Here's a place for Janny to post status updates for Destiny's Conflict which will be opened for all users to post to after Initiate's Trial has been released.
I have chapter I underway, as of yesterday.
No moss grows on a rolling stone...
Janny must be busy writing. May was such a long time ago, could we please have an update Janny.
Certainly - and you bet, I'm hard at the writing now that the production shuffle is over. It's been a hectic time for me, fall was filled with travel and a need to address some art issues to bring in additional income. In many ways, life by itself has been complicated, and the next book is an arc ending LIKE NO OTHER. Expect it will blow Stormed Fortress out of the water.
There will be explosive events and unveilings, backwards AND forwards, and that is taking extreme care in the planning, that the events unwind smoothly and without any sag and bloat. More, this is the PENULTIMATE - and I am making sure there are no false steps or dropped threads. And that the scenes, each one, known as they may be for years, also include a surprise zinger or an inspiration to make them come alive to me.
Update at this moment - I am past page 100, draft, exact count would require me to shuffle papers that aren't numbered consecutive.
One set AND two - are going to totally blow your mind. Even more than the opener of Initiate's Trial, but ;X - can't remove the authorial duct tape, the spoilers, even hinted, would be extreme.
Brace yourselves, reinforce your ceiling, and walls, in case you bounce off them rather hard.
Because You Have No Idea...!!!
So you are somewhere in chapter set 2, thanks for the update Janny.
As much as I would love a spoiler, just your thoughts as you write it would be nice so we perhaps get an idea as to the pacing and it would encourage us to guess what is going on. Spoilers can wait till it is handed in and the artwork done, then we can all get excited when we know when we are getting the book. Besides I suspect it will be harder to give us snippets this time without giving to much away. We can wait, but would be nice to see how excited you get as you are writing it, I really liked reading through the past status threads especially the Initiate's Trial thread. It livened up the waiting.
Peers up from brain boiling, double bubbling toil on the new book - gads, it's been quiet in here!
We are all hiding here in the shadows, waiting for a status update.
Working chapter 3 main. Past page 154. Thank gosh all the production, holidays, taxes, major travel, and other (personal family) issues are resolved...the fall was one traffic jam of obligations. At this stage, the story is in the groove for this set, and the count should advance pretty rapidly.
Woot! What wonderful news to brighten up my Monday morning.
Best wishes, Jon
Thanks for the update Janny, nice to see your up to chapter three.
Page count was 167 at the close of last night, and climbing at a decent clip...how fast can I finish the last two scenes of chapter 3 main?
Bets? Care to speculate?
Perhaps finish chapter 3 main just in time for a Valentine's day celebration?
I would expect you to that bit planned out by now and be just playing with the words and angles to get the most out of the two scenes.
Well the scene in progress is finished, and the next, formulated in fragments like 'stepping stones' - so it's apparent what shape it will take. This is a gift, it means the writing may well flow very nicely to the end point of this phase of action. (never count on that milestone until I am there, though).
Threads set in motion in Vol I are solidly braiding themselves into the planned for, aligned convergency. YAY!
Page count at the moment is solid and passing 170. Remains to be seen if I can nail down anything more tonight. I've about ten, maybe fifteen, ?? pages left to wrap this section. Remains to be seen if the finale of main 3 also encompasses 3a.
Chinese number puzzle, it is. Slot this bit here, so that bit can slide in there, so you arrive at that precise sequence, and of course each move affects all the other ones, up, down, sideways, past volume, and future cascade. Anyone who thinks this is easy....!
It always seems to take until Chapter Set V to ramp these books up to full swing.
The aim is to surpass Stormed Fortress's tension by lengths. Are you ready for the adrenaline? Happy writer face with duct tape applied to stifle the chortle that can't be shared - filled with spoilers. ;x
Am starting into the last scene that will wrap up this section....so 3 main is nearly there.
Nailed it - draft of 3 main is filled out at last; page count (current) 185 pages.
WHY has this last ten pages TAKEN SO LONG??? (subtitle, damn, Has She Been Watching Football?)
(sub-whisper, nope, she still HATES football, and in fact her house HAS NO TV SERVICE).
Here's your keyhole view into the Author's Journey through 3 main.
The first bit wrote like a storm because the scenes in question were on the 'boards' for a good several decades. This is a major intersect plot point, I've seen it coming for AGES.
The wrap up ten pages DO finale that scene, but - this is the PENULTIMATE VOLUME. It HAS to move the Action forward on several fronts at once. You have to 'advance' several characters' worth of experience to PREVENT BLOAT - otherwise, you'd have to Increase the Blasted Brick Size to recount those bits in TEDIOUS detail. Best insert the fiery responses where the action IS HAPPENING. So - to this end - WHICH Points of Views MUST be shown. Which are in MY head, but not shown.
Since the 'action' in these books proceeds ONLY forward and Simultaneous - I had to 'chart' the progress and plot threads of OTHER CHARACTERS who are NOT present, NOT included, (though could have been; they were Each considered, and discarded).
But I had to know where these bits were, what they were DOING, and decide how fast to ramp up their threads (or not) and (if not) logically weave in a REASON to stall the ramp up so when it was time, the gun was properly primed and loaded to go off.
What Else: oh: on several more counts, THIS SCENE picks up stuff foreshadowed all the way BACK to Vol I. Which also entailed looking up a scene in Vol 1 to pull a direct quote. (Can you stab at guessing which? hee hee!!).
And; there was another choice of 'problem' - do I handle THIS bit one way, or Another way...(where is Khetienne? Where is Arithon's pleasure sloop...were were EACH last seen in the books, which vol, what locale; and DID THEY ROT or WERE THEY MAGICALLY PRESERVED.
What in HECK did this stuff have to do with a landlocked scene in the mountains - huh??? Well, grin, you'd be puzzled if you test read the scene, but as to WHY this stuff bears on it, Only The Author knows and she's not telling.
