Well, everyone, The Imperfect's Journal is still going after nearly a month! I think this might be the longest I've managed to maintain something that involves daily updates. I have so much planned for this story, though, and I'm always eager to post the next entry.
Since its creation, I've received a couple of common questions about the story and figured I'd take the time to answer them here. If you have any questions, you can always email me using the Contact page on this website!
The most common question that I get about this work--even by people who have admittedly only read the first few entries--is: how many posts are there going to be?
I think the main reason I receive this question is because the journal is split into parts, which suggests that the story is going to be pretty long.
Darren Stratt's story will take place over the course of one year, and will thus end next Spring. I already have the entire story planned out; in fact, I've written entries all the way to July 2066! That's one of the benefits of a short-read, journal-style format; I can write quick entries on my phone and edit them later, ensuring that there will never be a day when I don't have something to post.
Imperfect's Journal is only split into parts because Wattpad has a limit of 200 entries per work. I didn't want to have awkward splits, so instead I'm just having each entry contain 3-4 months of content. Part One will be the shortest of the parts, containing just over two months of content. This will help it seem less daunting to get started. Part Two will contain entries from July, August, September, and October 2066.
Keeping the number of entries down is also important because sometimes there will be multiple entries per day (as there already have been). I hope that the scope of the entries don't daunt too many people; I want this story to be as accessible as possible, which is why I chose Wattpad.
Another common question--or compliment, I guess--that I receive is: you should publish this! Assuming that it's sincere, I greatly appreciate the vote of confidence. However, there are three problems with the idea of publishing this work.
Issue 1) Demand
Votes and comments are what really help bring a story out of the depths of Wattpad, which is riddled with Fifty-Shades-of-Grey level One Direction fanfiction. There are loads of excellent writers on the platform--and I follow several!--but even they don't stand a chance against the tirade of raunchy fan fiction.
I suspect that many of my readers don't actually have Wattpad accounts; they're likely just people who know me from How I Ruined My Life. I won't ask anyone to make an account just to cast their votes for The Imperfect's Journal. Your readership is enough, for me.
Anyway, since I don't have many votes and comments on my story, it's hard to get a big enough audience to make publishing the book worth it. Publication of a novel like How I Ruined My Life took just as long as writing it did (at least, that's how it felt). I don't really want to go through that again for such a small audience. If my audience grows substantially and I leave the One Direction "He spanked me with a microphone" fanfiction in the dust, then maybe I'll consider it.
Issue 2) Detracting from Chainbreaker
Let's not forget that I'm writing The Imperfect's Journal as a prequel to Chainbreaker, which is a story I've been writing and rewriting for several years. This is just an experimental creative outlet and I can't put too much time and energy into it. If I try to work on publishing this, that means reformatting, working with agents/publishers, and trying to pitch the sort of work I've never even tried to pitch, before. That's a lot of time, energy, and money to dedicate to something that isn't even my core work.
Issue 3) The Work is Already Available Online
I mean, this one is really obvious. While it would definitely be convenient to read a physical copy of the book (or to read it using an eReader) so that you wouldn't have to worry about ads, the fact is that most people who want to read The Imperfect's Journal will be looking at it for free. This really detracts from the potential audience of a published version. So, right now, I'm content with having The Imperfect's Journal as nothing more than a creative outlet while I struggle through Chainbreaker's editing phase.
This is my favorite question, because it shows such an interest in my story: what, specifically, defines 'perfect' or 'imperfect'?
My answer is always the same: wait and see. The truth is, the definition changes for both of these things quite regularly. The post hasn't been published at the time of this writing, but one entry in Part One shows a Haitian man fleeing the United States because he believes that in the future, the color of his skin will mark him as an imperfect. The definition changes as those in power become more greedy and more obsessed with their own ideas of purity.
In Chainbreaker, the only non-white characters are part of the Rebellion or the Last Free City. This is a direct result of the perfection regime's influence on the world. Perfection and imperfection are based solely on what will give more power to those who already have it.
Thanks so much for all of your questions, I love hearing from readers. I only know you're there if you comment/vote/PM me, so feel free to announce your presence if you haven't already! If you'd like to read The Imperfect's Journal, you can do so by clicking here.