Okay, whew, last day of June — where did June even go? — and I finished the basic revision of INVICTUS last night and read through the back part of the first book this morning.
I’m glad to say that to me the first book now seems smooth, decidedly smoother than it did before this final revision [I mean final for now]. I’ve got the second book in my head now, so it was easier to read through part of the first book and SEE that it’s smoother.
Next step: read the entire second book from the top, with plans to send the whole thing to early readers early next week. Everything is on track, yay!
Also on track: I’ve finished proofing TASMAKAT.
I mean, I ordered one more proofing copy, but I think it’s good to go. I don’t think I’ll find anything to fix at this point. I may find things I want to tweak, but honestly I may resist the urge to tweak because it’s fine. I will, of course, expect readers to point out maybe half a dozen typos in the first week after the book releases, but you never know, maybe this time every single typo has been cleared out.
I will say, I will never again publish a book this long. From now on, I will always, and I mean always, break anything close to 180,000 words into two books and anything close to 300,000 words into three books. I hadn’t realized that there are actually significant practical problems if you leave a book really long. I will describe those problems briefly in an upcoming post just in case anybody is now contemplating, or in the future may contemplate, self-publishing a really long book. I didn’t think there were major downsides to doing that, but I was wrong. Not that the problems have been insoluble, I don’t want to imply that, it’s fine! Mostly fine! But nevertheless, I won’t do this again.
On the other hand, I will VERY MUCH ENJOY reader reactions to this book, and if I’d done it as three books, I’d be dropping one per month over three months, and waiting for reader to get to the third book would be painful, so that is an actual benefit to bringing it out as a single book.
Also! I have reordered the sections in the World Companion ONE MORE TIME and I’m finished with that as well!
I think I am finally happy with the order of the sections. I also, sigh, suddenly wrote new sections to go in the “material culture” heading, including a section on weaponry. I’m not declaring that the book itself is finished because there’s no end to this, honestly. But getting the sections in a final order is a big step. I’ve also finished proofreading the (slightly older) version of this book, so this weekend I will go through and fix all the typos and tweaks, then send it to myself again and make another print copy.
I have given up on bringing the World Companion out in July. There’s no way the maps will be ready. I just can’t see that happening. I will now be aiming for August 15th, and that is a shame, as I did hope the Companion would act as a gentle teaser for TASMAKAT. However, fine, August will do.
I will be sending out a newsletter in the next few days, which will include the full first chapter of TASMAKAT.
Hanneke suggested this and I immediately realized this was a great idea, so:
You know how people in the Tuyo world keep telling stories, and sometimes they do so on the page, but sometimes the stories are just referred to, not actually told? You may remember, for example, that in TARASHANA, Ryo tells the story of how the Little Knife got there, and Elaro tells a story of a boy who snatched a handful of whiskers from a tiger’s jaw and got away. We’ve heard references to lots of stories. This keeps happening. In TASMAKAT, Ryo tells a story about a man who tries to find a fragment of the Moon’s light to use as a lantern, and one of Aras’ daughters tells a Lau children’s story about a clever rabbit, and there are just a lot of stories, most of which we don’t get to actually hear.
Well, these have so far been easy and fast to write, and they’re short, with no (all right, almost no) risk that any of them will unexpectedly blow up into a hundred-page novella. So I’m going to start writing those and dropping them into newsletters. That’s where they will be: in the newsletter and nowhere else. It’s good to finally think of something I feel confident I can write on a frequent basis and share in a newsletter!
So that’s coming up, though not in July. Probably the first of those extra stories will appear in August.
It’s been a good week! I hope you’ve all had a good week as well.