So, 2020 was... a year.
It was mostly an up, then down, then up year for me. As a writer, I didn't think the lockdown would affect me too much, but it turns out being confined to a rural village and only going out to the local supermarket and back would put the head in a little box. All things considered, that was likely an above average experience compared to everyone else, so I can be thankful for that.
Writing productivity for the most part was good at the start of the year, went a bit messy in the middle of the year where I had one month where not a lot got done at all, and then finished strongly at the end of the year.
House of Hellish Harlots
This was my big project for the year. I'm still excited about it as I think it will make a good H-game. I made some good progress at the start of the year, the wheels fell off in the middle, and then I refocused and got it back on track in the last few months. Currently I'm up to version 0.014. There are 21 harlots for the player to choose and 4 of the 'mechanics' NPCs are implemented. In writing content alone, it probably already matches most H-games, although I will need to look at commissioning art at some point. In 2021 I want to get that public demo out to try and gauge what kind of budget I'll have to play with if I do want to evolve it beyond a text game.
Where I erred was underestimating the complexity. The core game loop was fairly simple. Letting each harlot scenario get more and more complex was not sustainable given how many the game needs. That was what caused me to lose focus. Thankfully, I had a rethink, and have been steadily writing new scenarios since late October.
This was the escape project of sorts. I want to flesh out those stories and turn them into a themed collection. The Sun Lamia received a 3rd rewrite and became "Sun, Snakes and the Great Uncle Fergus Stash." There will be more. That will likely be something I fit in between work on HoHH, with an aim of finally getting a full collection together.
2020 was also a year of finishing off some of the half-written short stories I have lying around.
"Breastfeeding as a Combat Art" was another H-space story I put out for patrons. I was undecided on this one. It didn't come out as well as I'd have liked, so I think it will join the others for a future tweak.
I felt much better about "A Sweet and Deadly Taste of Milk". This is more where I want the H-space stories to be, although maybe not all 7K words.
General Short Stories
Length was a definite theme to the short stories I put out this year. I didn't write that many new stories, but the ones I did were long.
I finally finished "The Succubus Heart Squad". That was a story I intended for a Literotica Valentine's Day competition and failed to finish. I ran it as a min-serial on the blog for a while and that too failed to finish. But this year I went back and finally completed it for Lit's Valentine's Day comp. At 11.5K words it was a bit of a monster.
So too was "The Succubus in Mr Herbert's Summer House". That was a spur of the moment idea I wanted to enter Lit's Summer contest, but that ballooned to 11K words and went in the Halloween contest instead. It also presented me with an interesting little novel idea I have filed away to be worked on later.
In continuing the theme of finishing off half-written stories, the main story I wanted to enter for Halloween is another story that's been hanging around for a while. That one I didn't finish, mainly because I had another spur of the moment idea inspired by a viral social media video and foolishly tried to work on both simultaneously. Unsurprisingly, I failed to finish them in time.
This turned out not to be that bad, as the one I did finish, "The Subway Succubus" was rejected for being a little too nasty. With both "The Succubus in Mr Herbert's Summer House" and this, I was trying to use some more conventional horror themes. In the case of "The Subway Succubus", a really icky fate for one of the protagonists. I don't blame Literotica for deciding that was a bit too much! It was also another lengthy story at nearly 7K words.
So, a mixed year overall.
Most of these were Patreon-exclusives. That will likely continue as it's now a regular source of income. It's not much, but I'm fairly prudent and it pays the bills. I would like to get some new Amazon ebooks out, though, as it has been a painfully long time since the last one. While they've kept their Orwellian tendencies quiet for a while, having Patreon as a main funding source is still a big risk considering how randomly ban-happy they can be. In 2021 I might see if I can mirror things on Subscribestar, which will make the exclusives available for people that refuse to have anything to do with Patreon.
Anyway, the fireworks are going off, it's time to grab a beer or six. I wish a Happy New Year to you all and let's hope 2021 is better!