Realms of Light: Progress Report Sixteen

I’ve just sent Chapter Ten out to donors who signed up to receive chapters as soon as they’re ready.

I’ve only just started Chapter Eleven, so it’ll be awhile yet before that one’s ready. Incidentally, I’m now estimating the novel will run twenty-four chapters, but that could turn out to be way off.

I know it’s going absurdly slowly, but I’ve just been too busy with other things to focus on it — not so much other writing (though I’m midway through the third and final draft of Above His Proper Station) as dealing with real estate. Getting our house ready to show was a huge job, and keeping it ready can also be a challenge sometimes. And then there’s all that time we’ve spent looking at houses we might buy when this one sells.

And frankly, it’s not as if there’s huge demand for this story. I’m very grateful to those who have contributed, but your numbers are few. It makes it hard to build up much enthusiasm or momentum.

Still, I’ll get it done eventually.

For now: Chapter Nine will be posted to the web when the receipts total $2,000.00. The current total is $1,837.00. Chapter Ten is written.

Realms of Light: Progress Report Fourteen

Funds received: $1,662. Needed for next chapter: $1,750.

I’m now e-mailing chapters to donors as soon as they’re completed, so those who have signed up for this service have received Chapter Eight. (If you’re a donor and haven’t signed up, what are you waiting for?)

I’ve written about two-thirds of Chapter Nine, but I’ve been severely distracted by preparing our house to be sold, and by a sudden rush of paid critiquing. The house prep is about 95% complete and I’ve started writing the last of the critiques (which means I’ve read the entire very long novel in question), so I’m hoping to have those out of the way soon, which will allow me to concentrate more on Realms of Light. Though there are still other distractions.

And to reiterate what I told someone in a comment thread: The longer it takes to finish Realms of Light, the longer it will be before I start another Ethshar story. I am not going to abandon this until at least 2010, and I’m not going to start another serial until this one’s finished. Anyone impatiently waiting for me to give up on Carlisle Hsing and get to The Final Calling will have a long wait.

Thanks for your support.

Realms of Light: Progress Report Thirteen

Just to not keep you in suspense, it appears unlikely that the next chapter will be posted tomorrow. Chapter Eight is written, but it’s due at $1,750, and the total take so far is $1,627.

I’ve made some minor revisions to previously-posted chapters, though, and I might manage to get those changes online. I’m not sure; it depends on whether I get some urgent household business out of the way.

I still haven’t finished writing Chapter Nine, partly because I ran into a small plot hitch, now solved; partly because I’ve been sick with the worst cold I’ve had in years; and partly because I’ve been very, very busy getting our house ready to put on the market. We’re planning to relocate. I do hope to finish the chapter soon, though.

I’m considering modifying my model here; I may start e-mailing chapters to donors as I finish them, regardless of how much money has come in in total, rather than making people who have done their share wait for the rest of the world. Let me know if that would interest you.

Realms of Light: Progress Report Eleven-A

Okay, I’m a bit more awake and less harried.

The belated Chapter Six has indeed been posted, almost a month late. My apologies. I managed to keep up through Christmas, but then things got really busy with family business, travel, and getting our house ready to go on the market.

We had six rooms repainted, four rooms and a hallway recarpeted, the cabinets refinished, and new countertops and light fixtures installed. That made it difficult to get much done here, especially when some items were delayed and we couldn’t cook for several days.

And then I had to sort through my comic book collection, more than 14,000 of the little devils, because we don’t want them here when prospective buyers tour the house, and we don’t plan to take most of them with us when we move. I thought I had six to eight thousand, so the sorting, cataloging, and packing was a much bigger job than I’d expected. It’s done now, though, so I can get back to writing, which is, after all, at least theoretically, what I do for a living.

Meanwhile, I still don’t actually have $1,500 in hand. I have $1,487. Which is close enough that I posted the new chapter anyway; I feared that if I waited any longer the whole project would be given up for dead.

It’s not dead. Not even pining for the fjords. It’s just running a little slow. And not bringing in the great waves of cash I’d like.

In view of that, and the state of the economy, and that my plans to coordinate this with other serials seem to have gone completely by the boards, I think it’s time to reconsider my pricing. I am hereby lowering the price from $300 per chapter to $250 per chapter — which means I’m $13 short of posting Chapter Seven, and if that $13 comes in, Chapter Seven will be posted on Wednesday, February 4th.

(I know Chapter Six was posted on a Friday. I don’t care. It should have been Wednesday. Maybe if I hadn’t been so busy with the comics…)

I am, by the way, still in the middle of writing Chapter Nine.

So there we are. My apologies for the delay, and I hope we can get back on track.

Realms of Light: Progress Report Nine

Well, here it is Wednesday, and I’ve only taken in $1,157 of the $1,200 needed for Chapter Five.

I might be a little more upset if it weren’t for the holidays; I’ve been too busy to give this project all that much thought today, and I suspect that’s true of several readers, as well. Kiri arrived Tuesday night and will only be here a few days, Julian’s here for about a three-week stay, and spending time with my kids seems more urgent right now than writing or posting.

Chapter Eight, by the way, is about 90% complete.

I suspect the lacking $43 will arrive soon enough, but for now — no chapter.

Long-term plans

I’ve been giving some thought to the longer term, and here’s what I’m hoping to do:

Complete Realms of Light in the spring of 2009.

Start The Final Calling in the summer of 2009. This is the Ethshar novel that finally wraps up the overall story of warlocks. I haven’t actually written any of it as yet, but I have a decent outline, and today I worked out the exact structure of the opening and how it’s going to work. I won’t start by posting Chapter One for this one, but by posting a short story called “The Warlock’s Refuge.” That story will also be a prologue to the novel, and a bridge connecting it to Night of Madness. The Final Calling will complete the warlock arc of the Ethshar series; all told it’ll be four novels and a short story: Night of Madness, “The Warlock’s Refuge,” The Unwilling Warlord, The Vondish Ambassador, and The Final Calling.

When that’s done — probably early in 2010 — I plan to serialize a science-fantasy novel called Vika’s Avenger. It’s already written; I wrote it on a whim, but ran into the fact that the current publishing market is in such bad shape that my agent doesn’t think I can get any more money for it from a real publisher than I would serializing it. This may change; if market conditions shift, it may yet wind up with a traditional publisher. If not, well — it’s twenty-eight chapters, so it’ll take six and a half months, assuming readers like it enough to keep the money coming in.

After that, late in 2010 I hope to start another Ethshar novel, either The Sorcerer’s Widow (which, despite the title, is about a pair of swindlers who may become recurring characters), or Azraya of Ethshar. I have an outline and half a chapter of The Sorcerer’s Widow, and a detailed outline of Azraya of Ethshar. Azraya has the interesting feature that several scenes in it have already been seen from different viewpoints in With A Single Spell and Taking Flight; I’m not sure whether that’ll make it easier or harder to write.

All schedules are approximate, since I don’t actually know how long three of these four novels will run, and there may be delays while I, you know, earn a living, or do other stuff. Also, any or all of these may be delayed — any time I don’t get enough money to post a chapter, that pushes everything back.

This is all subject to change, but it’s what I have in mind at the moment, and I thought some of you might be interested.

Next chapter at: $1,200
Current total: $1,135