You gotta aim for something …

6 May

I started writing my series, The Day Magic Died, in November 2011.

It was far from the first book I had started. I’ve lost count of how many books I began writing. I always ran out of steam somewhere along the line. Mostly, I never knew where I was going, and therefore, how to get there.

That almost happened with this series.

Unlike anything I’ve ever attempted before, this book just seem to pour out of my fingertips. (Gosh, that sounds kind of gross. Or like it made an awful mess of my keyboard.)

But as it poured out, it became clear that I needed to aim it toward something.

So I wrote the ending.

With an ending in mind, I was able to keep on track. Well, sort of.

The story began to twist and turn. Let’s face it, if it didn’t, it’d be a very dull book. As a result, the ending took a few turns as well. But I pressed on, and completed it, ending up with six books of right around 60,000 words each.

That was my first draft, and while I certainly felt a sense of accomplishment, and felt like it was pretty good, I soon realized that Ernest Hemmingway was correct when he so famously said, “The first draft of anything is,” well, we’re not going to use that word. But there were problems.

The biggest problem I solved by deleting 80 chapters of the fifth book and merging the fifth and sixth books.

And since then, the books have been through innumerable revisions.

Right now, I’m doing all the technical stuff to get the first book, The House in the Old Wood, ready to be published – this week, I hope. It’s gone to about 90,000 words, which is about a 300-page novel.

The second book, tentatively titled Tsilinakaya’s Path, is almost done. I have to run it past a few critical readers. That’s a bit shorter, perhaps 250 pages. (Editor’s Note: That second book became Karia’s Path, and was actually roughly the same length as The House in the Old Wood.)

The third book? Well, that’s in the process of revision. I’m about 10 percent done with a major revision. And then there are major changes needed in the fourth book. But so far, I’m thinking the fifth book is very close to done. (Editor’s note: As of October 2013, the third book, now titled The Hall of the Prophetess, is on track for release in November 2013 — two years after I started writing the series. The fourth book is undergoing major revisions.)

I guess we’ll see when I get there.

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