It was an eventful week: the search for a new home is going well; my tattoo isn’t really working out (why are people so sketchy?); and–super amazeballs–I’m writing the final scene to Feast of Mercy. That last point is a biggie for me. I’m a chronic non-finisher: school, projects, career (until now); even video games, movies or books I often abandon as soon as my interest wanes. I never imagined that I would write over 1.25 million words (double or triple that figure when you consider the drafts for each book). Now I have only a few more words to go and Morigan’s era will come to a close. I’ll write that definitive Fin next Wednesday or Thursday, I imagine, on what will be an otherwise unremarkable day. But I’m going to celebrate in advance! Perhaps I’m getting a head of myself. Still, even if something catastrophic were to occur, the manuscript–saved to the cloud–is a good enough first draft that an avid Geadhainite and wordsmith could pick it up and polish it off. Sombre thoughts, I know, but let’s not forget Stig Larsson.
Ahead, we–readers, publicists and I–have a busy year. Foremost, I should mention that the manuscript for Feast of Mercy is over 500 thousand words. Chew on that for a moment. To give you an idea of the size of the latest manuscript, Feast of Chaos is 230 thousand words; so Mercy is double that and then some. I didn’t realize how large the latest manuscript was until I did a word count a while back. No wonder writing it took so long! Now this presents a couple of issues as well as opportunities. I’ll present them to you in the classic “shit sandwich” format.
Book is done, yay! > Book is simply too big to be one book, sadface > Book can be cleanly split into two parts and released simultaneously or near so, yay!
Looking at my flowchart or whatever you’d call that, there’s definitely a silver lining. Even though the manuscript will be too large to release in a single installment, each half remains part of the larger story being told in Mercy. So while I could do “Five Feasts till Darkness”, and earlier joked to that effect as the issue of manuscript-bloat began to manifest itself, I won’t. Likewise, I intend to have the manuscript edited as one book, not two.
For the reader, nothing really changes, except you get to spend even more time wandering Geadhain with your favorite heroes and villains. I’m not trying to gouge anyone, either, by having two separate SKUs. You’re certainly going to be getting your money’s worth; believe me, I’m the one losing out in this equation since the cost for preparing a manuscript this size will be twice or more what I’ve previously spent on each. My wallet weeps. Alas, there’s simply too much story to trim everything down to one book. At least the editors and I will be shaving away many, many thousands of unnecessary words. Ideally, I’d like to have two books about the size of Chaos.
The plan is to have both books delivered by Christmas. I’m giving myself the whole year for this project, and I promise it will be worth the wait. Not only will you see the relationships and warfare in which you’ve become involved concluded in a breathtaking, stupefying, stupendous finale (you can hold me to that promise–the conclusion really is the wildest thing I’ve written), you’ll also spend plenty of time afterward following the story to a slow, natural conclusion. The ending to LoTR had the same gradual exploration of events post-war for which I’m aiming–with a lot more sass and drama, of course. By the time you read Fin there should be no loose threads…Aside from the insinuated darkness ready to challenge Geadhain in her second round of tales and heroes.
All my love,
P.S. Make sure to catch up on your Roadside Reader Bookcasts! I’ll be speaking with RR tonight, and it’s sure to be a scintillating and irreverent discussion. Bookcast #3 and #4 can be found below.