The Final Calling: Progress Report One

I’ve written about a third of Tom Derringer and the Aluminum Airship. When I finish it, The Final Calling moves to the top of my priority list, unless some well-paying job crops up.

Meanwhile, I’ve written most of Chapter Two of The Final Calling. (I’m on page 24.) Once I’ve started Chapter Five, I’ll have enough to launch the serial.

I do not know how long this will take, and can’t give a definite launch date, but it will be this year and probably no later than August. Could be much sooner.

If anyone wants to get an early start on sending me money, donations to “The Warlock’s Refuge” do count toward The Final Calling. I did mention this somewhere, but it hasn’t been widely publicized, and so far I have less than half a chapter paid or.

Each chapter of The Final Calling will cost $250. $25 will definitely guarantee anyone with a U.S. address a copy of the finished book, if and when there is one — Wildside Press has expressed interest in publishing it, if and when it’s written, but of course there’s no contract yet. It’s possible, though not particularly likely, that I might cut that to $20 or offer an e-book option, so if you want to wait and see, you can. Shipping costs being what they are these days, though, a cut to $20 is unlikely, especially since this may (or may not) turn out to be a significantly longer book than my previous serials.

Changing shipping costs and exchange rates mean I don’t yet know what the minimum for Canadian or overseas donors will be to guarantee a copy.

Of course, you’re welcome to send less than the minimum, to help get the thing online; you just won’t be guaranteed a bound copy until your donations total $25 or more.

Please note that when I say “guarantee,” that’s a conditional thing; it only applies if the novel is completed and published. If I don’t finish the book for any reason, then no one gets a copy, whether it’s because it didn’t bring in enough money, or because I got hit by a bus. This is why I call people who send money “donors,” rather than “subscribers” — you’re donating money, not buying something. You’ll get a book if there is a book, but I’m not promising one.

It’s much too early to be thinking about what extras might be included to donors.

Incidentally, if I were doing this properly, rather than yielding to fan pressure, I should have written Dumery of the Dragon before The Final Calling. Alas, I didn’t realize that until after I was committed to the present course. Ah, well. It’s not a perfect world.

The Final Calling: Progress Report Zero update

Regarding the various projects described a couple of weeks back in Progress Report Zero, here’s how they stand:

  • One-Eyed Jack is complete and has been delivered to my agent.
  • Realms of Light is complete and has been delivered to FoxAcre Press.
  • Vika’s Avenger has been shelved for the moment. No one seemed all that enthusiastic about it.
  • After some preliminary discussion, the gaming company has been quiet for a couple of weeks, so I’m not sure where we stand with that. Unless negotiations pick up again, I won’t let this get in the way of The Final Calling.
  • I’m about 20-25% of the way through the first draft of Tom Derringer and the Aluminum Airship, and intend to write the rest.
  • “The Warlock’s Refuge,” which will be Chapter One of The Final Calling, has been posted to the web. Unless something else comes up, I intend to start writing the novel as soon as I finish Tom Derringer and the Aluminum Airship, and I’ll start the serial once I have at least four, maybe five chapters written.

So there you go. The Final Calling is second in the queue at present.

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.