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.

13 thoughts on “The Final Calling: Progress Report Zero

  1. I would suggest that you open donations when the first chapter posts. Perhaps you could set a higher $/chapter value until you decide to officially start working on it? Then if people are really interested in it it will somewhat decrease reason #1.

  2. Oh, I’ll probably open donations when I post “The Wizard’s Refuge,” yeah. Not sure how I’ll set it up, but I won’t post Chapter Two right away no matter how much money comes in.

    For one thing, I still haven’t written it.

  3. I keep track on your news since you’ve written The Wizard’s Refuge – I don’t want to miss when the new serial start. I look forward for The Final Calling and I hope it will start this year.

  4. As much as I love Ethshar and want another book, do the better paying stuff first, the YA novel and the tie in then do The Final Calling. Maybe after those two you’ll need a fill of Ethshar yourself.

  5. From what you’ve posted about the YA novel, I think I’d like to read it more than any of the others except possibly The Final Calling, and I’m 30 years past being a YA. So (although I realize this isn’t a democracy) that has my vote.

  6. Well, I have a question, before I drop my $.02 into the ring. A game tie in book or series. What genra of gamng? That can make a big difference to my opinion on this.

  7. The gaming company is actually offering me a choice — they have one property they think would be the best fit, a sort of dark fantasy thing, but if I like one of their other games better, we can talk. Those games include space opera, science fiction, horror, alternate history, war, and even a detective game as well as other fantasies. I’d probably stick to fantasy, but maybe not the one they originally suggested.

  8. See, now you have me wondering if the game tie-in could hook into Ethshar – there would be a way to expand that franchise.

    I’m not that into YA novels. The final calling would be a good choice, Polishing off the two drafts would be good short term projects. Those might be good back to back to finish off the projects and clear the deck for one of the other 3…. However, if you choose a game tie in, I don’t think much of space opera. Horror and detective don’t work so well that way either. A good fantasy might work out.

  9. There’s a link from my LiveJournal and from Facebook, though they’ve both scrolled down a bit.

    I should probably put in a more permanent link on the Misenchanted Page, though.

    Anyway, feel free to link to it any way you like.

    I’m not really emphasizing it yet because I still haven’t written enough of the novel to get serious about serializing it; I’m still trying to square away a couple of other projects. The FoxAcre edition of Realms of Light has acquired an August 1st deadline, so I need to get that done. Also, I’m more than fifty pages into Tom Derringer and the Aluminum Airship, and I hate to quit when I’m on a roll.

    And the past few days I’ve been doing other stuff around the house, or talking to my agent about One-Eyed Jack and its possible sequels, so I haven’t had any time for Ethshar.

    As for being quick to conclude it didn’t work, they didn’t realize how badly the Calling was getting to Hanner, so to have him emerge from the tapestry and immediately take off — well, it’s not encouraging.

    I should probably include a line about how well he’s been hiding it.

  10. I was surprised that the Calling was getting to Hanner so badly, as I remember him from Night of Madness being so cautious, he intended to avoid abusing Warlockry to avoid the Calling. But this story enlightens it that a warlock can’t avoid using his skill even if he tries – they do it involuntarily. I wonder if even so untalented warlock as Sterren could be called ultimately. And I start to wonder if Sterren’s addiction to playing dice back in Ethshar was partially caused by his warlockry trying to find a way to be used 🙂

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