This morning I finalized the “first” draft of the Dark Grows the Sun (DGtS) manuscript and emailed it to my editor. Wewt!
The book clocked in at 87,390 words which is right about where I want it. I expect the final version (which is a long ways away) to be roughly the same word count.
The edits will be…
I’ve hired my editor to provide two rounds of developmental editing and one round of line editing. Parlance can vary, so here’s an overview of what I’m getting:
- Developmental edit: recommendations for the underlying structure of the story, including plot, character motivations, conflict, point of view, dialogue, and more.
- Line edit: line by line recommendations on usage and style, including extensive edits and comments designed to polish the writing while respecting and preserving individual voice and style.
Gonna take some time…
This is going to be a lengthy process. I’ll get the first round comments back by the end of January. (I want them now!) From there, we’ll figure out how long it’ll take to do the first revision. All of the editing on her end will take about 3 months (2 rounds of developmental plus 1 round of line at one month each).
So best case, I’ll be able to publish DGtS by year-end 2019 or maybe early 2020. We shall see.
A 3rd book? I don’t think so…
My “And the Heavens Burn” series will have a third book. But not for a while. There are two main reasons:
- KD isn’t selling (yet). I’m assuming DGtS won’t sell, either, UNLESS I do something different. I’ll be researching what to do this month (Jan 2018).
- I want to write different stuff…change it up a bit. Keep it fun.
And by different I mean…
I want to write shorter books that are focused around a single main character. By shorter I mean about 40K words.
A few reasons for that:
- It’ll be fun to dive into a single POV and run with it whether it’s written in first person or third-person limited.
- I think I can learn more by writing more, shorter books than fewer, longer books. I’d like to get better at POVs for one thing.
- Shorter books should take less time to write and cost less to edit. That means more books written in the roughly the same amount of time for roughly the same cost. (1 book @ $1200 editing costs versus 3 books at $400 editing costs per book. Numbers are for example only).
- Cover art! Covers are cool. Sure I’d be spending more on covers but there are some great premades out there for not a lot of cha-ching.
- With more books out there, I have more to market and bundle and sell.
A few weeks ago, I knocked out a ~1200 word “chapter one” that’s best described as Lit-RPG. I don’t remember why I wrote it except that I was having exceptional trouble working on DGtS, my mind wandered and out came that lit-rpg story.
I sent it to a few friends and they liked the concept. Incidentally, the story was written in first person POV and it flowed quite naturally. Fun.
I don’t know if I’ll pick that story back up again, but it might be fun to tinker with. And I can leverage my existing magic system & worldbuilding.
I envision my Norse-inspired world on a continuum that runs from fantasy to sci-fi / space opera to dystopia / post-apocalypse. Heck, I could even do a thriller set in the Norse world. Or a Holmesian mystery.
So rather than shackle myself to a third epic fantasy, why not explore other genres? The writing needs to be fun!
I also have a few characters that I’ve cut from KD and DGtS whose stories I really want to explore. Hyrrokin tops the list. And I think her tale is perfect for a 40K book.
Vafthrudnir is another example. I cut him from DGtS, but his backstory could be a prequel. And his future adventures could bridge into the whole Jotunn story that I’ve only hinted at yet.
And then there’s my Svartalvar characters about whom I’ve written at least ~150K words — they’re mostly crap words, but hey, I really want to get to them. Their stories tie directly into the events in “And the Heavens Burn” trilogy and then go beyond it.
If I proceed linearly, then it’ll be a decade before I get to them. But if I go short and hop around, then I could publish their stories in a couple years.
That sounds a whole lot more fun. And, I really don’t want to just impact on the surface. Ouch.