Here’s one of those ‘milestones’ a writer reaches; I’ve got the first draft of the first third of Empire’s Exile written. That’s about 40,000 words. Writing this one is an interesting experience.
There are the logistics to consider: making sure I tie up all the loose ends and unanswered questions from Books 1 & 2. There is making sure I stay true to the theme of exile: in Book 1, Empire’s Daughter, Lena was barely adult, still a ‘dutiful daughter’ in many ways, just beginning over the course of the book to realize that truth comes in many forms. In Empire’s Hostage, Book 2, Lena is a hostage both actually and figuratively, her fate in the hands of rules and traditions. In this third and last volume, I’m exploring the theme of exile, again both actual and figurative. It doesn’t always make for easy writing.
Then there are my characters. I thought I knew the basic story arc, but they had different ideas. Listening to what they told me (or what my subconscious told me, if you prefer), had led to Exile being a different story than what I thought it was going to be, introducing other forms of displacement into the narrative. It also left me with an enormous dilemma about the ending…which I have resolved in a way that is both true to the story and satisfying for me. (If you’re wondering why I’m talking about the ending when I’m only 1/3 into the book, it’s because I need to know what the ending is, so I can work towards it.)
So I’m going to take a breather for a few days, work on two unrelated editorial projects, get organized and packed for our escape from winter, and once we’re settled in there, start the middle third. Quite a bit of research is associated with this third, and I need to plot out the major conflicts and crises, but I’m hoping to have this section done by March. I’ll need to work flat out if I’m going to get this book out for the Christmas 2018 market…which is my current goal….but, just maybe, I will make it.
Updates, excerpts, backgrounders as I have time and they are appropriate!