More: this IS a 'difficult' scene for the author to write because of what the characters are doing.... ;X again.
Lastly, the final scene - I tried it from ONE point of view and hit a major stall, FAIL signal...paused and reconsidered. Then hit on another character's POV (writer's short for point of view) - voila!! - all of the bits I'd gathered to finish fell into place.
Until last night - hit the wall again, and realized, the original POV WAS needed - that one only offered the perspective to ring in the finale to this scene.
So you see: writers sometimes are BUSY AT ALL HOURS, even if you don't see the page count flickering upward. Creativity is not mechanical.
And man, I will NEVER EVER (grin) start another series that runs with so many layers....I do know that everything for this arc will be into snowball convergency by about Set V -- and all the really REALLY cool stuff just blasts into place thereforward. Getting there - step by step. Necessary to be so careful, to avoid Sag and Bag.
I have heard whimpers from readers who THINK that this book will split. NO WAY. It's smack dab on schedule to end the series in 2 vols. You shall see.
NOW, why is it so danged Quiet in this place?
Landlocked scene in the mountains...
Foreshadowing from CotM...
Angst about the ORIGINAL Ships of Merior...
POVs galore... characters in the background...
You, Madame Storeyteller, are a flirt! (grin)
Time to start marking up my brand new bopy of IT...
On another note, when we moved a year ago, we never hooked up to a TV service... It's been pure bliss! The kids only grumble a little.
Such a tease she is!
I live blissfully without television (or would except for my husband's infatuation with Formula One racing). I would much rather read a book or walk my dog, then watch television. However, that being said, I do love a great movie (which to me is just another form of a book).
Thanks for the update Janny. Your creativity struggles are very much appreciated.
A tease indeed (especially mentioning something about "test read the scene"), and the football reference! My guess is that DC is not going to take 7 years to write?
We are on the edge of giving up broadcast/satellite/cable television. We watch more Netflix than we do TV, and the former costs 7.99 a month, and the latter 60.00. If only I can get PBS to stream Masterpiece, Frontline, Nova, etc., I'll be alright. Can't miss Downton Abbey (I know, sentimental melodrama, but it is fun, and the actors can actually act). The series I like are often on Netflix, or I can download them from iTunes, or elsewhere. Select purchases of viewing is a whole lot cheaper than shelling out 60.00 for 300 channels I don't watch.
Destiny's Conflict will get finished on schedule.
If I took that long to get a book down, I think I would perish of boredom...the only conceivable delay would not be caused by guilty pleasures, but if financial need reared its ugly head and I had to find a day job. With gas prices and cost of living sending all expenses rocketing up, sales of the books will have to rise to compensate.
Every working author I know is swimming in the same rat race.
Today I tighten yesterday's pages, and re-check the whole chapter for final touches (characterization and local color).
Then I face The Dreaded Blank Start of a subchapter...which will, perhaps, wind the page count to another milestone.
If you think transitions to new scenes are easy - they're not so straightforward as that! I have to timeline the ENTIRE THUNDERING BOOK at this stage to see which piece of action to select, best to move the plot forward, and I only can choose ones that work in lock step. Often this entails getting out the map, the measuring stick, and the 'how many miles can be traveled in this time period, over that terrain, by which transport,' just to see where the various factions and parties ARE, and this often means - what in hell were they DOING while the last time period already written has elapsed...
Then I have to figure which character/what backdrop/what tone and mood - where the current scene in progress will take place, and which point in the action to KICK IT OFF. Which entails HOW MUCH, if any, more time has elapsed, and then, back-sight - what WERE ALL THOSE OTHER CHARACTERS DOING, how far have they traveled again - so that I don't accidentally overshoot an important bit.
And if I did, it's backstep, retool - to which character, what setting, what tone and mood, etc etc etc and maybe etc and repeat.
If the first stab/second stab, or even third or forth or etc fails to grab hold, it's back to the drawing board to try a different mix. Sometimes it can take three days to a week for the fuse to ignite the fuel - other times, one just plods down a paragraph at a time, wakes up next day, adjusts said paragraph, wakes up next day and does the same until the slippery thing takes root and stays put.
Often the subchapter I THINK I am going to deploy will defer itself two chapter sets further down the line...gah!!!...which case, said draft gets set aside and reshuffled into the stack, and I find the one I really needed to start on, beforehand.
No guarantee, even at the point of finding the correct place to stick the pin in the story and move it, that some bit falling in later won't revise the whole story again.
Some chapters, these days, DO NOT write linear, because there are too many other factors in play off stage, and those have to be taken into account, EVEN THOUGH YOU AS THE READER DON'T SEE THEM. They still have to dovetail with the part in progress.
Let's not forget - either - the suspense has to ratchet up. So No Character Coffee Klatches, just because you like em, and THEY want to fling repartee and just chatter....(shut UP already and give us the meaningful bits, story people....)
Series....you have to be loonie from the git go to write em...;)
Good thing you're a loonie, Janny!
A loonie? I thought this was decided years ago
Loonie: slang term for the Canadian $1.00, a gold-coloured coin introduced in 1987 to replace the paper $1.00 bill
Loony (loonie, or luny): 1. extremely foolish, silly or ridiculous; 2. Crazy, insane.
Take your pick!
flip for it, Clansman?
Lo, the first tests have Spoken, and I Am Not Shot Dead....you will get to find out what happens (eventually). I face the subchapter's start, and that damnable blank page....(see the brain smoke rising up to the Muse?)
I wonder what Davien is doing...
Three possible moments to fill this subchapter.
The first: too soon/logistics prevents this scene happening here.
The second: is not time specific, so it could fit anywhere in the first third of the book.
The third: required to bridge the logistics problem in discarded scene one.
The third, then, shows promise: first POV, won't work; shows too little of the scope of the action. Start with view 1 and shift to a second POV, nada, either, still not enough angle. The third POV - a bit more promising, but there is a hitch - an incomplete view of what HAS to happen to assist with another snag, coming. SAME BRIDGING SCENE - a different scenario - starting to work. Then a shift in POV again - this one looks hot. Today: to play it and see.
