Man. This book is a bit of a doozy. Currently over halfway edited, and over 165,000 words. For reference, that’s twice as long as the average length of my other ones, and the word count will likely increase as I smooth things out even more.
Not to turn this into too long of a blog post, but this novel has really tested my abilities as an author. One of those things in particular being patience. I thought this would be done way earlier, but if you’ve followed me for a while, you already know I have a history of being overly optimistic with my deadlines.
It’s hard not to be a bit overwhelmed sometimes, to the point where I’m vowing to myself that I’ll keep all my future books 60-80,000 words from now on. That I’m actually going to outline things this time instead of just winging it. Even so, that probably won’t happen, because every book I write takes on a life of its own, and if I do bother to outline things, I either forget about it or my subconscious (which makes all the creative decisions) completely disregards it. If this book wants to be a monster, that’s something I just have to be okay with, because in the end it’s about delivering the best story I can with the time I’ve got. By definition, a book twice as long takes twice as long to edit and there’s just no way around that. Unfortunately.
On a more positive note, I’m finding I’m actually liking how the story reads. In a word, it’s epic. Completely epic. That’s all I’m going to say, and I know that’s cruel, but I don’t want to spoil anything. I’d like to think giving you guys a long, action-packed book that’ll last you a good while would be a great parting gift, and a fitting conclusion to a story that has been an epic journey – the story itself, and also my story in writing it. Which, admittedly, is probably more boring than the story itself, involving lots of coffee, head-banging, anxiety, maladjustment, insomnia, and many other similar, nasty words. That’s not exactly hyperbole. It takes a crazy person to want to do this for a living. It’s hard to decide whether writing is passion or compulsion. For me, it’s compulsion.
I keep thinking to myself, over and over, I can’t believe I’ve been working on Xenoworld since 2014. That feels like ancient history at this point. So much has changed since then, marriage being the main thing. I still think of the person I was as a kid. Maybe I still am a kid, because the UPS guy thought I was too young to sign for the package the other day (my Pokemon shirt probably didn’t help). The point being, the person who started Xenoworld is very different to the person I am now, to the point where when I read my older books (which I’m doing now), it feels as if they’ve been written by a another person. In a way, that was another person. But that’s a whole other blog post.
I don’t really know what’s next. I’ve thought of genre switching for a while, just for the sake of doing something different. But the future remains to be seen, and while you can plan for that future, those plans rarely turn out as you imagined them. If you read this whole thing, wondering where the release date is . . . I’m sorry to disappoint. If it’s not out this fall, then I’ve pretty much failed as a writer.
As always say in every one of these posts: I’m truly grateful for your patience. I can’t promise the end result will be worth it (there are always a few disappointed people who say the quality has dropped off – one of the first things you learn as a writer is that you can’t please everyone, and who knows? Maybe they’re right). What I can promise is that I’m trying my hardest, and I think my efforts will be entertaining for the vast majority of you.
As readers, we know books are more than just stories. They are our only chance to step into another’s shoes and be that person, to see the world from another perspective, and to think of questions might not otherwise think about. Even if it is from the perspective of a teenager who’s been tasked to save the world, and imbued with alien abilities. A tale as old as time by this point, but I hope my twist on a familiar story has been entertaining for you all, if nothing else.
I can say almost for sure this book will be done by this fall. I want to say September, but I know that if I do, I’ll get in trouble. So let’s set that as my tentative goal, since I’m not really sure what it’s like to edit a book this size.