November Update – Draft Completed!

Hey there! Matthew here for your summary of my writing for the festive previous month.

That is wordy… on purpose.

Honestly, I don’t care for Halloween. We’ve entered the festive months now, so I feel an obligation to hang out. Get-together. Eat turkey and cake with a bunch of folks. Anyway…

The novel is completed.


Just as Human Real First Draft is finished. I ran it through a Grammarly spellcheck, printed it, and bought a three ring binder for it. Its stored in my desk drawer.

Before being stored in my desk:

You don’t understand how challenging writing a novel is until you attempt one. Holding it was just insane. I didn’t think it would be that many pages, or feel that substantial. There were ideas I cut to make it more manageable. I didn’t want to keep spending months working on it.

A very rough draft, it is.

Its taking a break now. During the coming two, maybe three months, I’ll give copies to alpha readers. I expect lists of plot holes to be exposed, plot structure issues dangling like steel beams, character development errors of “Why the crap did she do this?, resulting characters to cut, etc. I’m excited!

Revision.. its gonna be a whole new ballgame. We’ll cross that bridge when it comes.

Well, that was fun! I love what I wrote -the sarcastic, jokey characters serious about their jobs. Whether protagonists or antagonizing the protagonists. If you are a fan of The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Halo, Marvel’s Avengers, or the Book of Revelation, you should find interest.

Yeah, this was a hard project. I did not know what I was getting into. Got burnt out several times. Had to reorder chapters for the plot to make more sense. Cut a few ideas to make it more manageable. All that said, the story I wanted to tell largely is told. It was a valuable learning experience.

If I should write another novel, I’m doing it differently. Similar with updates. I remember my laughable attempts filming video updates earlier this year. Try them again? Buy a better camera and mic, and learn editing? Don’t know. I’ll figure out what comes next. For the time being, writing updates on personal projects are taking a pause. On the flipside, you may see my portfolio added to.

Thanks for following me all this time if you did. May you have a posthumous Happy Thanksgiving, a Merry Christmas or Hanukkah, and a great New Year. Clean your teeth after all the goodies you consume.

October Update – Finish line in sight.

And that month sure flew by.


I don’t even know what happened to the time. I started off writing up to six days a week. About 500 words each time. My rhythm was hot. I was seeing the finish line in my sights.

And then work took over.

And that was hard. Like I told my best friend that I can’t hang out for a month. Well, that’s the way it goes for a time. Work is more important. It funds all of this.

Here’s my update from September:

  • Wrote approximately 5,500 words. Draft at over 76,000 words.

Once I wrote the first three days it was actually easy to keep it up. I told myself no matter how bad the writing is to just get it out. Messy words with good ideas is still writing. That’s what I did. Stopping your critical mind from editing while writing is the hard part. So easy to lose track of a thought only to replace four words in the previous sentence.

I am glad to say I’m closing in on the end. I estimate there are 6,500 more words to pound out. That’ll connect everything to a big set of chapters I wrote last summer and bring out the final chapter. The images of these connecting threads plug into what I wrote last year. The outline from September helped set this up, if you remember me saying so. I know where it is going and how to end it.

Seven years of this story in my head. Two years and a month (and longer) of writing this draft. And it’ll be finished!


I’ve calculated I can wrap things up in one week, churning out eleven hundred words for six days. Alternatively, since other tasks take precedent, five hundred words for two and a half weeks.

That’s where Just as Human Real First Draft stands. The finish line is in sight. It’s a matter of getting real-life stuff taken care of beforehand. For the next few weeks that is the plan. Gotta pay the bills. When I see several open times, I’m gonna go about taking this home.

If you have read my updates since last year, you have no idea how much I appreciate that. Your support on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Discord keep me excited to share my stories. I haven’t broken into professional writing yet or gotten a piece of fiction put out in the world. Nonetheless, my dream of getting to that point hasn’t let up.

Your End of September update

Hey all. After a busy September, I’m making my way closer to the end. Ellexis’s story is almost done. Almost.

Here’s what I wrote in September:

  • Finally finished Chapter 8.
  •  Started Chapter 9.
  •  Edited my chapter structure. Hung Chapter 9 on an outline, wrote a few places to tweak for previously written garble of prose and outlined the concluding chapter.
  •  And smiled at how close the end is.

