The Final Calling/The Unwelcome Warlock: Progress Report Thirty-One

Chapter Thirty-One is now online. Read! Enjoy! Tell your friends! Send money!

We’re paid through Chapter Thirty-Three, just over halfway to Chapter Thirty-Four. Chapter Thirty-Two will be posted no later than Wednesday, January 19th. (“No later than”? See below.)

The first draft is written except for the second half of Chapter Thirty-Eight, and I might decide to add a short epilogue. It runs forty chapters, and about 125,000 words. I should have this draft finished in a few days, but due to the need to actually make a living I may not get to the second draft for a couple of months — I hadn’t intended to take this long on this story, and want to get something else out to market before reworking it.

At this point there’s no doubt that the novel will be finished and eventually published, but the serial is another matter — we’re still short six and a half chapters on the money end. I don’t mind dragging it out, if the money comes in slowly, but if it’s still not done when the finished book sees print, it never will be.

On the other hand, if the money comes in more quickly than expected, I’m planning to go to twice-a-week publication, Wednesdays and Saturdays. If I have more than two chapters paid for by this weekend, one will go up Saturday, as well as Wednesday — so if Chapter Thirty-Four is paid for by 11:00 p.m. EST on Friday, Chapter Thirty-Two will be posted Saturday, January 15th, rather than waiting until next week.

Will that happen? We’ll have to see.

The Final Calling/The Unwelcome Warlock: Progress Report Thirty

Chapter Thirty is now online.

We’re paid through Chapter Thirty-Three, less than halfway to Chapter Thirty-Four.

Haven’t written much lately, what with the holidays — Chapter Thirty-Nine did get a little farther, but I haven’t gone back to fill in the two chapters I skipped.

I’d hoped to have the first draft finished by the end of the year; oh, well. Welcome to 2011!

Gauging the Market

So if I were to offer for sale an 18″ x 24″ poster of the simplified map of Ethshar of the Spices (the map area itself would be roughly 16″ x 12″) and additional material, would anyone be interested in buying a copy?

If so, how much would you be willing to pay? What other material would you want on it? Book covers? Explanatory text? My old drawing of Wizard Street (though I think that’s Wizard Street in Ethshar of the Sands, not Ethshar of the Spices)?

Are there other Ethshar-related posters you’d prefer? Other maps, perhaps?

If there’s serious interest, I’ll go ahead with this — I found a supplier who looks reasonable. The price, though, will be very dependent upon how many I’m sure I can sell.

So if you always wanted a map, speak up now!

The Final Calling/The Unwelcome Warlock: Progress Report Twenty-Nine

Chapter Twenty-Nine is now online.

There was a satisfying jump in donations right around Christmas, including a very generous one, so I’m pleased to report that the serial is paid for through Chapter Thirty-Two, and Chapter Thirty-Three is just a few dollars short. (I haven’t run the exact numbers yet, but I think it’s about $15.)

The writing has gotten complicated — I started skipping the even-numbered chapters, writing just an opening sentence or two of each before moving on to the next odd-numbered chapter. I’m now writing Chapter Thirty-Nine, and will go back and write Chapter Thirty-Six and Chapter Thirty-Eight later. I’m not sure where Chapter Forty will go in the production queue.

The novel, unless something very unexpected happens, will run forty chapters in all.

Happy New Year!

The Final Calling: Progress Report Twenty-Eight

Chapter Twenty-Eight is now online.

Chapter Twenty-Nine is nowhere near paid for, so I don’t know when I’ll be posting it. Since no previous serial has run more than twenty-eight chapters, we’re getting into unknown territory here.

I’m writing Chapter Thirty-Five, which is running a little long now, but hey, it’s a climactic chapter. I’m figuring the finished novel will be either thirty-eight or forty chapters. Yes, that’s much longer than I’d expected, and I don’t know if my readers are that generous.

The publisher at Wildside thinks The Unwelcome Warlock is a fine title, so that’s probably what will go on the finished book.

Guess that’s about everything. Happy holidays to all!

