God Jars is coming along nicely, and I’ve had some success getting things ready for other projects. But, sometimes my brain has a major oops moment. This one is making me think my brain can’t make up its mind on practically anything.
You see, God Jars started life as a trilogy. After finishing the first “book” and part of the second, I realized (thanks to the help of an awesome editor) that I squashed three books into a single manuscript. Thankfully, I took care of this issue. I have God Jars books 1-4 finished, edited, and mostly ready to go. I’m writing God Jars 5, and have 6-9 mostly plotted out. Essentially, a trilogy exploded into a nine book saga. Nice.
Apparently, I don’t do isolated incidents.
I just started editing Climbing Shadetree. This book became one of my favorites. My third M/M title, Climbing Shadetree turned out to be a 132k stand alone novel. I skimmed through it. Scratched my head. Then bashed my head into my keyboard for five minutes.
Can you guess what happened?
…Yep. It exploded.
I have three books squashed into one, so Climbing Shadetree is actually another trilogy. Sigh. Granted, I wrote it back after I wrote the mashup that is now books 1-3 of the God Jars in 2014, but still. Ugh.
It doesn’t upset me as much as I thought it would. Yes, it means more work. It means pushing back its release date. But it also means I get to put out three stunning books instead of a single, confusing mashup. More books makes me happy. I can deal with a bigger back list. I just wish I did it right the first time. Perfectionism sucks.
What will I do?
Easy! At least, I hope so…
I plan on expanding Climbing Shadetree, and I have some awesome ideas on how to do it. First, I want to amp up the romance. I found this to be my biggest issue. Second, I want to dig in and delve more into the fantasy world. Then I have to make the bad guys a bit more believable.
Unfortunately, I heavily skimped on the romance bit, and I regret it. In edits, I want to give Dustin and Casersis’ love story more screen time and make it more of a slow burn. Yes, they’re fated and end up soul-bonding, but I want them to have more time between when they meet and when they bond. This may push the series past the trilogy stage into a four book series. I’m okay with this!
The world felt a bit strangled. With so much plot (two or three plot lines!), I didn’t have enough room to really breathe life into the fantasy world. Climbing Shadetree belongs to the Kal’brath universe, just like Mage of Legend and Dragon Court. If I had combined the entire universe, Climbing Shadetree would appear between Jennifer Amriss’ Race Against the Dark and Healing Wounds in the Het series. The futuristic fantasy setting has some science fiction elements, but with elves, wolf shifters, and a beautiful romance, it falls right into the Paranormal Romance category. And I failed to amp up the paranormal parts. The setting feels bland and mostly hidden.
The bad guys? Ugh. This is what I get for flying by the seat of my pants, and not creating outlines. I really want to flesh them out a bit more. Make them less like cartoon villains, and make them much more believable. They aren’t terrible, but they aren’t great, either.
The new schedule!
I honestly have no idea when I’ll publish next, or what title will be coming. But, here’s what I have going on:
- I’m 11k into God Jars 5. I plan on trying to finish this before the month is out. If not, then by mid-August.
- I will try to break up Climbing Shadetree into 3-4 books, and rewrite parts of them to match my new visions. This should take probably two to three months.
- God Jars 6-9 need written, and I want to flesh out the plots for those a little more. I’m hoping to only take a month per book. Pray for me.
- I’m plotting out the Giordano series so I can start writing on them as soon as I finish Climbing Shadetree and God Jars. I may nix the suspense, and make it contemporary gay romance. Yes, the Giordano boys all protect people for a living, but I may focus on the romance instead of their jobs. I’m still thinking and planning. Time to let that percolate.
Why am I waiting to publish until I have the series finished?
The short answer is that I want to do a final editing pass once they’re all finished to make sure the overarching story stands up to what I envisioned. This is especially important with the God Jars series, because I wrote the first three books in 2013/2014, the fourth book in 2016, and then rewrote the first three just a few months ago once I figured out that they were, indeed, three books and not a single tome. I want to ensure consistency and quality before I let those suckers fly.
This reason also somewhat applies to Climbing Shadetree. Consistency doesn’t worry me too much since I have finished the monstrosity of a first draft. However, I have much work to do in many other areas. I need to split the book in the right places, rewrite those pieces, edit everything once I have it all finished, create covers for the new additions, write the new and spiffy blurbs, and … I know I’m forgetting something. However, I foresee this transition to be much faster and easier than the God Jars because the main story is there. I just need to expand it and flesh out certain areas, and work has already commenced.
So, while both of these stories exploded, they’re not too far away from publishing. I just gotta get my butt in gear and get crackin’.
*Hops to it!*