Working Notes – November 5, 2012

Oh, I’ve been dying to tell you this.

I’ve finally broken ground on the third Beloved Bloody Time novel.

It’s not like I’ve been sitting around idle all this time.  I’ve been busy.  Very busy, and on the novel, too.  And the series.

1)  I finished up plotting the whole series in broad strokes.  At the moment, bar continental shifts and planets re-aligning, the series will have nine books.  Of course, this may change by the time the whole series is completely written.  In story worlds anything is possible — especially in this world, where they managed to acquire an entire civilized planet in the space of about two days!  But for now, nine novels it is.

2)  I plotted the third book of the series in detail.   I am a plotter, not a panster, and these stories are quite complex so I’m keeping a tight rein on them.

3)  I named the third book, too….  Romani Armada.

4) I also built the book’s page on this site and wrote the blurb and details for it.  You’ll find the book page here.

5) And lastly, as I’ve already mentioned, I “broke ground.”  I started writing the manuscript itself.  That’s always a defining moment for a book.

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I’ve been getting a ton of emails and messages from people asking, basically, “When????”  (I sometimes add a mental “dammit” on the end for them, depending on how many exclamation marks they’ve used.  Just to help them get the message across.)  Well, now I can answer truthfully, “Soon!”

Plotting is such a formless, unstructured exercise, there’s no real way to measure progress while you’re doing it except gut feeling.  I could only say I “felt” like I was close to having things come together.  But with plotting, that sensation of things coming together only happens close to the end, when things really do start to gel and become a cohesive whole…when the strands and threads start to bind and turn into a structured book.

For most of the early days and weeks, a writer can cast about, floundering, doing a bit of research here, a bit of character development there, a bit of plotting for that storyline or arc there, and none of it really feels like progress and none of it feels like a solid contribution to the whole.

I’ve learned to trust that the process eventually yields results and just keep plugging away.  But it’s a bit hard to explain that to anyone else, or even to say how much longer it’s all going to take.  So in answer to everyone who has asked “when?” all I’ve been able to say lately is “soon!”.

Now I have a much more defined answer to give you.  Look to the right, in the sidebar (you may have to scroll up to the top), and you’ll see exactly how much longer it’s going to take.  There’s a progress bar for pages written for the first draft of the manuscript.  I’ll update it daily.

In the meantime, if you visit the book’s page here on the site, there’s already an excerpt up there for you to read.

Enjoy!

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