So, I have been plugging away at Book Three and it is rapidly drawing to a close. I have often read the forewords by authors, even before I had any idea of writing any books of my own. I seem to recall reading something Lloyd Alexander wrote once about being mired in the marshes of Morva during the writing process (maybe I am misremembering). That is how Book Three has felt as I have written it.
Progress has been slower than I had hoped, but it is finally drawing to a conclusion. The main action of the book is underway (almost complete) and a little wrap-up at the end (tying up some loose ends from this book and setting the stage for Book Four) is soon to follow. I think Book Three has been difficult because the story involved picking up a large number of people and dropping them into action a long way from home. It ultimately makes sense in the broader context of the overall story (and also in the immediate context), but that has taken a lot of thought and work to pull off. New minor characters (good and bad) have been introduced. They will be necessary to continue and ultimately conclude the story. During Book Three’s writing, I had an epiphany regarding Book Four and Book Five (not changing the plot, but adding a lot more plot elements and another lot line or two) and I have been working all of that in as best as I could.
Reader feedback has been very motivational during this process. Someone I know keeps telling me that his teenage sons are bugging him to find out when Book Three will be finished, so I have worked to be able to tell him “I’ve finished a few more pages” or “I’ve finished another chapter” whenever I see him. The pressure ratcheted up when he told me that his wife started reading my books and was already on Book Two and that there will likely be a fight in his household over who gets to read Book Three first. (I told him they should just buy multiple copies to resolve that problem)
So, on to the numbers. I have finished 21 chapters and 210 pages (based on the same page size as the previous two books). I figure it will be about six or seven more chapters and a small epilogue before I am done. My revised prediction is completion by the end of June with a little editing/proofing and then available for Kindle and in Paper shortly thereafter. To put this in perspective, I have finished three chapters in the past week and a half or so. If I can keep that pace up, the main body of writing will be done in early June. I don’t know whether I can keep that pace up, which is why I am projecting the end of June. (I sent out a version to Beta readers in late April with 18 chapters, sent out another last weekend with 19 chapters, and sent one out today with 21 chapters, so you can see that the progress is non-linear)