On Friday, June 18th, I finished the first draft of ‘Shield & Scepter’. It wrapped up about 5k words shorter than ‘Scales & Stingers’, but that doesn’t bother me. It’s with my beta readers now, and the probability is high that there will be more words added than subtracted.
The rest of the day was…odd. I knew before I finished the first book that there would be a second. I was not at all prepared to let go of Thia and her friends. This time, I wasn’t as certain.
The ending was open enough I could do a third. Fantasy trilogies are a ‘thing’ and have been for years. The story is more character driven over plot driven, though. It’s not some epic, arcing plot that gives you a cliffhanger at the end of the first two books. The BBEG has been dealt with, the characters have grown, and life goes on.
The other hesitation came from my original plan. Two books with this cast, revamp an older series of mine to fit within the world of Avoch for two books, and then two books on the gods of Avoch/how they came to be/what drove Lolc Aon underground.
But I still wasn’t fully ready to let go of Thia and company.
I talked some with my husband, about where a third book could go. Basic ideas, really, but my mind started working on them. To the point that, when I was in the bath tub, I had a title. And the ending.
Okay, two possible endings. But I also knew how to get there, had some dialogue in my head, and the pantser in me knew I’d know the right ending when I got to that point.
When I got out, I came into my office and opened the file for ‘Shield & Scepter’. At the bottom of the last page, following the pattern I set in ‘Scales & Stingers’, I added the following:
The Final Adventure Awaits in ‘Sword & Soul: A Heroes of Avoch Novel’
I also realized that another part of my hesitation is my hands. I’m 27 days from surgery to correct both trigger fingers. I can spend that time revising ‘Shield & Scepter’ as notes come back from my betas, work on updating another book I previously published & get it out (something I’ve talked about with my agent). I’ve got the blurb and synopsis to tighten up for ‘Shield & Scepter’ so I can send them to Denise with the novel when the betas are done.
I have ways to stay writing, and busy, until my hands have fully healed and my specialist gives me the all clear to spend hours at the keyboard.
So, yeah, I have a plan. I’m plotting in my head, working out the big picture so I can hit the ground running. I’m tweaking the supporting documents, taking a look at an older book with fresh eyes, and breathing.
Denise is still submitting the first book to publishers. I know that we’ll find someone out there who loves them as much as I do. I know that anyone who follows this blog or me on social media will like the books once they’re out.
It’s just a matter of time.
BB/Chan Eil Eagal Orm