Hello there, it is me, Tom Frost again. To the people who have followed this story I would like to say: Thank you for your interest in this story, and my apologies for the lack of an update for the last few weeks. The truth is that I've been finding it difficult to write the next chapters of Sentient Clockwork, and in the past weeks I've come to realise the reasons why that is.
Firstly, I got kinda bored of the direction I had taken the story. The city of Lunima has the potential to be an interesting setting, but I had to take the story to some small village in the mountain. While the contrast with the city works for a small while, I ended up spending way to much time in the mountains. I also got bored of some of the characters, who I should've fleshed out more earlier in the story, like Rodrick Maes and especially Jake Griffon. A good story has characters that interact naturally with each other and create interesting or funny scenes in the process. My own scenes, meanwhile, were too often purely functional: a way to explain a certain concept or shed some light on a specific character trait. I'll try to make conversations feel more natural by giving more thought to each of my characters, and how they would act in certain situations.
Secondly, I've made some choices in the story that I regret. Some stuff is relatively minor, like using the term 'science' when 'engineering' would be more accurate, but other things are relatively major, like the role of magic in the story. If magic exists and is accepted widely, why would arcane science not be accepted? Magic is at least as scary, as it allows its wielder to do almost anything. So I should have either explained why arcane science is so much worse or made magic more mysterious and feared as well.
Finally there is my biggest problem with my own story: the lack of motivation of my main character. Nora doesn't really have a reason to take such an active role in the current series of events. I put her in there because I wanted to stick to a single main character, but instead of changing my story to fit her goals, I just made her go with Evelyn because the story needs to be told by her. This doesn't really work and will be improved upon in the future.
The above reasons are in turn caused by two things: a lack of planning from my part and a too ambitious time-table. When I published the first chapter I knew in rough lines where I wanted to take the story and how it would end. As writing went on, however, additional concepts, scenes, and twists made writing each chapter more enjoyable, but also blurred the outline of the rest of my story. For the next story, I'll make a strict outline of the whole story before posting the first chapter. I've found out that just starting with a setting and an rough idea doesn't work for me.
Secondly, while posting every week was a good way to get myself to continue writing, it did not improve the quality of the story. Especially toward the end, I didn't make enough time for things like spell checking, which is required for a non-native speaker like myself. The next story will need to either be almost finished before I post the first chapter, if I want to post regularly, or it will be posted irregularly, when I feel each chapter is as good as it could possibly be.
I hope this announcement has given you some insight into my into my reasons for wanting to re-write this story. I still believe I can tell a great story in this setting and with characters like these, but I cannot make myself continue this story when I now see so many of its flaws. So again, sorry for ending it like this, but I think that if you liked this story, you'll love what I have in mind for it in the future. I've learned a lot from writing this story so far (the longest one I've ever written), and I hope to apply everything I learnt to come back with an even better one.