As many of you are aware I took some time to work with someone else recently because try as I might, and know the story as I do, I could not reach the point where I knew with any clarity if book III was the end or if there should be more, but conversely I didn’t know how in the heck to wrap up so many open story lines in a single book without it becoming a tome. The experience was spectacular, and as scary as they come because I learned what I did wrong.
As a writer, I think this has perhaps been the most important and powerful lesson of my recent three-year journey. While I have been writing for ages, and published too, the last three years were when the Vengelys series got its foundation and my personal bedrock fissured. Why? For me, knowing and writing are never the same. I was, and to a degree still am, a panster writer which means that while the plot is rough and dirty in my mind and I think I know the story I’m telling, it doesn’t take much for it to detour and go completely astray. This series has, in some ways, done just that.
Never in my wildest imagination did I believe that I would not only create Amaranth, but also draw the line of demarcation so narrowly. I also did not see such a burgeoning cast of characters when I first started writing this. I know them all in my mind and in my mind they are crystal clear. That clarity does not translate for all of them to the readers which is a problem. The rules and quirks of Amaranth also do not translate well for all readers, which is and is not a problem, I don’t want to tell you about it, I want you to feel it. Did I succeed? Not as much as I’d have hoped.
So, what’s a writer to do? We do what the expert says, we go back to the beginning…and so I have. I am re-reading my stuff and picking it apart, which I’ll be honest, is incredibly painful. I am trying dutifully to see with open eyes where I left information on my cerebral cortex instead of the page and am trying to fathom how to bring that information forward now as I embark on the monumental journey of Kingdoms Fall.
This is why I write today, because I am trying to be brutally honest with myself as I go forward. The brutally honest statement that I have to make is that Kingdoms Fall IS coming, I will not, not write it, BUT I want to make sure it is the piece that it should be and thus, I am not rushing. I have said this before, and it was not flip when I did. I have just come to the realization that I want more; more for this series, more for these characters, more for the readers, and more for me.
I have entertained the notion, as some authors do, of going back to book I and re-releasing the first two books as enhanced volumes with the pieces I missed. I don’t know if that is wise or not. I’m still in Oracle finding what I left in notes…once I’m to the end, the weights on the scale will have to decide. For now, please just know that I do not take lightly the trust the readers have placed in me. I do not delay and continue to tell you of my personal struggles because I have nothing better to do. I have a great deal to do and it is all important. I just did not for a moment want anyone who has read my work to think that I made a decision from folly or am keeping them waiting for play.
I want very much to have earned the place on each bookshelf where my titles sit. I want to be an author that has a reputation for doing it right, even if that means starting at the beginning again to get it right. The readers, the story, and the future are worth that much to me.
Thanks for being along for the ride. I will continue to update on where I am and what is happening as best I am able. In the meanwhile, pick up one of my fellow authors and take their stories for a spin. There are some pretty great books coming out of EBB this year.