At long last and, yes, at least 6 months behind schedule (and surely to be another 6 at least), I’ve finished the first draft of book 6 of the Galactic Mage series. That image there is a screen shot of the actual “The End” that you will, hopefully, one day read. I never delete that once I’ve typed it. Even with massive revisions, or were I to dump that whole chapter, I’d copy and paste that “The End” to the new stuff. Call me silly, call me superstitious, it’s all probably true. It’s fine.
You may notice that I’ve changed the title back to the original title back to Alien Outcomes, which those paying close attention will notice that entertained simply Outcomes for a long time more recently. But, that’s what it is, and, finally, it’s ready for editing.
This book is very long. Not quite as long as Rift in the Races (for now), but a good deal longer than the others. Its length is hardly surprising given what this book does, wrapping up not just the second trilogy, but the course of the first five books combined.
Now obviously no story is ever completely ended unless the entire universe were to collapse—the characters and the worlds all gone—so yes, I have plans for more. But this book, Alien Outcomes, marks the end of the idea in my original outline. This book answers the questions and brings everything full circle that began on page one of The Galactic Mage.
And for those who have emailed and asked that I not end the series forever here, don’t be confused when I say that this book is the end. It is the end of the first six. I’ve got lots of story I can still tell. And that will be obvious by the end. There is much more story, almost an infinite about of story I could write. The question, honestly, is more about when. I have another book I’ve been wanting to write for two years now; it burns inside me like Taot standing fire on my kidney and blowing fire on my heart—although that could be the jalepeno cheesy bread I ate for lunch coming back to haunt me now. But I’ll get to the next phase of the series. I suspect sooner than I think I will, because likely I will not be able to help it. I love these characters so much, and I’ve spent so much time with them. They’re with me every day, they are in my waking thoughts, filling up my drive time and idle anything. They are in my dreams. In the notebook beside my bed that I write them into when I wake and cannot help but preserve that wicked cool idea.
So, yes, more, but also, yes, an ending. The main thing is, I feel that if I were to stop writing here to work on something else for a time, no reader could complain I did not bring resolution to what I had begun. Providing resolution matters to me, because I am a reader too.
And yes, I can hear some of you saying, “Hey, where was resolution at the end of Rift in the Races, Hostiles, and Dance of Destinies?” Yes, I got beat up for cliff hangers on those, mostly Rift, but all of them some. I won’t argue it, though I contend that all do come to an end. But the point is, there should be little doubt here, although I anticipate some will read the last few chapters and say I’ve done it again. Which is fine. I did. But, whatever. Hah. The story is what it is, and all I can do is be true to the muse.
So, bottom line, Book 6 has a finished first draft. It took over a year to write, just like Rift in the Races did, and it’s going to take several more months to get it edited and revised. With so many plotlines coming together (and a few going out beyond into the books I have in mind for next), I’ve got to be very careful that everything is working as I think it is. Plus, I have four chapters that I left in crude, near outline form that need to be completely redone, and I’m thinking I may rewrite chapter 61 from a different character’s perspective as well. So, still lots of work to do.
That means this project is huge, and of all the books thus far, it is the most delicate. I can’t mess with things now, because what set things in motion some 3,000 plus pages of science fiction and fantasy ago is already written in stone, so to speak. So I have to make sure I’ve not forgotten anything. In juggler’s terms, there are a lot of balls in the air in Alien Outcomes.
But, I’m very excited to be onto editing. I always have fun going back and reading what I wrote for the first time. I often surprise myself with things. Sometimes, I’ll read stuff and be like, “Woah, that is awesome! Damn. I’m like a genius.” When that happens—sadly all to rare—I feel really good about my ability for a while. And that’s good. It’s important to feel good about yourself and your work sometimes.
Then there is the other side, which, sadly, happens far, far more often. That’s when I’ll read stuff I have written, and I’m like, “WTF? What does that even mean?” The writing will be moving along at a nice clip, not genius, but not terrible, and then, WHAM, it’s like running full tilt into the side of a giant bank safe. Which, of course, is why editing is a must. None of my writing comes out amazing the first time—I mean, maybe here and there like I said, a particular bit of dialogue that comes out just right, or some little scene with Roberto or Pernie that makes me laugh—but that’s about it. That’s the fun stuff, where I surprise myself. Those are the gifts of the muse. The rest requires a lot of working through, combing out the snarls with a 100 brush strokes a night. Night after night. For months. But I’ll get there.
Anyway, that’s all I have for now. First draft is done. Figure several months of editing. Yes, I am going to be so far off of my original January 2016 release date it isn’t even funny. Hell at this rate, it might even been fall or worse. I’d love to say summer, but I am just totally unwilling to commit to a date now, given how far off I was this time. It will be done when it’s done, summer, fall, hell, next January. Who knows? It will be done when it’s good, and not before. Good comes before deadlines. Period.
Anyway, stay tuned. I’ll know more as I work on it. Summer is possible, so we’ll see how it goes. Stay tuned here or on the Alien Outcomes main page to find out more as it things progress.
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