May 2015 – Progress Update on Book 6 of The Galactic Mage Series

by | May 27, 2015 | Blog | 5 comments

Well, basically I am dumping about 80 pages. Garbage can city. Might only be 56, but might be 102 or so. We’ll see how many. Doesn’t matter how many. They have to go.

I’ve been sticking to my outline very carefully, and, frankly, as much as my outlines are so vital to my process, I have always said I would never be ruled by them. And, well, I kind of let myself be here in the last book. But I am rebelling.

I’ve actually really been struggling through this last month and a half writing. Yes, we had some surgery issues and a few other personal things, but that wasn’t the real killer in terms of time/page-count progress. The real killer has been that I have been trying to stick to this one section of my outline that connects everything and the epic ending I have always envisioned and, honestly, dreamed of finally writing, and, well …  I hate how this section is going.

I kept trying to plunge ahead because I am a discipline guy, and I believe you write through problems; you always solve problems with work and effort. At least usually.  But, man, I was just fighting with myself. My discipline self was grinding out on the outline for several essential connecting chapters, but my artist self was saying … Dude, you are missing something here. This isn’t fun. There is no love.

So I was kind of dreading writing to my daily word counts for the last few weeks.

Then the three day weekend came. My wife made me go to a wedding (you might have seen my little rant about that in an earlier post). That oppressive obligation (which actually ended up being fun, despite the expense) actually put me off on my emotional energy (<cough>hangover<cough>) and I didn’t write on Sunday. I didn’t write on Saturday because I was pouting about having to go to the wedding. I didn’t write on Monday because I didn’t write on Saturday or Sunday, so my momentum was off and I am really good at coming up with excuses when I need to.

So Monday night, because I didn’t try to force anything, and because I didn’t have the poison of other mundane weekly soul-stealing activities pumping freshly in my creative veins, I actually dreamt through the story for the first time since my son came back from the Navy with his medical issues and changed up a lot of things for me financially and creatively.

So there it was, the muse. Back. The whole problem solved. I figured out why the transition from one part of the story to the epic conclusion wasn’t working.


Yep. I was bored. Too predictable. I had a problem to connect, and I had just sort of noodled out how to make it work, and, well, it sucked. I didn’t want to write any more in the way I was doing it, so I kept finding reasons to procrastinate. If I don’t want to write it, there was no way you would want to read it.

But then epiphany hit! I’m so stoked, It’s perfect. It’s the tiny little thing that I was missing. The inspiration. Which, <sigh>, means I have to dump about a month or two of work. But, that’s how it goes. The upside is, I am once more motivated to write because this will be fun to do.

Plus, it’s PERFECT! (Or at least, it feels perfect. Ask me again in four months.). But it’s so much better. So fun. Plus, it’s back to what I really like doing, which is writing stuff that I have never read before. I love writing into new, weird spaces. So, big chunk of rewrites coming. Which is going to slow me down even more. But, I don’t care. I just can’t rush this last book. I just can’t. So, time-tables be damned. It’s going to be amazing or it ain’t coming out. That’s where I am at right now.


  1. William Hammond

    I truly understand. Book one is an original and a classic. How do you repeat that. Everything else is good, but only a shadow of the origin. I will read anything you write, but how do you compete with yourself.

    • John

      I think competing with yourself is what makes it fun, in a way. It’s a fair fight, you know? Like that’s why golf is so enjoyable (at least for me … not that I’ve played in a while), you’re really only ever playing against your self. I am looking forward to the next project, however. I know what you mean about the first one. I am eager to write the first in a new series I’ve been loading up in my mind and in my outlines for a few years now. Like this series, the first story idea is the inspiration for the rest. I think that does make a difference.

  2. Jim Fuller

    Please, please, please don’t let book 6 be the ‘last’ one, John. There are so many possible avenues to new adventures for so many characters. You created such a kick-a*s combination of genres, and, me being the most selfish self i can be, doesn’t want to see it end. Nothing but high praise for your wonderful characters.

  3. LSG

    I waited 20 years for the Wheel of Time to finish, I can accept a delay on something I enjoyed as much. Onward the Galactic Mage!

  4. Merril Bouckley

    Looking forward to the next book and I will be patient. Great Series so far and such a great mixup of genres I am really enjoying it.