Chapter 8 ended up being a lot longer than I thought. I originally wanted to separate it, probably into halves, then carry the plot straight into Chapter 9 with no time skip or POV shift. That would again carry straight into Chapter 10. I found that by simplifying Ch. 8 into its core, I came away with a truncated plot. Easier to piece the rest together. Character arcs could get their moments without going off on too many tangents. And to be frank, I wanted to keep pushing toward the end. Ch. 8 became pretty lengthy.

Chapter 9 is gonna be just the same.

In the end, I choose to combine certain plot points into a couple of longer sections. The more time I took to build them out, I think it would fluff this draft up. It’s already over 70k words. Only that much. You might say that’s good for most books. 

It is. 

Instead, I wanted focus on the essentials. Chapter 9 will be another chunky one, as I said. It’s the most, let’s say, fascinating, of the entire novel. Seeing what Alpha readers think of it will help me know if it works. As well as how much revision it gets. 

That is if I do write another draft. On the flipside, I know how to connect this chapter to the climax already written. 

When will it be finished? At this point, I want to finish it by my birthday. I need approximately 12,300 more words. And if I don’t? That’s how it goes. I run on my timetable.

I will save concluding thoughts for another writing update. Its is the last big push and I’m enjoying seeing it come together. By the next update I ought to be three quarters through writing Chapter 9.. Or father.

Ill let you know in a month.

See you then. 

August Writing Update + New story concepts

Tis the middle of a busy summer. Lots of social outings to choose from; so many that I feel FOMO. Been spending far more time with people than usual. Add in a large handful of 90 degree days and you have a season that doesn’t slow its stride.

But its been worth it. I think summer should be that way. Always something exciting to do. Last Saturday, I drove to a renaissance faire. Never went to one in high school nor in college. When I found out about it, I absolutely had to go. Besides, I wasn’t interested in the time period as a kid. Nothing but Industrial Revolutions, Medieval times, and two World Wars were all I was fascinated by. A few games I’ve played are set in them. The only story I’ve written like those is a forty page fantasy one.

Now for what I wrote in June:

  • The beginning ten pages of Chapter 8.
  • New story concepts.

And thats it. Yeah, not a lot. Chunks of it writing dialogue. A character tuning in to radio talk through earbuds, a few angry words, and confrontations. Stuff of drama. I wanted to write more, but I got too busy with the real world to focus any better.

New story concepts though! Recent inspiration has led to five brand new ideas. Amped up by random things taking place in life, I had to keep them for later. One came as a combination of a previous idea, a picture of my baby nephew, and the Roaring 20s. They’re safely stored in my ideas document on my PC. Two of them I already had in mind, honestly; they don’t count as much. But I still am! For the sake of this update.

Two are plays. Ive never tried writing a short play. I dont know if I’d enjoy it. Different in format, voice, and structure than prose. Formatting one can have similarities to script writing. Dialogue, character names, maybe stage direction and narration. I think placing stage direction is the hardest part. Does it need to be explained? The answer lies in trying. And yes, they would be adaptable for theatre. I’ll make sure one character is Shakespearean, one is straight out of Fiddler on the Roof, and another wears attire from Nazi-occupied France.

In other words, the only plays I have read or watched; barely any Shakespeare. He’s a tough read.

The next new idea is a fantasy story. Not the one mentioned earlier. While writing the novel, I started spontaneously daydreaming of scenes. My mind thought here is this weird scene, and here’s a location, and here’s a couple of characters.

Was it a short story? Novel? Trilogy of some kind? I want to write one. Personally, I’m leaning toward books. Writing an own epic tale ala JRR Tolkien. However, short stories are easier to gain first time publishing credits from. You can even apply to videogame writing jobs with them!

The last two are, in line with the above, videogames. One may be a powerful drama. Another a short, fun, click-based game. Neither are solidified.

Life Events

I am close to a month into working my new temp assignment. I run the front desk for a homeowners association company. Work is good. Pay is good. I was going to apply for the USPS this past weekend. Long story short, I didn’t. I’m staying at this company for now. And while I do that, I look for videogame writing positions. I did apply for a Junior Writer role last week, in fact. An uncommon opening. I spent three evenings after work tweaking my application. Was not letting this one out of my sight!

I don’t remember writing it last time, so I will say it now: I am moving out. By September 1st I will be in a new room somewhere else in Portland. As much as I want to leave Oregon, I don’t have a compelling direction. No career opportunity solidified, no relationship, nor for a friend and not yet for family. Any of those are incentive. I could always be adventurous – just make one up. Pack my Pontiac Vibe and head out. But I dont see that as wise yet.

Alright, thats it for July. See you next month!