Sunday, December 04, 2005

To Ash or not -- that is the question

I've finished the first revision of The Words of Making and cut it down to 195,000 words (about 60 manuscript pages). My editor was very happy to hear the news! I'm going to go through it one more time before I ship it off.

I also need to figure out the fate of A Path of Ashes. While I was writing The Words of Making I got all kinds of new ideas and reached the point where I thought they needed to be in a separate book rather than incorporating them into one of the remaining volumes in the series. I need to decide that soon, because if I go ahead with it, A Path of Ashes will be the next book in the series, before The Commanding Stone. I have a ton of plot and character arcs figured out, but I don't have an ending, which for me is a huge problem. I always need to have an ending before I start, so I know where things end up. I'm not one of these writers who can just slog along and then decide, "Hey, I'm done!"

And while I have some arcs figured out, I still need to decide on the overall narrative engine and work it in such a way that it doesn't completely screw up the plans I have for the last two volumes. Or, if it does screw them up, that it's worth the time and trouble.

So I need to figure out relatively soon what the bones of the story will be. I'll probably be splitting my workdays between the second revision of The Words of Making and hammering out the story outline of A Path of Ashes.

Wish me luck!


Simon Haynes said...

Good luck ;-)
Many readers seem to think finished books spring fully formed from authors' minds. If they knew how many scenes could have gone either way it'd freak them out.
I guess it's like a studio version of a song versus a live one.

David Forbes said...

Thanks, Simon.

I barely understand myself how all of the crazy ideas I have somehow coalesce into a coherent (I hope!) story. I've never been able to explain it in a way that doesn't sound completely mundane.

Simon Haynes said...

I just posted something to my blog which goes into a bit of detail on a couple of changes I'm making to my next book. Before and after... that kind of thing.
My editor hasn't seen this one yet, but I'm using lessons learnt from working on the first two. I hope.

Simon Haynes said...
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