And you were wondering what soaked up all my think time over the weekend, the sleepless wee hours and beyond?
crap. I've got the character angle. Now have to work out where to stage this bit - logistics, setting, all that stuff to work out AGAIN, backwards from the ending of last book and forward into the new storyline.
It's like stupid joke about what the blonde does at the blinking red light:
vrooom, EEEERP!, Vroooom, EEERP!, Vrooom, EEEERP!!!
All sounds interesting and fitting somehow that a subset of three gave three possibilities none of which were quite right unless you combined them.
You ever need an extra test reader I would volunteer.
Moving: the opening scene is two pages along, with a third splashed with notes; this is a typical 'first day' effort with a scene shift.
It will either explode forward tomorrow or bind again as more details are adjusted, worked in, or fleshed out.
This puts the page count to a nick shy of 190.
Test readers, not ready or looking for additional input, not at this pass. There is a cagy reason...:X...though thanks for the kind offer.
Oh, I never expected such a treat, but no harm trying.
We can expect a nice big light bulb to finally flash on after reading the next instalment then? These clues are going to drive some of us nuts waiting for the last book to get to the secret of the mysteries. I am starting to think half the fun in the writing must be choosing words and ideas to give us so much but not too much and keep us guessing.
Status update: the first scene of this subchapter is nailed down, mostly, with a bit of tuning to do yet...order, order - sigh....looks like there may be an adjunct scene to follow and THEN another scene and viewpoint change...so it's back to the same exhaustive bit of mapping.
Timing: certain bits HAVE TO happen now, because where the story goes next, there would be too much of a time lag....everything prior has to fit in THIS pocket, to keep the timeline forward or simultaneous; and it has to stop at a PAUSE POINT that can be left alone in a comfortable AND LOGICAL holding pattern for an interval.
Page count (draft) 191; lots of dead ends and false starts to get this opening nailed down...
week in the life of an author, ongoing....
Must say my imagination is having a fair few fits and starts trying to envision a pause point for someone.
you could bring in a time machine to help you out
BRAINSTORM! Yay, last night after hours as I was unloading grain sacks - a large CHUNK of stuff slid into line and fell into place - two things I was toying with (one bit vs. the other) actually flipped into a DO THEM BOTH: first this, THEN THAT, and build it this way to reach the plot crescendo that was to be there all along. Wow. THIS solves the timing problem (action moving IN PLAY with other action that must take more time.) And the ramp the tension problem. And is a lovely plot turn, to boot! wheee! Now to play them forward and see how they fit.
When these moments happen, how I love to write!
Tension problems already, I am expecting Janny to have us on the rack by chapter 9. See how far she can stretch us before we break. I STILL have trouble reading some sections of Peril's Gate.
My grain sacks are 20kg bags so mowing the lawn looks more interesting than moving the last bag out to the aviary.
*Goes back to wondering what pauses, what takes more time and whether they are the same thing*
It seems to me as though the creative process is the same whether one is writing a novel, designing a web site, or writing a piece of music. It has to contain certain things but sometimes when they come together they don't quite dovetail as imagine, then ... bam ... the magic moment you describe when you suddenly see how to do it.
Yup - grin - and then there's kicking the edges of that magic moment to MAKE IT FIT.
Well, now - isn't THIS interesting.
Chapter start - almost ALMOST scrapped. Even with brainstorm - refused to move.
New ideas buying the farm like paper airplanes in a hailstorm.
This morning, finger above the DELETE key - (yeah, at 12 or more pages along, s*** happens)....new whisper from the muse (Author: HEY WAIT, LADY, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL ALONG WHEN THE AUTHOR WAS KNOCKING A COLD AND SWEATING BULLETS???)
Muse: whisper whisper whisper...!!!
Ah - AUTHOR STOP! Full stop. NO delete....adjustment. Page count upped to 14 pages. Next scene that was two pages along - DEFERRED and kicked ahead to the next sub-chapter/along with the scrambled heap of ideas that were snarled into knots of refusal to move....
Sub-chapter I THOUGHT would be next (vague cloud of ideas with names tagged on) decides to flip places, morph with ANOTHER sub-chapter I had (shows what I know) already punted ahead to 'down the story road someplace' - haul that bit back wiggling, as a lovely, argumentative, tensioned follow up to THIS scene and voila.
Behold, this chapter passage is alive and kicking butt after all.
Day in the life of the harassed IDIOT, why not have a SANE job, um, oops, I mean, author who definitely (read that as, (let's not be hypocritical) when the muse is WORKING) adores their job....;)
Plunge back into the story chase, again, but this time it appears to be hopping.
Page count: 201 - WAIT!!!! - 201? I've broken 200! OMG!!! how did I miss that milestone without a beer???
Here's How: sometimes you get this white HEAT BLAST of inspiration. Other days you get the staggers and the crawls...
(hauls off staggering and crawling toward that magical fifth chapter set, whereupon the story brew is finally shaken to fizz and the lid typically flies off the "start up plod". I think I need a MUSE CATTLE PROD - yeah! Bring it on, take that, you flighty *sweetheart* - let's have some steadier inspiration around here...oy.)
Hope you recovered from the cold Janny and congratulations on passing 200 pages and getting a good start on Chapter 4.
Wiggling, hopping and punting, has Janny perhaps gone fishing for inspiration? Now punting ahead to later on I can understand, you have been thinking about this for so long.
I dearly love authors who will interact with their fans like this. Or maybe I just love Janny ;). Congratulations on reaching page 200 and that surely deserved a beer. I wonder if I will finish with my reread before you finish the latest book. I had so much more time in 1994.
Maybe we should start a 'formal re-read' (and take it slow) to tide us over while the draft gets written?
