It’s been a minute, I know, but I never said I was a consistent blogger. However, I have a very good reason for not posting anything in a while.
As of today, books two AND three of the Catalyst Moon saga are drafted. 182,740 words total between them, in one loooong document that I’ll break up at a logical spot somewhere in the center. (I’ve thought this through, I swear.)
Of course, there’s quite a lot of work still to be done. When I say the books are “drafted,” I mean there are words on the page, but there are still plot holes to fill, character arcs to round out, and bits of dialog to rewrite. There’s also probably one or two typos in there, somewhere. Oh, and the moon phases! Don’t even get me started on the effing moon phases. (I’m a stickler for astronomical continuity.)
Incursion (book one) was originally part of the outline I’ve been working from, and THAT was a huge pain to break into its own story. What I have now is a giant mass of story that I need to chop up and refine into two stories. My plan is to give my brain a few days to settle down, (I’ve been eating, sleeping, and breathing this book for so long), then do a re-read and make notes about all the work I have yet to do. From there, I’ll break the book in half and focus on the first part, (book two) as I edit, edit, edit. Then, for a change, I’ll edit some more. Then I’ll send book two off to my beautiful, brilliant beta readers and work on book three while I anxiously await their feedback. More editing, possibly some crying. (Who am I kidding? There will almost definitely be some crying. It’s a process, yo.) Then I’ll send the book to my lovely editor at Inkitt, and, once again, anxiously await her feedback. Then…say it with me…MORE EDITING!
In short, the work is just beginning.
But for now, I’m kicking back and relishing the feeling of being DONE with a project that’s been hovering over me for years – about as long as Incursion has been around. I started writing Incursion in September of 2012, and wrote book two, Breach, about six-ish months after that. While doing my edits for Incursion, so much of the story changed that the rough drafted I’d written for Breach made no sense any longer, (plus it was really, really broken), so I took the “easy” way out and rewrote the thing, starting in September of 2015.
You might be saying, “But Lauren, exactly how many books ARE you going to put in this series?”
Great question, thanks for asking.
Originally, Catalyst Moon was going to be maaaaybe three books, tops. Three became four, which has now become six. At the risk of sounding too much like a fantasy author cliché, I think the story I want to tell for this arc will be best told in two trilogies. This means the first set of books (1 – 3) will focus on one thing and the second set (4 – 6), will focus on another thing. Generally. Some aspects are still a little vague in my mind, but it’s coming together. I’m not really a writer; I’m a gardener of stories.
As it stands today, this is my plan*:
- Play Elder Scrolls Online with my husband because I’ve earned a break, dammit. Plus, those mudcrabs are cruisin’ for a bruisin’.
- Reread Book 2, aka the 182k word behemoth, and make copious notes about how to prepare it for human consumption.
- Do what the notes say, focusing on Book 2 and setting Book 3 aside for later.
- Send Book 2 to betas and start editing Book 3.
- Also start outlining Book 4 – 6.
- Get beta suggestions for book 2 and do them.
- Send book 2 to editor.
- Do what she says. Mostly.
- Publish book 2. There’s probably more in that previous step, but I can’t think that far ahead right now.
*subject to change without notice, rhyme, or reason.
The absolute latest I’d like to have Book 2 out is next July, around the same time Incursion came out this year, so…yeah. Wish me luck!
One last thing:
It’s considered gauche to publicly respond to reviews – even to thank the reviewer – but I’d like to do so here. To everyone that has reviewed Catalyst Moon: Incursion, either on Amazon, Goodreads, or somewhere else I’m not privy to, THANK YOU. You are amazing, and I have so much love in my heart for your generosity of time and spirit.
PS: For the curious, the background photo, (dubbed “featured image” by WordPress), is my super-duper technical record of my word count progression over the last several weeks. The whole image is here:
Apologies for my handwriting. The crossed-off number is from when I realized I’d written a scene wrong, and had to delete it entirely. Fun times.
Moral of the story: Keep. Writing. Even when it feels like you’re making no progress at all. Even a tiny step forward brings you that much closer to achieving your goals.