The pressure is light at the moment, but building each month as I move through 2020 on my way to late autumn. That pressure is a result of my plans for the year.
My ultimate goal for 2020 is, and always has been, to draft Bk4 (of 5) this November. That means completing an editing pass on all the remaining Carrdia books before October so I have time to plan for NaNo.
Yes, even I’m having a difficult time comprehending that I actually have a year-long plan. Too, I must make it or my work in October will be that much more difficult.
I’m currently winding down on my first serious edits of Exhuming Truths, the prequel to Trust in the Forgotten, Riparia’s Bk1. I’ve already gone through the entire novel from beginning to end. At present, I’m going back through following each of the character arcs. I’m also checking first and last lines/paragraphs.
Given it’s still early March, I’m pleased with my pace. So much so that I scheduled two health checks for next month. Go, me!
That’s what’s happening in the present. Now, it’s time to examine my work in the context of the overall plan.
Before I begin…
A book is done when it’s done. I don’t do a prescribed number of edits (or partial edits). Each book is unique, the circumstances under which they’re drafted different. The same goes for each edit. Too, some give up their magic quicker than others. It’s also worth noting that snags of one kind or another can appear at any point in the process.
There’s also the issue of writing an entire fantasy series all at once. As I move along there are new worldbuilding elements I develop or foreshadowing I need to backup and add. Each novel I write makes those two jobs bigger each time.
Yes, keeping good notes and addressing the changes as soon as possible are vital steps.
Okay, here we go…
Given I believe Bk1, Trust in the Forgotten, is 95% of the way to where I want it to be, I’m not working on it this year (as it stands now). In January, I completed the second full edit on Bk2, A River in Each Hand. I was overjoyed with the results. There’s more work to be done, but it’s most of the way to where I want it to be.
I’ve already mentioned Exhuming Truths, the prequel, which serves as a bridge in the series. It answers countless questions from the first two novels while setting the stage for those that come after.
After this edit of the prequel is finished, I’ll move on, but not to a Riparia novel. Torment Surfacing is a periphery Carrdia novel in the same timeline and is also tied to the events in Riparia’s stories. In the world of my random editing before 2020, Kasaria’s novel has already been edited several times. I’m hoping that means it’ll go fairly quick. If that’s the case, the fourth edit could finish in April.
That’s encouraging, but the project that’d follow could be lengthy. Following the Essence Stone is another periphery novel. This version (don’t ask) hasn’t been edited at all. Not only that, but there are large portions of it that are going to be rewritten.
For the most part, I’m happy with Ametha’s Essence Stone story, but there are a couple of issues. One is that the story felt flat at times. I recognized the problem while writing it. The second was her love interest. I now have solutions for both problems, and some other exciting ideas. If all goes well, I’ll finish with Essence Stone by around the beginning of the summer in June.
If on schedule, I’ll then have the summer to work on the first edit of Riparia’s Bk3, So Others Might Remember. Keep in mind, each of Riparia’s novels is a little longer than the one before it owing to managing more threads.
*I mentioned a book giving up its magic? My periphery novels are good examples. Torment Surfacing was magic in its first draft. Meanwhile, Essence Stone veers between amazing and baffling. I’m close, I know I am.
If I have any extra time I might work on one or more of the Pannulus novels. Yes, there are those, too. Neither Stealing Light or Protecting the Pneuma Key have been edited. Worse, I owe Stealing Light a sequel and there’s another stand-alone Pannulus novel whispering in the back of my brain. It’d be about a special halfway house and the struggling young lives that occupy it.
Oh, and there are short stories and two novella’s I’ve yet to edit.
Someone slap me.
On the other hand, I dearly love each of these novels and treasure every moment working on them. I wouldn’t trade my prolific problems for anything. I’m additionally thankful that I thought to plan my year rather than spend another year drifting. At year’s end I’ll be sure to access how effective my plan was.