Last Week’s Goals
All my posts went out on schedule.
Two more pieces returned from market and were turned around and submitted to other publications.
I wrote on seven days and made my daily quota on five of them. I made my weekly quota with 3,958 words. The draft of Swordsmaster #3 is over 28,000 words.
The Swordsmaster Pantsing Saga Continues…
So, let me sum-up.
I wrote Swordsmaster as a standalone novel (roughly 102k words), which was finished and published in 2019. I had no plans to turn it into a series, but I did leave an opening at the end of it that there might be more to come.
The follow-up story started churning away in my mind unprompted, and by the end of 2020 I had begun the first draft of Swordsmaster #2, which I completed and set aside in February of last year (again, about 102k words.) It ends with a definite TO BE CONTINUED feel.
I returned to Swordsmaster #2 by the end of 2020, but I realized that before I could properly finish writing the second book, I needed to know what was going to happen in Swordsmaster #3 so I could lead into it properly. Being a PANTSER (a Discovery writer), I could not simply outline what I expected to happen – I needed to DISCOVER the direction of the story by writing it.
I continued working on the first draft of Swordsmaster #3, in the hope that it would reveal enough of what is going to happen so that I’d know what would need to be in Swordsmaster #2. It felt like it would also be in the 102k range, and my initial thinking was that I needed to complete the first draft of #3 before I returned to #2.
I am no longer sure that is necessary, and it may even be a problem. I am almost at 30k words, and have a pretty solid understanding of where Swordsmaster #3 is going. I think that I might be able to avoid finishing #3 and wrap it up with a brief outline of what I think is coming. And I think it will be necessary.
You see, there are dependencies going both ways between the stories, and I’m at a point now where I know enough of what will happen in #3 to write #2, but I don’t know enough yet of what happens in #2 to continue #3.
I just hope that this back and forth won’t go into an infinite loop, like a snake eating its tail, or that vacuum cleaner sucking itself up. I do not want to find these books perpetually feeding off each other – it would be too much like writing a mobius strip, and a violation of Heinlein’s rule #2:
A WRITER MUST FINISH WHAT HE WRITES
Which means I must not write this story forever.
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William Mangieri’s writing has been published on Daily Science Fiction and The Arcanist. His ninety or so short stories and related collections can be found at several online retailers, including, but not limited to:
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