And I agree - there seemed MUCH more time - did clocks run slower? - in 1994!
Oh yeah, and P. 200 is now further in the dust.
Ha. Ok, here's a guess since the author is teasing us.
(1) The Mistwraith is sentient and has Arithon's magic to degrade the wards from within.
(2) The Mistrwraith could have killed the brothers but instead set them against each other, knowning that they could imprisoned it. Any reason that the Mistwraith couldn't have scried the future (just like Arithorn and the Seven do) and looked for an unpleasant outcome that it would prefer?
(3) Time for the Mistwraith to re-emerge on scene, perhaps, in line with a long-ago scry of the future?
(4) Selide Prime and the Mistwraith might have common interests, as awful as that may seem. The Prime has really gone off the deep end.
It wouldn't surprise me if Cliadis made an appearance as well.
Ciladis better make an appearance in the next book or sleepy head is going to get left behind!
For a laugh I will speculate on Janny's post on the almost deleted 12 pages. My over active imagination does not need much of a prod these days when it comes to speculating about WoLaS, it will latch onto anything and make something of it, just for practice.
Deferred and kicked ahead, refusal to move.
-A problem involving Dakar? Who when we left him he was still refusing to face a dew things. And a kick in the right place is likely needed.
Thought, vague cloud of ideas with names tagged on
-Mistwraith, Arithon has named it and thoughts are churning overtime.
- Methlas Lake and its meth-snakes, no real idea what THIS is but maybe it has something to do with the past and something we missed between books.
-Who knows, maybe the meth-snakes and other creatures warped by the Methuri got a chance to be as they should be. Or maybe Morriel finally lost it, spiders usually jump though rather than hop.
Heat blast of inspiration
-Lysaer has finally decided to do something useful with his gift. Barring that more inspiration will get the book written faster, I would love to read it for Christmas 2013.
Most of those ideas except the last one seem premature to be happening so early. But I can get my hopes up for a roller coaster ride. What ever Janny comes up with is bound to be interesting, exciting, full of tension and answer a lot of questions, although maybe not the question that intrigues me the most. We get any strange blanks in Arithon's memory at critical moments of change, or diverted views elsewhere to distract us, I am going to be miffed at having to wait for the last book to find out what happened.
I am still patiently waiting for an explanation of what happened in Kewar when a certain spirit wandered off some where.
'siel i'an i'anient'
Something happened, Janny is bound to get to it eventually.
Status update: I have been immsersed in assembling all the various bits and pieces so that the huge unveilings to come will all fall in place, without the inconsistencies (likely) from too many years of unorganized jottings and notes. The chapter sets, now, unveil stuff backwards and forwards; never so many layers in play, before, but it should read slick, since you are oriented to the characters, and the settings.
Draft page count is 235, and I am plunged into Chapter Set IV.
This ought to be the last 'set up' phase of this volume; typically Set V is the one that lets rip. The scene under scrutiny now....well, I'd once considered it for the opening of this book. How wrong I was. Timing and logistics put the grand kabosh on that one....;)....not for the first time the dictates of the map, and this scene having to occur before THAT action to get a character in place, have totally thrown off the preconceived game plan.
All on track, as it goes down on the page.
That update has the imagination working.
Well, heh, won't this bit stand your hair on end....draft page 251, and a corker of a scene in play. This would be about halfway through Main Ch IV, if you are wanting to correlate when you get your hands on the Real Book.
Which I get to see it all, coming... ;X
Anybody going to be at Oasis or LibertyCon or DragonCon this year? There Could Be Preview Readings...
Yup, if you're wondering - I do work on Saturdays. Most of them.
Unfortunately all the wrong country for me, but hope you have a great time Janny and meet lots of WoLaS fans at Oasis. Hopefully fellow fans who like sharing.
Oasis (May 25-27)
LibertyCon (July 20-22)
Dragon Con (Aug 31-Sep 3)
Personally I had never heard of the first two, but Dragon Con always gets my attention.
Hair on end.....
Not someone experimenting with lightening? Still seems too early. Maybe someone sending trouble Selidie's way for her bit of mischief with Elaira's crystal and her horrid little construct to detect Arithon. Too much to hope for a bolt of lightening on Morriel's head, this lot are all too compassionate.
I loved Selidie's comment from Initiate's Trial
Never imagine that I could have been so blindsidedly fooled!
Status update: the action for main chapter four is nailed, to go out for test very shortly.
Draft pages completed: 268
The next two subchapter should set things SQUARELY into the meat of this arc's cascade toward finale. And Right Here, Right Now, your hair will already be standing on end.
I think, shortly, you will hear reverberative yells from the test readers....brace for it. ;X
I want to be a test reader.
Or I want to be a farseer so I can go snoop on what Janny is writing. I would say I want to be the little spider spinning webs above her PC, but Janny might not be as nice to little spiders as Elaira. I might get squished!
*aussie sits and wonders what the cascade to Sithaer itself starts with*
I don't know Annette maybe if you were one of Janny's horses she would whisper sweet plot contrivances in your ear. That's page 268 of...1500? I kid I Kid. I'm up to half way through PG in my reread, but I love the S'Brydion so maybe I'll just stop there.
I'd expect to be packing this manuscript up at somewhere between DRAFT page 900 and 1000/less glossary.
Spiders here: do not get squashed, they eat the pests (like the FL sized roaches, for one thing). If they are not seen, they are left alone - if they choose to parade across the floor and flaunt their little selves where a guest might see them and freak out, they get trapped under a clear cup, a bit of cardboard is slipped underneath, and they are tossed OUT, alive and unharmed.
This is a country property in a semi-tropical climate. If I 'lost it' over critters, I'd not be here; you'd have to be committing insect or arachnid massacre full time, and they'd still win the count.
