The Final Calling: Progress Report Zero

Okay, here’s the situation:

I’m almost done writing a novel called One-Eyed Jack; it should be finished in a week or so. I have five other projects in the queue that I can tackle once it’s done, and I haven’t decided on what order I want to deal with them.

The five projects are:

  • Finishing Realms of Light for FoxAcre Press; I have a complete first draft. The online serial has seven chapters to go, but I don’t want to wait forever before finishing the book.
  • Finishing Vika’s Avenger. This is a novel I wrote on a whim a couple of years ago; I have a complete first draft, and would like to finish it up and see if I can find an interested publisher.
  • I’ve been offered work writing tie-in novels for a game company, and the contract terms are pretty good. Some of their properties are really interesting, too. Pursuing this is very tempting; I told them I’d get back to them in May, one way or another.
  • For years, my agent has been trying to talk me into writing a “young adult” novel. I think it’s a good idea, and I’ve started several, but none of them really caught fire. Recently, though, I plotted one with the working title Tom Derringer and the Aluminum Airship that my agent and I both like, so I was thinking I’d maybe do that next.
  • And then there’s The Final Calling.

The Final Calling was fifth and last on that list, despite fannish clamor for it, for two reasons.

First, these serials don’t pay all that well, and the poor performance of Realms of Light has not encouraged me to try again.

Second, while I’ve known very roughly what was going to happen in the novel for years and years — I mean, we’re talking more than twenty years, almost thirty — I didn’t actually have a detailed outline. I knew I could work one out if I had to, but it wasn’t something I was really enthusiastic about. I’d written the first chapter, which is also a stand-alone short story called “The Warlock’s Refuge,” but I was kinda vague about exactly where the story went from there.

But then this past Friday, while driving to Richmond, a remark my wife made got me thinking about it, and I now have maybe 80% of the story outlined in my head, complete with a romantic subplot or two, an extensive cast of characters, and so on.

So Reason #2 for not writing it has largely evaporated.

But there’s still Reason #1.

So my current plan is to post “The Warlock’s Refuge” a week from Friday for International Pixel-Stained Technopeasant Day, but I’m not officially starting the serial; I intend to undertake at least one of those four other projects before I write more of The Final Calling. I’m not sure yet which one, or how long it’ll take, or whether The Final Calling will be next after that.

Typically, turning a first draft into a finished book takes me a month or so; writing a YA or gaming novel is probably six months, give or take.

Working on two things at once is possible, but not necessarily easy.

So there’s the situation, and I’ll be happy to read any comments or advice you may have, but in the end I’ll be making the decision based on what I want to do.

Thanks for your patience.