Friday, 2 May 2014
Sword of the North Finished
Or at least the first draft is finished. I sent it off to my agent two days ago. It came to just under 140,000 words, or 535 manuscript pages.
This has been a really difficult book to write. Shortly after finishing The Grim Company, I became ill for several months. Then my wife got ill, or rather, developed a chronic condition that took some time adjusting to cope with. To cut a long story short, I didn't really get back to writing until near the end of 2012. It turns out that taking a six month break from writing is a bad idea - like a muscle, writing craft has to be utilised often or it begins to atrophy.
In my case, I found myself doing a lot of rewrites after being unhappy with my initial 35,000 words. Then, after The Grim Company was released, I became caught up in reading reviews and evaluating criticism, and that led to further revisions. A lot of world-building was also required to bridge the first and third books, and indeed support any additional volumes or tie-in projects (like video games) I might wish to turn my hand to further down the line. I wrote The Grim Company in 10 months, creating the setting on the fly, so I didn't have hundreds of pages of notes to fall back on.
All in all, I'm fairly pleased with how Sword of the North turned out - though I had to shift some of the material I had planned to include back to the third and concluding volume. Now begins the nervous wait to hear back from my editors. Hopefully they'll love it, and a late 2014 release will maybe, just maybe, become a possibility. I wouldn't bank on it, but we'll see.
In the meantime, The Grim Company has made it to the final shortlist for the Gemmell Morningstar Awards! You can vote for me (or not) here: http://www.gemmellaward.com/page/morningstar-1
The voting ends May 31st, so be sure to drop a vote before then.