For the last seven months I was trying very hard to get the first draft of The Master of Zdrell done. The most common comment I’ve gotten from fans is, “when will the next one be done?”
My goal that I worked very hard on was to have the first draft done by the end of February so that I could have the book come out sometime over the summer. I did finish a first draft in February, sort of.
I knew it wasn’t done, but wasn’t sure of exactly how much it lacked, so I sent it off to a good friend who’s opinion I trust and he gave me some fairly brutal, but much needed critique and advice. Bottom line, my first draft isn’t really done, it’s really not even close. I have major structural issues that need to be corrected and I have lots of plot lines that still need to be explored so that the promise of this story can be realized.
I always knew that this volume of the trilogy would be the hardest, partly because in my original vision of the story I knew the ending but the process of getting to that ending was always very hazy. Then there’s just the scope of this book. This is world war. It’s a big story, and it needs a lot more writing than I’ve done yet and I’ve got to fix some major plot holes in what I’ve already done.
My friend suggested I break it into two volumes, but I’m unwilling to go down the Douglas Adams five volume trilogy course, even it is only four in my case. Even with the writing that needs to get done, I don’t think this book will be much over 200k words. In the genre of fantasy, that’s not all that big, but it will take time.
And that’s the bad news. I’m still several months away from getting the first draft done, let alone doing all the editing needed to get it to be the book the story deserves, the story you deserve. So, we may not see the final book until very late 2021 or into 2022. I know that’s not what you all want to hear, but I think it is what needs to happen.
So, what’s the good news, you ask? The good news is that this is going to be a much better book than it otherwise would have been. My writing continues to improve and fixing the issues I have will create a better, more realistic, more satisfying ending to this trilogy. I’m both excited and terrified by all the things I still need to do in this book. I really think it will be worth the wait.