So another one bites the dust. Today I typed ‘The End’ on ‘The Mages of Bennamore’, the third epic fantasy set in the Brightmoon world. Because I like statistics, here are some numbers for the three books for comparison:
Book 1: ‘The Plains of Kallanash’
Elapsed writing time: 1 year
Total days of writing: 190
Total words: 220,000
Average words per writing day: 1,100
Book 2: ‘The Fire Mages’
Elapsed writing time: 5 months
Total days of writing: 90
Total words: 151,000
Average words per writing day: 1,700
Book 3: ‘The Mages of Bennamore’
Elapsed writing time: 7 months
Total days of writing: 119
Total words: 157,000
Average words per writing day: 1,300
This third book is much the same size as the second, but it took 7 months overall instead of 5 months, largely because I was also working on revising ‘The Plains of Kallanash’. There’s no doubt that it’s easier and more productive (for me, anyway) to work exclusively on one book at a time, especially for first draft work. For the last two or three weeks, since Kallanash went off to the proofreader, I’ve been working flat out on finishing this one off, with the result that I’ve had a much higher daily word count, and it’s been easier to keep track of the various strands of the plot in my head. I love getting immersed in a story like that, although I’m not sure it’s good for me: I go to bed only when I’m cross-eyed with tiredness, lie awake anyway, thinking about plot options, wake up early and start again. This writing lark would be much easier if I didn’t have so many other things to do during the day, like boring real world stuff. Who needs meals anyway? Or clean clothes? Dust, what dust?
This one will be left to brew for a while – several months at least. So what’s next? Well, a rest from writing first of all (and try to reduce the size of the ironing pile). Then ‘The Fire Mages’ is going off to Scribophile to be torn to shreds by my eagle-eyed crit-buddies. Its cover art is already scheduled. And Kallanash will be back from the proofreader soon for final tidy-up editing and formatting ready for ARCs in August and publication (eek!) in September.
For the next new work, I’m thinking of resuscitating something that predates all the three completed works, but was abandoned when I started Kallanash. I already have 120,000 words (over 30 chapters) of it, but (huge but) it needs a lot of work to bring it into line with the others in the Brightmoon world. Firstly, there are world-building aspects that are no longer canonical, so many details of the background have to be changed. All the names have to be revised (I used modern names, which just doesn’t work). Plus my writing style has changed considerably. Or, to put it another way, I was a terrible writer back then. So a lot of work. But I love the story, the premise and the characters, so I want to do it eventually.
But for today, I’m just going to relax and enjoy getting to the end of another book. A very satisfying moment.