Progress Report May ’17
Wow, just let me waft away the cobwebs and clear a mountain of tumbleweed off the stoop on this here blog of mine. Feels these days like I make a post, I look away, I look back and it’s five months later.
I’ve had a house move and assorted other life stuff to be getting on with, as one does, as well as a few non-book projects ticking over, but work on the books continues pretty satisfactorily. For those of you who did not catch my last progress report (I am ashamed to admit it was made at the end of August last year), I’m in the midst of writing a trilogy set in the first law world some thirty years after the Blade Itself, so maybe fifteen after Red Country. The central characters are new but a lot of familiar faces crop up in the background. Mostly takes place in the Union and the North, and so picks up the threads of the first trilogy a little more directly than the standalone books did, as the world (or parts of it, at any rate) moves into a more industrial era.
Looking back at that August post you’ll see my plan for these books was to try and draft all three before thinking about getting the first ready for publication, which given these are full length 180,ooo word adult books is extremely ambitious. It’ll mean a long wait for the first book but hopefully a regular publishing schedule thereafter, no unforeseen glitches in the release dates and, most importantly, a trilogy that’s as cohesive and well-finished as I can manage. I’d hate to publish a book, get half way through the next one and think, balls, wouldn’t it have been great if I’d done x/set up y/changed character z.
The trouble with this plan is there’s always pressure to publish new books, and you’re aware that new releases is what pushes your backlist sales, and no one wants to spend too long out of the marketplace and risk their hard-earned profile gradually decaying, so when you suddenly leap back on stage TA DA! no one gives a shit any more. So there’s a balance to be struck between the desire to get it as good as possible and the need to just get it out. I know we all like to think of artistic concerns as the only things that truly matter but, well, you have to be realistic, right? There’s no point writing brilliant books if you lose the support of publishers, the interest of booksellers and the attention of readers.
But, for the time being I’m sticking with the plan and seeing where it takes me. Each book’s in three parts, so nine in total for the trilogy, and I’ve now drafted four, which is to say all of book one and a third of book two, around 250,000 words so far. It’s rough, and will need a lot of work when done, but it’s the revision and refinement that I generally most enjoy, and so far I’m pretty pleased with the way it’s shaping up.
Still, there’s a lot to do, and even once it’s finished there’s at least six months between hand in and publication, so I’m sorry to say you shouldn’t expect a new book from me any time soon. Hey! In the meantime, you could always buy the other ones again. Just sayin…