If you follow the blog, it's possible you have seen the posts about 2017 difficulties. It was a crap year and I struggled to write. What I did instead was edit because it didn't require me to create the story and I did some serious world building.
About the time Molly went into hospice that January, I was 50k into Bespoken. Realizing the book wasn't going to be the 80k I had forecasted, I bumped up the word count a couple of times until I thought 150k could be the length. (I am still not sure. Any longer and I will have to figure out how to split it up.) I also realized I had holes in my world and in some of the character development. The Valsepian Pact is simply too complicated to partially write by the-seat-of-my-pants like I was trying to do.
As you know, I stalled out on Bespoken and the other four books I attempted to write last year. I turned my attention toward fixing the problems. I also decided that plotting would be crucial to ensure I didn't run into an issue later on, that upon fixing, meant extensive plot and/or character reorganization for the following books.
I got crazy detailed with the world building. I had a list of questions I searched for answers on. I wrote backgrounds for characters, built planetary cultures, and even taped a bunch of graft paper together so I could draw a star chart. This is how Thursday's Pact Day started. When I finished the list of species and races who were a part of the Valespian Pact, including those who would be instrumental in the final bit of the plot arc, I had planned to update a page here on the blog. I had put up a short list up after I wrote Striker. The updated species/race list had over 25k words, so I decided a weekly reveal would be better. :)
I am really glad I had the time to plot out the rest of the series. Don't get me wrong, I had ideas of what the plots would be since I named the books and indicated which characters would be the leads. But when it came to the final book, Legends, I only had this vague, 'wrap up all the storylines', in the description. I wasn't sure how the peoples of the Valespian Pact were going to win the day. It was the same with the last book of Sumeria's Sons. I basically wrote in my notes, 'Big Fight. Tristan kicks ass... Brian and Ushna, too, for balance.'
Yep. That was the total amount of plotting I did for the last book of Sumeria's Sons. It wasn't until I sat down to write Releasing Chaos that I realized I had screwed myself, not in a good way. That book took time and patience to write and a couple of trashed first drafts.
So this time around, the last book of the Valepsian Pact was plotted. I had my evil moments, where I relished adding heart twisting moments, because hey, it's the last book of the series where the final battle takes place and there is a reason I titled it Legends. Big shit happens that will be remembered for a long time to come.
While trying to be an evil mastermind, I decided I would incorporate a side love story for Mestor. I was asked by a friend to write a romance for Mestor and I'd said yes. Then I wondered how I was going to do it. So, I set the idea off to the side, figuring I would need to write a standalone novella that took place after the series closed. I was going to write a standalone for Canry in the same time period, so why not? But as I plotted, I realized I could insert it throughout the remaining books of the series. I really liked the idea and added Mestor and his beau's storyline into the mix.
The one issue was their story actually started right before the princeling twins leave to pick up Zeus at the space station. I thought I could write two or three flash fictions for Prince Mestor and Warlord Sohm'lan, covering the beginning of their romance. But after I wrote and posted the third or fourth flash fiction, I understood their story could be a novella, about 35k. I decided to make it an official part of the series and concentrated on writing the novella.
On December 31st, I finished writing Constant, making it the only story I completed in 2017. Then I took a two week vacation! LOL! That was a good move because while I was on downtime I had several ideas. When I came off vacation I jumped back into the book. Scenes were added while others were completely rewritten. This week I was pushing to get it finished. Last night, I remembered I needed to insert one last scene near the beginning, then the epilogue. After that, Constant, the third book of the Valespian Pact, will be finished. I'm calling it, 'the book I didn't know needed to be written.' I still need to do another editing pass since I added so much material. The book went from the 35k novella to a 57k novel. It will probably be over 60k after the scene and epilogue are added. (Dear god, someone give me some fireworks!) (Thank you, Lexy!)
I cannot say enough how excited I am to be this close to finishing a book. It feels so good to have that part of me back, you know?
For those who have the question, "When will it be released?" I will have beta readers look at this before I submit it to the publisher. If it is accepted, then the release will be based on their schedule and I won't know until they tell me.
In the meantime, I need to write a 500 word summary and figure out what I would like to see on the cover. That last one is hard because the majority of the book takes place in space. I need to think of something that will fall in line with the covers of Alpha Trine and Striker.
And that's it! Constant is almost done, and I will be getting it ready to submit. Bespoken is back on the writing block. I will continue to write weekly chapters of the blog story, Assassin's Retirement. And I'm plotting out the next books in the I.O.N. series.
Being busy feels terribly good.
Thank you for stopping by and reading!!