Tuesday 18 August 2009


So Warrior of Darkness is out and another cool book launch took place (pictures and details forthcoming). Now’s the time to buckle down and finish up the trilogy with Sorceress of Shadows, due out from Absolute XPress in March 2010.

I’m in the planning phase, which is both exciting and frightening. March 2010 seems far away, but the manuscript is due at my publisher’s by end of year. So that gives me just over four months.

I know the characters, I know where they’re headed and I know what’s going to happen, so it’s do-able. As long as there’s a plan, keeping in mind that I work full time, have a couple of storytelling shows left this year and I don’t want to eradicate all social contact. Social contact is important.

So let's think about this plan, working backwards from December 31.

I like test readers to read through to make sure I’m not doing anything way out in left field, that the characters and plot work and are ringing true to the other two books. I plan on giving test readers three weeks to review Sorceress of Shadows. And then after I need about a month for mulling and implementing final changes.

Ok, so keeping that in mind, I have until November 8 to get something together. But I need some time to edit my own stuff once I’ve pumped out draft 1, and make it all nice and sleek for the test readers. They need a coherent and cohesive story to judge it appropriately.

I like to give myself a month to do this. Edits are slower for me than straight writing. So now I’m looking at, um, October 11 to get the first draft done.

Sundays are my most productive days (I take them off for writing). Weekdays are not bad - I can usually pump out 1,000 words. I’m re-reading Princess of Light and Warrior of Darkness now to prepare myself for the fun ahead, so I’m going to officially begin Sorceress of Shadows on Monday, August 24. (I'm cheating, as I already have about 5,000 words. Mwa ha.)

So, knowing all of this, and estimating Sorceress to be complete at 90,000 words, this is what the rest of the year looks like for my writing:

August 24 to October 11
~13,000 words/week. (1,000 each day Monday to Saturday and 7,000 on Sunday)

October 11 – November 8
Review, revise, make sense, clean up, edit, double-check names, and do all the fun things that make novels make sense.

November 8 to December 1
Off to test readers. I sit back and wait with bated breath. Question everything I’ve written and done. Try to distract self with short stories, videogames and throwing multi-coloured jelly beans at neighbourhood kids.

December 1 – December 31
Changes are in. Go through each copy and note changes that must be incorporated. Attack manuscript with vigor, fix problems, edit once more.

January 1, 2010
Take a deep breath. Begin next project while waiting for editorial feedback from my publisher.

A good way to start a new year!