Realms of Light: Progress Report Twenty-Three

Here’s where we stand:

Eleven chapters have been posted to the web. No money has been contributed toward Chapter Twelve; in fact, I’m still $2.00 short for Chapter Eleven.

Fourteen chapters have been e-mailed to donors.

I’ve finished writing Chapter Fifteen, and just started Chapter Sixteen.

However, at the end of Chapter Fifteen Carlisle Hsing figured out a big chunk of the mystery — she had to, if I didn’t want her to look stupid — and now I’m thinking I could maybe wrap this up in about eighteen to twenty chapters, rather than the twenty-five I’d previously estimated. That would make for a pretty short novel, though of course it would get longer in rewrite.

I know a lot of authors cut stuff in rewrite, but I almost never do; instead I fill in details I’d skipped over. It’s not unusual for me to add as much as 25,000 words to a 100,000-word novel.

In this case, the first draft might come in as short as 55,000 words — about the length of a typical Ace Double, nowhere near the modern norm.

The up side is that it would be done sooner; the down side is that I’d feel as if I was cheating folks who paid $25.00 for a book that short. If it comes to that, I’ll want to think of some way to make up the difference for donors.

Not to mention whatever standards FoxAcre Press may have; I haven’t yet discussed the matter there.

But of course, it may not come to that at all; I’ve grossly misjudged how long a story needs to be before. The folk-tales in Among the Powers were originally added because the novel was below Avon’s minimum length, and Dragon Weather ran 20,000 words longer than I’d intended.

So I’m going to keep writing it, and see what happens. If it comes out too short, well… the first draft may turn out to not be the entire story.

5 thoughts on “Realms of Light: Progress Report Twenty-Three

  1. Thanks for the update. I’m a happy donor and wouldn’t feel cheated regardless of the final length.

    This is the first I’ve heard of “Among the Powers”. I looked it up and learned that it was “Previously published as Denner’s Wreck” which I already own. This made me quite curious: 1) Does this happen often, that a book is republished under a new title? 2) Are the folk tales interesting enough that I’d want to buy it just to read those? I’d be interested in answers from LWE or other readers.

  2. The folk-tales are in Denner’s Wreck — those little stories or fragments at the start of each chapter. They weren’t added with the title change. The only new material is an author’s note, and there were some very, very minor editorial changes.

    I was never happy with the title Denner’s Wreck, and my publisher at FoxAcre didn’t like it much either, so we changed it. This does happen; Kurt Vonnegut’s Player Piano was originally published as Utopia 13, Asimov’s Foundation was retitled Thousand-Year Plan for its first Ace paperback edition, etc.

    FoxAcre says the length (or lack thereof) won’t be a problem, so the story will be however long it needs to be.

    At this point, I’m thinking that if it’s really short, donors will get some sort of bonus. One possibility is just a copy of the FoxAcre edition of Nightside City; another is that I might put together a pamphlet of Dr. Sheridan Simon’s essay on the planetary structure and orbital mechanics of Epimetheus, or possibly his essay “Ring Around the World.” Except for that last, I’d need permission from his heirs. (I bought the rights to the Epimetheus stuff when he was still alive.)

  3. Ch. 15: Ho ho.

    The first thing I’m thinking is organs, but I’m not sure what a rich person would need with those, especially in a time and place with such awesome medical capabilities.

    Uploading AIs?

    Can’t wait to read more.

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