Nice to know we are safe to recruit the spiders to our cause then. I have to admit I have hundreds of them here, but I do occasionally try and win the war against the bugs, only if they eat the ants are they entitled to residency. After all these years of not being able to do much I am not that fussed about it, even if they only sit there observing they are pretty safe most of the time. But I occasionally once in a blue moon take it into my head I am sick of their webs and start cleaning them up.
So pg 268/1000, over a quarter of the way into the story. Hmmmm.....What could Janny be up to?
I still think it too early for any major heart wringing, painful bits. I vote after three chapter sets in the fourth Arithon has finally remembered what happened to him before he was imprisoned. That is bound to start a cascade towards something.
Carl, Janny would not stress her horses out with such nerve racking plot contrivances, she would be kind and speaking of tempting treats for such friends. No a horse does not seem the best way to snoop on what Janny is thinking, she is probably relaxing around the horses.
I have taken to occasionally reading snippets from the books. I will wait for my serious re-read till Janny tells us the manuscript is handed in.
HEH! Dakar..... ;X
Somewhere in the neighborhood of draft page 280...
I wonder if Dakar has plucked up the nerve to face Arithon yet?
I am actually rather looking forward to Lysaer having to put up with Dakar for a while though, they might both come out the better for the experience. Janny must have been having fun to get so many pages written, I hope Dakar's mage sighted conscience is having fun tripping up Prince Charming.
No! NO no no no no no no! You cannot just blurt out "Dakar!" and then leave it at that! That's just pure evil! I neeeeeeed my Dakar fix!
LOL, well we do know Dakar's a lot more competent than he used to be.
Status update - draft page 284 - another sub-chapter nailed.
And - mwahahaha! - I certainly can keep the authorial duct tape :X firmly in place, if it would spoil.
Lysaer and Dakar did spend some quality time together- this time around they seemed much more honest with themselves and each other. Remember Dakar vowed never to let Lysaer be used by the Koriani or their minions again. I am looking forward to their developing friendship. Like Arithon, Lysaer gives his affections to only to a few.
As far as gathering the resolve to face Arithon, Dakar knows he will be forgiven- he now needs to forgive himself.
I actually thought Dakar's reluctance to face Arithon might have stemmed more from his gift as a seer than his usual cringing cowardice to face the the consequences of past actions.
Janny, let me say that one of the reasons I find you an amazing author is this - your participation with your fans, your willingness to keep us updated regarding status, your perverse pleasure in teasing our minds with little snippets of info we can never decipher, but will spend hours, days, perhaps weeks trying to.
So thank you for that.
Can I ask a quick question? Is there an average correlation between manuscript page count/final book page count that you can share with us? You may have done so at another time, but if so, I cannot locate it.
Hi Tony - I can't predict precisely what page count, because this depends on what type size the designer sets for the print pages, and often this changes between the hardback to the mass market paperback, so which ever guess I gave might mislead you.
It's easier to correlate this way:
I work in courier for drafting, the format DOESN'T change. So for these volumes I look to bring the story in at 900 MANUSCRIPT pages, which leaves room for the glossary. Only Warhost (because it was split out from the original intent of Ships/Warhost being one volume) ran under - it was in the neighborhood of 750 manuscript pages.
Most of the Light and Shadows installments have run about a thousand manuscript pages, with the glossary at times taking the count to 1050.
So we're looking at: I am Definitely past a quarter through, possibly pushing a third of the way. I can say the action is 'on target' for that.
Draft in first stage 'melts down' just a bit - when I finalize the manuscript, I cut what I can to trim excess. In earlier books, I found they melted down up to 100 pages, but on the last one, it was maybe fifty.
When I say I 'target' wind up to happen at 900, I usually will not be finished the book there - but I had better have the ending in sight at that point, because I do NOT want to run up the costs of production past the point the numbers will support.
There is another measure: Usually the books 'hit' pace at Chapter Set V - up to then, it's a bit of an intense effort to get all the threads angled into position and up to speed. By set V things start to flow forward more smoothly - and at this stage, I am finishing the last subchapter of Set IV - with Set five poised and positioned on target.
This book, leading into the final convergency and unveiling - and the wind up finale beginning - was much trickier to set up. The hard bits are past, now. I expect the next stages to progress more easily, but as they say - proof is in the pudding.
Wow, thank you Janny. I understand why you can't prcisely give a correlation, and yet I also understand your explanation.
Very much looking forward to the next installment (and some explanations, I hope ;) )
I'll also say this - even when a book frustrates me, such as Initiate's Trial did, it is still an immensely enjoyable read. And I've read Initiate's 3 times already. Holding read #4 until DC is ready for release.
I to am looking forward to some final unveiling! No way can Janny do this one without giving us some long awaited answers.
Oh, there is unveiling in this one, positively no question! BIG STUFF.
Well, I hope everyone is on vacation....it feels like I'm writing in the dusty quiet of a bottomless pit...
(Strikes a match to light the keyboard - well, you DO want to know what happens next, doncha?)
No just sitting here freezing, I am always on vacation.
I would love to know what happens after that spark is struck in darkness, but know I am finding out nothing till the book is in my hands. And possibly still I have to wait for the last book.
But now you have found the keyboard, Janny, how goes the creation, of the book.
We're here! Keep the match away from the keyboard! I was beginning to worry the Tropical Storm Debbie had washed you out...
I thought it was too humid in Florida for dust?
Then again, we have more than enough dust (and sand and sagebrush and Scarpdale-like landscape) here in Utah...
I wouldn't say that Jenny, not all of us are on vacation... I was just too busy reading the books you have written up till now.
I must admit that after the Empire series and the Fire Cycle Trilogy I lost kind of touch with you, but 4 months ago I discovered the Wars of Light and Shadow and what can I say but you got me hooked ;-)
Using matches to light a keyboard might be medieval romantic but the back lighted keyboards are much much better for typing in the middle of the night. We wouldn't want you starting a fire over the manuscript...
