Alien Outcomes – TGM 6 (Coming 2018 – in theory)

Alien Outcomes – Book 6 of the The Galactic Mage Series.

I am currently working on Alien Outcomes. It was intended to be the last book in the series. But it’s not turning out that way. My original idea was 9 books (those who have been following will recall that). But I thought I could wrap it up in 6 after how neatly 3 and 4 went. But now, at 900 pages into book 6–and worse, almost 3 years–I realize that there just isn’t any way to condense the universe and the ideas that are sprung into action here. Trust me, there isn’t, because I have just wasted a year and a half trying. It is a 9 book series, and always was. I am just dumb and lazy.

But I got better.

I mean, I guess technically I don’t know if I just got lazy, or if it really is the stuff that I have been complaining about from my real life that made me try to wrap up on 1 more book. Probably both. But reality says, it’s not going to conclude in 6 books. It can’t. So, I am taking back all of that crap I said before about having realized I could do it in 6. I have to let this story live its whole life. If that means 9 books like I thought originally, or even 12 or 15 or whatever. It will be what it is. I lost almost 2 years trying to find a way to jam this into 1 book. Soooo stupid.

So for those of you who have not given up on me yet, I am still working on it. Yes, slow as shit. Yes,  doing other projects (I have this really cool novel that is almost done that I have been meaning to do forever, and everything just came together in the world making it necessary to write … etc.). But it is coming. I don’t know when anymore. I’m tired of lying and trying to pretend like I will do anything based on time.  Frankly, I hate time. Time is not even real. Throw out all your calendars and tell me if tomorrow still comes. Clocks, alarm clocks in particular … all crap. Nobody likes them. I’ll finish it as soon as I can. I both apologize and don’t.

As always, check back from time to time on this page. I will leave updates on my progress. I promise no time for finishing. I’ll finish it when I do. I will be as amazing as I can make it. I owe only that to you.

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07/27/2017 – If it’s been a while since you checked in: reread the paragraphs above. Total update. I have finally acknowledged the reality that I was, for whatever stupid reason, unwilling to recognize. (Short version: this is just not a 6 book series … and no amount of trying to cram the vision into one last book is going to work. I am going back to my original 9 book plan. I was dumb to think otherwise. Sorry for the delay.)

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Previous Updates:

03/24/2017 – <Insert shitty excuse here>, but I’m getting there.

02/05/2017 – The tortoise not the hare!

10/27/2016 – Still growing. Well over half way mark now, and moving along at a steady snail’s pace. Good news (for me and the story if not my wife) with the holidays coming, my wife has to work for most of them, so I’ll be able to take some big chunks of time that aren’t filled with activities. I dare not pronounce the sounds that make a deadline, but I do actually see the finish line of this round of edits drawing within sprinting distance!!!

8/30/2016 – Page 280 of 697 … still growing in huge chunks. It’s 20,000 or so words longer than it was a few months ago (1/3 the length of a short novel added). I got other issues slowing me up, but I hate excuses, so I’m just going to admit I suck and am taking forever. It will come out when it is done. 2017. Don’t know when. I am sorry. I’m not going to rush and not going to put out shit. So, it is what it is. (I’ll just add that if the U.S. healthcare system wasn’t what it is, things would go faster. End of comment.)

5/05/2016 – About 20% of the way done with first round edits. Progress is steady. Book is expanding, as anticipated. I’m wondering if it will get too long for a single volume in print. No limit on e-books, so that’s not an issue, but if it gets too big for paperback, I’m going to have to figure something out. Amazon pricing on paperbacks is so high, I really don’t want to do a “part 1” and “part 2.” I’ll definitely push margins and squeeze down font size like I did with Rift in the Races first. Should be good. Too early to worry, but I can’t help it.  I’m a worrier.

4/05/2016 – I’m 55 pages into the first wave of revisions. I am extremely happy with how it came together, despite some months here and there where I thought it was going to be impossible to get done in just one last book. But I held to my outline, trusted in the original idea, and let the muses guide my hand, as they say. So, I’m pleased and now getting it cleaned up. Not even going to try to guess how long it will take. I do numerous rounds of editing, and it’s huge: like 175,000 words now, and I’m adding about 1000 words per chapter as I edit. Since there are 65 or so chapters, you can do the math, and that doesn’t count four chapters that I already know will get way more than a thousand words, because I left them stark on purpose. So there you have it.

2/10/2016 –  Likely will type “the end” on the first draft this weekend. I actually have three chapters in the middle to write that are outline still, needing the end to play out first. But that said, it’s so close I can taste it. Lots of editing and that to come, but, definitely right there. (I’ll be adding the cover to this page shortly, as that too is nearly done.)

12/12/2015 –  Outline has 9 chapters left to the end, which means, I should be able to finish the first draft (finally) this month, yes, even with the holidays. I might even get done and be editing before New Year’s, which be super cool.