The Final Calling: Progress Report Twenty-Seven

Chapter Twenty-Seven is now online.

I’m $39.61 short of paying for Chapter Twenty-Eight.

The writing’s gotten a bit weird. I’m nominally writing Chapter Thirty-Three, but it’s running very long, and there’s a natural break-point a few pages back, so I’m thinking I may actually be writing either Chapter Thirty-Four or Chapter Thirty-Five — I might either just split this one, or split it and then insert one from another viewpoint between the two halves.

I’m already well over 100,000 words, which was my original target for the finished book.

I don’t know how many chapters it will be; every time I make an estimate, the confounded thing gets longer. My best guess is thirty-six to forty, but I wouldn’t put too much faith in that. I’m going to write until it’s done, then stop, however long that may be.

(Yes, I do know where I’m going. It’s just taking longer to get there than I expected.)

As mentioned in my previous post, the fine folks at Wildside Press don’t think The Final Calling is a grabber title for readers who don’t already know what the Calling is. Therefore, we’re looking for a new, catchier title, and so far the leading contender is Allen Dobkin’s suggestion, The Unwelcome Warlock.

I won’t be re-titling the serial, though — that would be too confusing. It stays The Final Calling, but I’m warning everyone here and now that the finished book may well be called something else.

Guess that’s everything for this week. Hope everyone’s surviving the harsh weather that seems to be hitting pretty much everywhere.

Addendum: Noon Thursday: It’s snowing.

Chapter Twenty-Eight is now paid for, and will be posted on Wednesday, December 22nd, but not at the usual two-minutes-after-midnight, give or take. I’m picking someone on a late flight up at the airport that night, so I won’t be able to upload the files until I get back; depending on weather, traffic, and other variables, it could easily be 4:00 a.m. before I have a chance to post it.

My apologies for the inconvenience.

The Final Calling: Suggestions wanted!

Okay, I talked to the probable publisher last night — John Betancourt from Wildside Press — and he wants a different title.

I think he’s right; The Final Calling was kind of a stopgap I stuck on the project when Tim Powers published a novel using my original title, Last Call. It’s not a very exciting name for the book.

I came up with the obvious The Last Warlock, but other suggestions would be welcome.

There’s no prize involved, and titles aren’t subject to copyright, so if I do use yours you’ll get nothing out of it but my thanks, and the odds are pretty good I’ll wind up using something I came up with myself (maybe inspired by a suggestion here), but still, if you have any clever ideas, I’d like to hear them.


The Final Calling: Progress Report Twenty-Six

Chapter Twenty-Six is now online.

I’m $37.11 short of paying for Chapter Twenty-Seven. Tell your friends. If you haven’t kicked in yet, this would be a good time.

I’ve just started writing Chapter Thirty-Two, which is definitely not the last chapter. I’ve been getting through plot more slowly than I had anticipated, so I’m now pretty sure we’re looking at either thirty-six chapters, or thirty-five chapters and an epilogue. (Epilogues are free.) It will definitely run longer than 100,000 words, which is kind of a surprise, actually.

I think that covers it; hope to see you next week!

Update: Chapter Twenty-Seven is paid for, and we’re making progress on Twenty-Eight.

The Final Calling: Progress Report Twenty-Four

Chapter Twenty-Four is now online.

Chapter Twenty-Five is just barely paid for, and will be posted on Wednesday, December 1.

I’m midway through writing Chapter Twenty-Seven. There will be more than thirty chapters; I don’t know how many more.

I’ve sent out all the donor copies of Realms of Light, but about half a dozen went to unconfirmed addresses; I hope they’ll reach the intended recipients safely.

I had originally planned to include a copy of Nightside City with each copy of Realms of Light where the donor wanted one, but at the last minute I offered a choice of books instead, which meant that I wound up with several copies of Nightside City left over, which I’m putting on sale this week — see the left-hand column of any chapter page for The Final Calling for details.

I think that’s everything. Hope you’ll all have a grand Thanksgiving!