Drew’s State of Writing – October 2015

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It’s once again time for my semi-annual State of Writing Update. This serves the dual purpose of letting all of you wonderful readers know what I’m getting up to when I’m, say, slacking on my WoT reread posts or forgetting to do Books of the Week, as well as providing myself with a touchstone to get my agenda in order.

If you’ve followed these in the past, you’ll notice a theme: I generally go way, way off my intended schedule. Sadly, that’s sort of the reality of being a writer who also works a full-time job. Sometimes life gets in the way, and sometimes new things pop up and demand me to write them.

This update, thankfully, doesn’t feature too much of that.

Six months ago, in my last update, I was hard at work on All Flames Cast. While I didn’t quite stick with that timeline (thanks, NHL playoffs), I did finish the first full draft of AFC this summer. Feedback from my alpha readers has been great, and I’m beginning revisions this week. There are definitely some hefty changes that need to be made, especially in the early chapters. I wrote four chapters of AFC almost three years ago, now, and it’s pretty clear when you read them that things need to be updated, tightened, and just plain improved. Essentially, I’m aiming for finishing these revisions by Christmas.

Concurrent with this, and what I’ve been doing the most work on over the past couple of months, is worldbuilding for a new, standalone novel titled Magisterium. It started out in my mind as a dark fantasy, but certain characters have grabbed hold of me and won’t let go, resulting in a very different plot and essentially turning this into a YA book. It’ll be significantly shorter than the 145k word count that All Flames Cast is sitting at; I think 85-90k is more realistic for this one. I’m not going to go into too much plot detail now—especially because I’m not even done with the outline—but I’m planning on diving in fully on the first draft sometime around the New Year. I do have a few scenes written already, and one or two might creep onto this site in the next couple of months. We’ll see.

Somewhere in the middle of all this is going to be that novella I talked about writing this summer. The original plan was to write it while I was on vacation in July…and then my computer crashed less than 24 hours into the trip. So that didn’t happen. But the story will go on, featuring characters from my earlier short story Winters Past, because it’s going to serve as a prequel to a trilogy I have planned, called Vengeful Tides. The novella, tentatively titled Seeds of Sand, will take shape sometime in the coming six months, I think. The three books of the main Vengeful Tides sequence will likely come along after I finish the whole four-book Chronicle of the Sons series.

Which brings me back to what my writing life has revolved around for the last two-plus years. After Magisterium, I will be returning to write the sequel to All Flames Cast, titled Of Genesis. Hopefully this one won’t take me as long, since I’ve already done all (most) of the worldbuilding and I have a solid foundation to build on. However, the plan for it is a little unorthodox, so we’ll see how it turns out.

I’m very excited about this, both because I get to expand the world even more and because there are some POV characters for this one who fascinate me—and hopefully the readers, too. While Of Genesis is more or less concurrent with All Flames Cast in the chronology, it focuses on almost entirely different characters and will really widen the scope of things. One of the main reasons Chronicle of the Sons is going to be four books instead of three is the expansion that will take place in Of Genesis. Look for this to get started sometime next year.

For those keeping track, the order of things looks something like this:

  • All Flames Cast second draft
  • Magisterium
  • Seeds of Sand
  • Of Genesis
  • Sons of Oblivion (Chronicle of the Sons Book 3)
  • The Faithful (Book 4)
  • Vengeful Tides trilogy

As you can see, my writing plate is very full for a while—and that’s not even half of what I have planned—but most of that is years down the road at best. It sounds exciting when I think about these books in a vacuum, but taken altogether I’m a little overwhelmed. But mostly, I’m just thrilled by the progress over the past year. Between finishing All Flames Cast, starting Magisterium, the booming traffic on this site (already far more unique page views this year than the last four years combined), and the myriad new projects that have popped up for me, it’s been a fun ride. Stay tuned for more soon!

 

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