, most of them using either tranquilizers or tasers. They need live sacrifices to feed that beast, and with the manpower we can spare, any attempt of ours risks giving that beast a fresh meal.”

She openly chuckled. “This sounds like it’ll be a cinch then. Stay far away from that beast and try and pick off those cultists from a distance. I’ll provide all the cover you need.”

“Hold on-” Before the soldier could finish his sentence, she kicked open the door and bolted down the hall. Quickly glancing at a facility map on the wall, she hurried forward. The men tried their best to follow.

Kicking open another door, she found herself where she wanted to be. Several large house-sized water tanks were dotted about the room, with several metal walkways running around and between them. In the center of the room rested a beast half the size of the tanks, with a boar-like body and the front of it’s head an exposed, toothy maw. She suddenly felt something strike her abdomen. Looking down, a small tranquilizer dart lying on the floor. She glanced up, meeting eyes with a man on the walkway aiming a tranquilizer gun right at her. Quickly drawing her revolver, she fired at the man, knocking him back and off the walkway with a hole in his chest. Dashing for a ladder, she climbed all the way to the top of the walkway, meeting face to face with several other cultists. Dashing behind the water tank for cover, she looked back at the door, seeing the other soldiers come in.

“Hey boys, take cover behind any of the tanks and keep your eyes up! They’re in the walkways!”

The group of men glanced at her for a few moments before scattering behind several of the tanks. Reloading the round she shot earlier, she dashed out of her cover, firing a few more shots and easily offing a few other cultists wielding tranquilizer guns. A few others had already drawn small submachine guns and returned fire. Realizing no cover between her and her targets, she opted to slide on the ground towards them, this time drawing an autopistol of her own and sprayed a flurry of bullets. One of the men was filled with multiple bullets while the other hit the deck, barely being grazed by her assault. Quickly getting back up to her feet about to draw her revolver once more, but he was cut down by fire from some of the soldiers. She turned to them and gave a quick thumbs up.

“I’m not sure if there’s any more up here, but keep them busy, I’m going for their prize!”

Almost as if they responded to her, multiple cultists, now armed with proper firearms, scattered from behind other tanks down the walkways. One slid down the ladder towards the beast and screamed an incantation. A full on firefight broke out between the soldiers and the cultists as the beast began to shudder and slowly climb to its hooves, letting out a deafening roar. Ferra leapt from the walkway onto the head of the beast, firing the last rounds of her revolver into the back of its head. Despite the four fleshy holes she put into its head, it let out a roar, bucking her straight off. She landed on her feet, easily keeping her balance. It turned towards her, baring it’s uncountable amount of razor-sharp teeth, and screeched before charging. She sprinted to the side, noticing a few points of interest: Not only had the wounds she gave it in the head had healed, but it also seemed immune to the crossfire of assault rifle and submachine gun fire going on, several flattened bullets dotting the ground where it once stood. It smashed head first into one of the tanks, chewing off a large chunk of metal and spilling forth a torrent of water. She quickly drew a knife and stabbed into the hide of the beast, holding on as the beast bucked and the water washed around her. Alarms now blared around the facility, adding into the noise of the raging firefight, and several grates opened up in the floor, draining away all the excess water. She pulled her knife out from it and dove to the side, loading her grenade launcher. She lined up a shot as the beast turned to her, but then it whipped its head towards where the other soldiers were, some still desperately firing whatever munitions they had left at it. She slung the grenade launcher back over her shoulder and dove at the beast, stabbing into its back leg.

“All of you, get the hell out of here! I can handle it from here, just stay out of danger!”
While the remaining soldiers bolted out of the room, the beast responded by kicking her off, slamming her into the wall. She let out a grunt, dazedly bringing her grenade launcher back out in front of her. The beast was bearing its hundreds of teeth at her, and she fired, completely shattering a good chunk of them. It bucked back shrieking as she hurried to load one other grenade, and once it faced her again, she fired another straight down its abyss-looking stomach. A fireball erupted from within it as the beast let out one final screech, before collapsing to the floor, slowly dissolving into dust.

She smiled, silently pumping her fist to herself.

Rewrites, Reboots, and so on

Hi everyone, time for an update!

So I’ve mentioned on social media about returning to Chidetan, but I’ve been mentally juggling whether returning to it would be worth it. To re-decide, I read what I started with, and was well…

Both upset with what I read but admired how far I’ve developed as a writer

I received comments from a friend that the start of the story is very slow, that there’s little gripping reason to keep a reader reading. Since this is being posted periodically, a weak beginning will kinda hamper chances to get new readers if I continue to update. So with that, I’m going to once again, keep Chidetan Odyssey on Hiatus, and try moving on with a few other things. Throwing some stuff at the wall to see what works.

Tales from Congeria is fairly well received, so that’s where I’m going to start. While I’m not the happiest when it comes to the intro for Joy and Simon since it’s nearly been a year since I wrote it as a kinda test thing, I’m at least content with the second part. So I’m going to re-write their intro.

I’ve already drafted up a rather action-packed chapter 3 for them both, had it for a while, and now I finally got time to work on it.

Along with that, I’m going to re-write the intro to Scott and Ferra as well, since I wrote it when I wasn’t as experienced as I was before. I’ve already drafted the new intro chapter, with a bit of nice action and interest about the vast world of Congeria to try and hook the reader.

Spending years studying literary analysis and practicing crafting worlds, I always saw myself as a fairly competent writer before. Now I’m glad to see the difference my year of work has made. While I’m still happy with my past in worldbuilding and storytelling, I’ve improved a lot when it came to prose. The most important thing I learned?
You gotta start with a good hook if you want to keep readers reading.

When I finally do return to Chidetan Odyssey, expect the first half of it to look brand new.

To all my readers, have a good week, and a happy Thanksgiving!

Where to continue next?

I’m finally wrapping up classes and settling into the flow of work, so hopefully I can get back into the flow of writing. Right now, I’m doing a favor for a friend, but once that’s wrapped up, I can move on to one of two options
1. Continuing Chidetan Odyssey

2. A continuation to Joy and Simon’s story from Tales from Congeria.

Let me know what you would like best