But as a first time writer in your forum, I need to say that your books have brought me great pleasure and helped me go through some rough times. There is nothing more compelling than a book series that hasn't concluded yet to keep you going :-)
Keep up the great work, I can't wait to get the next book of the series in my hands.. kind of feel like an addict here, waiting for his next hit.
I do really hope we will get some answers, or with my luck the next book will conclude with so many questions I will have to go and jump off the ECB tower from frustration :-)
Cheers from Frankfurt, Germany!
Heh, so, you were all LURKING!
The book proceeds: I have on the keyboard this morning some truly shocking double play - watch OUT for Sethvir...! I should have a page count shortly as I am nearing the close of a chapter set.
Walt - Tropical Storm Debbie thrashed through nicely - I say nicely because it put a much needed dousing into our pond, that, over about ten years of dry - was TWENTY FEET LOW. It's now up to drought winter level - six feet down. And the pastures haven't been this green in a long time. We had a few little sticks and things trimmed off the oaks, but nothing near damage. We did lose power for a short burst. It killed a little of one late afternoon of writing, that's all.
Theo Liakouris, welcome here!!! while you are waiting I hope you also discover To Ride Hell's Chasm. I have never been to Frankfurt, but it sounds exciting that you live there.
Lighted keyboards - snort - I am so far behind the curve! this keyboard is circa 2000 and still going. I am newly equipped to make bees wax candles from our own hive, so, no need for grid-powered gizmos. Not yet.
Hey guys check out the Curse of the Mistwraith section. I have a thread about my upcoming bookclub featuring COTM!!!!
Last part of four set is starting for test read. The manuscript page count is PAST A THIRD - at 355.
I lurk on occasion. I think I was so relieved to read the last book that I'm oddly being patient about the next one. I have no need for excerpts or spoilers. Please continue to write, save spiders, and be the brilliant writer we all know and love.
One third done . . . .you don't need another test reader, do you? :p
I am on a reread of Initiate's trial- but would love an excerpt/spoiler. How about in celebration of one third done???
I am with David, as much as I would love a teaser, I can sit and wait for the book. My imagination is already working overtime, it needs no encouragement.
Thanks for the nice words, David, tony, Julie and Annette.
Re: sneak preview, I am thinking there will be one soon - trouble is, about anything I put up will spoil stuff in Initiate's Trial, and the mass market edition is yet to come out (which means, some people haven't read the up to date story line, yet.}
Be sure I will put something up AS SOON AS I CAN be sure no reader will get tipped off prematurely - and if there is a snip that emerges which doesn't spoil anything, you'll have it...
I did not realize that Intiate's Trial was still out on a limited basis. In that case I can wait.
I'm going to blow everyone's mind.
I love these books, this story. I eagerly await each new installment.
However, I try to avoid the previews. I greatly appreciate that you do this, Janny. However, my mind is a constantly working, weird place. If I read a preview, I begin to think. When I start to think, I begin to imagine what came before, and what may come after, that preview. It has, in the past, resulted in a weird experience when I actually read the book, and get to that preview . . .a sort of "wait, that's what happened?" moment.
This happens to me with any author, more seriously the more interested I am in the story. There are therefore some authors - Janny, you are VERY high on that short list - where I try to avoid previews until shortly before the books actual release . . .that gives my mind less time to deceive me into thinking I can actually figure out where you're going.
I cannot imagine too many fans having the patience to wait for the mass market paperback at this point, but it will be out by September 4th in most regions so not long to wait.
UK: 16 August 2012
US: 04 September 2012
Australia: 01 September 2012
And some blatant advertising for my favourite bookseller.
Revelations? Retrospectives? Can't wait, as ever! Haven't begun a reread, and have a year of university to complete, so it'll just be in time.
I hope you know we're all like friendly ghosts, hovering over you as you write ... no more threatening keyboards with flames! We're with ya...
Having bought The Curse.... in 1994 and read each subsequent book as they came out there was so much I had forgotten. Now after a mammoth reread I understand so much more and can appreciate the difficulties you must be having Janny. Your comments about subplots and the characters' POVs made me realise the problems an enormous series like this creates for the author.
Thanks for the updates just one little plea - I will be seventy soon could I please read the last book before I have to leave this planet?
LOL, I'm 71, so am right there with you, Gillian.
Gillian & Sleo - working on it every single day!
Hi Sleo and Gillian:
Thought I was the oldest reader/fan! A preemptive happy birthday Gillian.
LOL, clearly that's my honor, Julie.
Eagerly awaiting the new book Janny. No spoilers please I've got all the different divergences going through my mind from the books and can't wait to see what you've done with them and which ones you've concentrated on.
It's at times like this I wish you were a speed writer, lol but then anticipating what is going to happen is half the fun...
So, it's been a while since we had a page update. How about a game? Guess the current number of pages in the draft. Rules: guess a number and then Janny lets us know if the actual count is higher or lower and we keep guessing until someone gets the correct count.
The last update had the page count at 355. So to be overly optimistic, and give a wide range to play with... I will start the guessing at 600 pages.
While I think Janny might be having fun finally putting down on paper what she has been thinking about for so long, I will be less optimistic, but still wildly hopeful.
I'm going to go with 435 . . .I know Janny writes carefully, and that she likes to get a section done right before moving on . . .
Oh, I don't know. There's a lot to wrap up. I'm going to go with 700.
I'm thinking with all the distractions of summer... I'm going with 462... and having a Dakar crisis to boot! Nobody messes up the flow of continuity like our favorite drunken prophet...
I'm going to go with 430 based on average page count of about 70 per month for the summer so far.
Janny will probably be busy with Dragon Con for the next week, so we might not get an update till she returns. Janny has a reading scheduled for Saturday afternoon if anyone is going to Dragon Con.
Now more guesses might get us a snippet as well as an update. The mass market version of Initiate's Trial is out in the UK, mine eventually managed to swim out to Australia and find me.
*Re-appears after long absence*
Loved IT, Janny, especially the crofters and Daliana (the tidbit peak we had at her beforehand didn't steal any of her character's thunder).
