This weekend was Crunch Time. How did I do?
Here’s yesterday’s total output:
And at the end of that session, I got to type up these words:
Yes, the first draft of The Song of Forgotten Stars, book five: Embers of Future Flames is finally done.
I started drafting this book at the beginning of 2021. My goal was to have it done before we took off for Waikiki…a year ago. That didn’t happen, obviously. This one was a very difficult write, and I had to stop completely quite a few times just to think out what was happening and why. This book was hard. A lot goes on in this book, as you might tell; it’s the fifth book in a nine-book series, and it has a lot of heavy lifting to do. The conflicts that unfold over the last four books in the series have to be established, and the various building blocks of story that I’ve been putting in place in the first four books have to start coming together. And as I’m the kind of writer who throws things into the books because “Hey, this sounds cool!”, I have to figure out ways to make at least some of those things relevant and important.
When you get this deep into a series, the “pantsing” approach has some pitfalls…but I’ll get through it.
Oh, and the book has to be a fun and engaging read on its own! These are still space adventures, so we need space adventure! I’m happy to say that this book has a lot of adventure in it. And new villains. New powers. New discoveries.
You might note that the manuscript ended up being just shy of 250,000 words. That is, by quite a chunk, my longest first draft manuscript by a good margin. That will get a lot shorter when I do edits–I am very good at making cuts–but still, this one may end up being the longest Forgotten Stars novel yet by the time it’s all said and done. The Savior Worlds currently holds that title at just over 184,000 words, roughly; I don’t see myself editing this one down by that much. Cutting 60,000 words is, ahem, unlikely.
So, what’s next? A break from book writing, for one thing! I’m only writing blog posts and the like over the next couple of weeks, and then when the New Year starts, I’ll start doing something else. I’ve been thinking about putting together an ebook of my various writings about Star Wars over the years, and that might be a fun diversion. Then I’ll likely return to my fantasy duology, The Adventures of Lighthouse Boy, in hopes of finishing the entire draft of that series. Then, in 2024 some time, back to Forgotten Stars.
As for publishing Embers of Future Flames? Maybe in late 2023. Maybe. We’ll see.
Meanwhile, for the Jedi it is time to rest.
congratulations! I have no patience for writing in the long form.