11/7/2015 –  The muses have taken over. It’s very cool. Original deadlines are all shot to hell, and it’s going to be done when it is. All I know is that writing Altin at this point is really just about the most epic and nerdiest thing of all time. Love, love, love it.

10/1/2015 –  I am very close to the end, but the scenes are so important that I am writing them very carefully, letting the action play out. I know that for some, the end of book one, the last few chapters, were too quickly done. But I did them in the pacing I felt the action warranted. It was a long span of time, but a short span of pages. The end of this book is the opposite, a short span of time, but a long span of pages. I also think I’m going to go back at the end of this and rewrite a few of the earlier chapters with Pernie’s character. So, suffice to say, I’m working. I no longer think December is reasonable, however, and think January is now even an ambitious estimate. I am going to try to make that work, but I have to finish before I can even begin the editing process. So, we’ll see.

08/4/2015 –  Okay, I am having so much fun writing this part now. I got enough work into the ending scenes, that it backfilled what I was missing for the middle, and now I’m in love with my new aliens. Progress is fine. I still think I can get it out by December, or as I mentioned early, maybe January, since I seem to get a lot more traction on Amazon with January releases.

06/26/2015 –  Jumped to the end. I’ve been dreaming of this ending for, like, a decade at least, and, being honest, actually this story dates back to me in high school.  So, being antsy to get to it, I did.

05/27/2015 –  Massive cuts just happened. Don’t even know the revised word count yet. I was in a transition section that was just not fun and had a huge missing element in it. Was causing me to slog through a few chapters, which is never a good sign. I have figured out what I was doing wrong (thanks to the muses hitting me up in a dream), and while it is painful in terms of work and effort lost, I will be dumping somewhere around 50 to 100 pages. The upside is, what I realized from the dream is sooooo freaking cool, I can hardly wait to write it. That’s always a good sign. (More detail in this blog post if you are interested:  Here.

04/28/2015 –  93,000 words now, roughly 320 pages. A lot to hold together, so having to go back and double check notes, read through previous books, etc. to make sure I’m holding to the rules. My wife had an emergency surgery two weeks ago, and that has added further delays. But, the work is the work, fate is fate, and story will be told when it is told. I am looking forward to a fight scene that I have schedule to start on come Thursday. I super love writing those. Woot!

03/29/2015 –  Hit the 75,000 word mark today, which is around 225 pages. My outline is holding up well, with the muse fleshing things out nicely. I’m about 10,000 words behind my target at this point, but life has a way of doing that sort of thing to me. It’s close enough that I’m still comfortable with my target release plans.

01/06/2015 –  9,000 words written. Going through outline and plotting and working through prophetic fine touches to make sure the religious underpinnings all tie the foundations together from book 1 through the series neatly. Lots of note checking and reading back through the series at this point, making writing slower, but, very cool and fun.

4 thoughts on “Alien Outcomes – TGM 6 (Coming 2018 – in theory)”

  1. I picked up the Galactic Mage almost by accident and it quickly became one of my favorite stories. One day while telling a friend about this awesome tail, I looked it up to find that John had written and published another! I had NO idea it was going to be a trilogy let alone a double.

    I eagerly await the final(?) tail and will probably try and marathon read the series again. This is something I rarely do, but I loved the development of the original story and the progression all the characters have made.

  2. No offense, but its been for fucking ever man. Is it coming out anytime soon at all? haven’t seen a post on it in almost five months and we reaaaallllly overshot the 2015 deadline, lol. Just give us some kind of idea whats happening. Please. Pretty please with sugar on top. If you want to send me a pre release version that’d be kool too. lol

    1. It is getting there. It’s gotten long. I vowed to finish the series off (at least the main, original plan story) in one final book, and it’s turned huge. That said, not gonna lie, I had to take a day job to pay for some crap, multiple craps, that happened in my family that threw everything into … let’s just say, “not how I planned it” mode. So I am really slow as shit now. I am at about the 30% mark in revisions, maybe more. Not even going to hit my Christmas/January mark. It will be out in 2017, that’s all I can promise. I know it’s bullshit. But that’s what it is. I’m not going to rush it out and publish trash. I’d rather never publish it than that. So, you have to wait. If you can’t, I don’t blame you. All I can tell myself is to be real to the story. I waited over a decade for the rest of the Wheel of Time thing (Yes, he died, so, that’s a better excuse than mine), but hey, George R.R. Martin just finally said, “Fuck it, I’m out,” on book six and handed it off to fans. So, I feel like, even if my book six is slow as shit, it will at least be done. By me.

      Thanks for giving a shit, dude. I know I suck, but that’s real.

  3. Still very much looking forward to the conclusion of The Galactic Mage Series. I would love to do some sort of video game mod campaign for Divinity: Original Sin 2 ( set some time in the “Rift in the Races” time frame. I was thinking perhaps a clandestine “Little Earth Recon” team sent to investigate Prosperion (evaluate the treat) per Captain Asad’s orders. A two man team sent to investigate the world with some unwitting Prospersions joining the ranks.

    Anyway still eagerly awaiting the finale.

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