Before moving on to Destiny, however, did I miss a short story or something that details Arithon's capture, imprisonment and freeing of the wraithes? Well-versed from here and the books about the centuries that have passed; guessing that some of the "backward" motion in DC has to touch on this, no?
"Spiders here: do not get squashed, they eat the pests (like the FL sized roaches, for one thing). If they are not seen, they are left alone - if they choose to parade across the floor and flaunt their little selves where a guest might see them and freak out, they get trapped under a clear cup, a bit of cardboard is slipped underneath, and they are tossed OUT, alive and unharmed."
Clear-Glass Spider Relocation is my modus operandi, too, although it's yet to be tested with a brown recluse or black widow.
No short story gave the pertinent details still missing, Janny is saving Arithon's past capture and imprisonment for Destiny's Conflict. Give us all the heartbreaking bits in one book. I am not really expecting the offworld wraiths to get much of a mention in the next book, but you never know.
There is also a bit of history with Sulfin Evend and Lysaer still missing.
Mark Stephen Kominski!!! yes, longtime no see! Great to have you back.
You missed Nothing - and Annette is right. ;) You'll find out when the character remembers, and it will be a flashpoint of dramatic denouement.
Teaser: heh - SOME of you were at the reading at DragonCon - No Telling, but I will say they are probably gloating with big grins and shut jaws.
Ah, good. I thought not, but surety is a good thing sometimes (unless one is the Mouth of Sauron, but I digress.....).
I hope to make it to DragonCon one day. ;-)
I am working on Set 5, past the 350 mark....evidently three convention appearances this summer and work to get the shift in US distribution into motion took time/there are guest blogs to write to publicize the new release - more, the complexity of each chapter (as the full convergency moves into place for a Huge unveiling, about to begin) requires a lot of care.
I recall working this degree of complexity at the start of the series - figuring what to show, how deeply, when....that was not 'visible' because I did not put the books on the market until I had written vol 1 in final form, and had (in depth) drafted most of the major action up to Peril's Gate.
There is a degree of on page invention you readers (and me) demand of this series; no way am I letting the quality drop off. And the finish HAS TO top everything else.
I found everybody's over optimistic estimates very (crushingly? embarrassingly?) humbling.
So set 5 progresses, every single day. And just you wait, you have No Idea...!!! (Well, the folks who attended the reading at DragonCon have a wee clue, just a peek at the opening salvo)
Boo Hoo. Living in England I have no idea what DragonCon is, (Con = convention?) so no hope of attending. Hence have missed out on the 'wee clue'.
Section 5 sounds promising so we will soon have the joy of reading Destiny.....
Could it come out as a e-book too please Janny? A kindle fits into my handbag more easily than a hard back book.
My wildly hopeful estimate is feeling a bit crushed, with that diplomatic update. But opening salvo sounds like an exciting start, we can still hope we get to see a peek sometime this month.
Gill, Dragon*Con is the largest science fiction convention on the east coast of the US and occurs every year over Labor Day weekend (that would be the weekend that includes the first Monday in September). D*C is more than just an SF convention. It is also a comic convention and a gaming convention as well as media (movies/TV/etc.) tracks. The con started in 1987 with 1400 fans and this last year attendance was reported at 52000+. Attandance has been growing rapidly since 2007:
27,000 attendees in 2007
30,000 in 2008
35,000 in 2009
40,000 in 2010
46,000 in 2011
52,000 in 2012
If you've ever thought of a holiday in the States, this could be it.
(above data from wikipedia)
Gill: yes, it will come out in e format; all of the series books are available as e reads.
DragonCon: involves (on our part) a huge art show/sale of originals, a booth to sell prints/books and other products, and entails about 4 appearances per day, many of which require preparation. It often takes a month to get everything ready/framed/and packed.
Every convention, in fact, requires a huge effort to mount the art show, prepare the material, travel, packing - the rewards are many, we get to meet folks - but they can be exhausting and hard on the creative work schedule.
A necessary expenditure: no new readers/no growth. Publicity efforts since the re-launch have taken a big slice of my time; again necessary, much as I wish it wasn't at this stage.
Happily, looking forward, the fall schedule is going to be a little quieter. I am several pages further on than where I was this morning....heh...you have no idea....JUST when you thought you knew everything the Fellowship was responsible for...think again! (and yes, speculate away, the seeds were well planted).
While hunting for a better look at the stormy Arithon painting Janny no doubt would have had for the Destiny's Conflict cover art if we were still having character art.
I noticed the Stormed Fortress one seems to have been finished and was hanging right next to where Don was working on a logo a while back. It was very dark though, did not get a good look at it, just enough to be suspicious I would know the character holding that sword.
I seem to recall Elaira was originally going to get a cover appearance, must be Song of the Mysteries, how is that painting going Janny?
I've nailed the next section of draft, page count standing at 362. Should have it out to test, after a review edit.
Chapter Set 5 is settled, and the draft page count: 398....time to fish in the pile of pages for a sneak preview, methinks...
(They have NO idea....heh).
Would love to see a sneak preview.
Or even a better look at a certain picture of Arithon.
First scene kicks off six set. Past the 400 page count (draft) by two.
Holiday madness, DONE, year end accounting and taxes, DONE, yay, finally, I feel free! Page count is at draft 433, and six main is set down, what a hairy difficult chapter bit. Creeping up toward the halfway there flashpoint, with all the good stuff poised in the greased pipeline.
Holiday madness, DONE, year end accounting and taxes, DONE, yay, finally, I feel free! Page count is at draft 433, and six main is set down, what a Hairy difficult chapter bit.
Bit of an echo there.
Hairy and creeping gets the imagination working.
Thanks for the update Janny.
Ah yes, with your holidays and taxes done, you clearly are ready for snippet mongering. ;-)
The last scene of the chapter just decided to deepen. Methinks it will break off and become the next subchapter...and the draft pages rack up some more. What was 433 is now nibbling the line at 440.
