I’ve picked three of my toughest betas and sent them Storming Amargosa last night. With Tishla stuck in the KDP queue, the final Amargosa novel will be out July, 2020. I’ve given the betas a St. Patrick’s Day deadline, which now gives Clayborn Press plenty of time to go through this behemoth.
The fourth draft checked in at over 140,000 words. Now, Neal Asher sells a lot of books that length, but unlike him, I’m not explaining Jain technology or James SA Corey’s protomolecule. But I needed to wrap up some earlier storylines, particularly since Leitman reveals over the next three new novellas to come out what a monumental dick he is.
This rewrite became a NaNoWriMo project. But my wife took ill mid-month. So instead of being an all-consuming project to clear off my plate, it actually became a means to escape. Nonetheless, even with cuts and new scenes, it checked in at 101,000 words. Still a bit long.
I did a read-through over the past ten days, cut entire swaths of prose and trimmed some of the redundant phrasing and crutch words. (“Could” is like a weed.) Final count? 95,800 words. Hopefully, I’ve wrapped up this epic and can focus on something new in the New Year. Like three Suicide novels and the rest of the meddling kids. I have plans for Davra, Duffy, and Yuwono. JT figures into the Suicide arc, but events in Book 2 will send him off into his own adventure. There remains one other character who appears late in Storming who will need a storyline as well. Now I can focus on them, on the prequel Down the Rabbit Hole, and a standalone story outside the Compact Universe.
But it’s done. After five freakin’ years of this, it’s done!