I would settle for a chapter or subchapter title likely to make it into the final book, be easier to find I think than a safe snippet.
Do you know yet Janny how many chapters there will be? Fourteen again or maybe a few more?
Don't know, Annette, I have not (yet) struck the half point in the action, though that is coming up soon....
I have page count at 441, and starting the last sub-chapter of 6 set. There will be test bits going out shortly.
Draft page 473 rounds out the chapter and looking at set 7, now, may that crux swing the half point...(page count jeebies, yup, though the action is bang on schedule).
Thanks for the update Janny.
way to go janny im always trolling good to see that things have not changed here with my years of absence.
Been ages since I managed to pop in here. Great news on the progress Janny - I can't wait for this one! Well for anything you write actually, however this one has got me tingling!
Been ages for me as well. I try to pretend this series doesn't exist to survive the wait. I was doing really well becoming addicted to a great many diverse things, hehe.
However, I was siezed by the curse and forced to buy all the Kindle versions of the books (addicted to my Kindle) and gleefully read the entire series just last week.
So here I am, suffering the agony of unfinished business and thought I'd check the site out while I'm in distress to see if there is any hope of soothing my distressed aura.
I really need a Davien fix - I've discovered I really, really like him and can't wait to see more of him.
Anna, I finished a reread a few weeks ago and went through a period of mourning when I was finished, coming back to the real world after my wondrous sojourn in Athera. I've had a hard time finding something to read since, although I have found a couple of series I've enjoyed.
Can't wait for Destiny's Conflict.
Dearest Janny! Your last update was 09 February 2013... Any progress in the last two months? Perhaps you've been struck by multiple muses and have finished? (one can dream, can't one?)
Walt - thanks for your enthusiasm, I WISH! I had back to back conventions in March - one huge comic con (need to earn print $, and that takes me from my desk). I also did the International Conference on the Fantastic - to widen my awareness of what is happening in the scholarly world, and to widen the scholars' awareness of me. That took a Time Chunk.
New artwork, also, on the boards both for the third short story (Athera based) soon to go up - the artwork for the second being finished and that story posted at Paravia this week....I was totally Annoyed at the choices of type faces - yes, even the web searches failed me - and so the typeface for the new story Reins of Destiny IS ORIGINAL WORK - A collaborative effort that took both Don and me - with his photoshop tricks - to accomplish. There is method to the madness: we are projecting LOTS MORE STUFF for this sort of thing - graphic story ideas/artbook - it's being planned for although there is no current interest, I don't want to let the opportunity pass - the work must be DONE. And there is a tremendous breadth of Athera material that is not in the books. I want it ordered and available to go.
Destiny's Conflict is moving ahead - the second scene in Chapter 7 was a blasted BEAR to make it tight - finding the angle that worked was an immense frustration (and I will NOT dawdle about - the series is into MAJOR CONVERGENCY and about to bust WIDE OPEN - so each step must be exactly precise to support the 'before and after' build. Each day I hammered on the scene in question/hit a wall, then moved to do other productive things so as not to stall the think tank time doing nothing. AT LAST I got the angle - (many convention/publicity interruptions tend to create a wider gap as they take me out of world/and I have to sink back into the ambience - knew that when I signed for the cons, but they are a necessary step/awareness of this series HAS to grow).
I am now working up the second to last scene in Seven - the one that trips the wire, so to speak - the climactic plunge is one wild ride, and it's looking to be Set 8 that will be the first climax/tipping point - and it's all Fast Motion reveal from there to the end of Song of the Mysteries - mostly, as the seeds for that volume have to be planted NOW.
It's all in line with what was planned: the difference now is, I am carrying it ALL/on all the levels - none will be hidden, very shortly, which means I can't slip into sprawl territory at all - there is no room in the story for sag.
In the earlier days, very sadly, there was NOT THIS NEED FOR AUTHORS TO DO CONSTANT EFFORTS AT PUBLICITY - blogs, websites, social networking/presence out there on the net - now, it is expected - the publisher relies on it....ONE DAY I dream that there will be enough reader response that I don't have to...that time is not yet. The books aren't widely known 'out there' enough yet to get the enthusiastic mention they deserve. This build takes time/and the period where they were not all in print/or avail in the USA made a lag - there's still a lot of catching up to do.
And only so much I can do - I have help from the Gryphon with web stuff in general, or it would all be Most Impossible. Even still, the stuff takes time.
Rest assured, I am writing diligently. There are lots of balls in the air/I am NOT WATCHING....drumroll ;) - football. Never have. Never will - in fact, we don't HAVE any TV service here.
There once was a girl named Janny,
She was obsessed with a lifelong fantasy,
Her characters were heroic,
Their wars were poetic,
It's a good thing she has no TV!
Sorry....my kids and I have been telling each other bad limericks and this coincided with a need to encourage you to write.
If there is any way we (your devoted fans) can help do some of the heavy social network lifting, please let us know.
That limerick made me giggle
I think the fact that we all impatiently moan, groan, claw, cry, whine, wail, rail and rent clothing indicates that your work is wonderfully well worth the wait.
I think that limerick spawned some failed attempt at alliteration there.
I also think I'm going to be in great agony waiting for the last book based on 'MAJOR CONVERGENCY and about to bust WIDE OPEN'. Anyone else frightened at this point? o.O
Any updates, Janny?
Testing... testing... Janny? All well there in Florida? Any progress on MAJOR CONVERGENCIES? Do I need to pull out my alliteration pen to coax an update? ;)
Hope all is well!
I am past the 500 page mark - will post an exact count when I catch up (scene in progress). It's probably time to look for another preview....
A preview would be nice.
A preview would be most welcome!!
I just want to know where you are. Last chapter mention was 7-8. Page numbers, knowing you, are not an indicator of progress. Of course a preview is always welcome.