November 1st, 2020


AQATWW: Starting to look like an elephant

I am still working on the print proof for AQATLB. Here's a rough preview of the print cover. Everything is still a WIP - this is just the preliminary colored sketch by the artist, with me adding a rough layout on top, and nothing is lined up or sized correctly yet.

As for how I am going to print the thing... I dunno. I may just print a single proof for myself, and then create one and two-volume layouts for everyone else to POD print for themselves.

Alexandra Quick and the Lands Below cover

Speaking of personal printings, /u/AnEternalNobody on reddit did their very own bookbinding project. This looks so cool.

Homemade bound copy of Alexandra Quick and the Thorn Circle

Also on the artistic front, I have finished a semi-final online version of the cover for Alexandra Quick and the Wizard War. No, it's not time to reveal it yet. But yeah, we're going back to Poser and Photoshop. I, heh heh, might have overspent a little on commissioning art for the last book. You're going to have to suffer my Poser art again for most of the chapters in book six. But I can promise my graphic arts skillz are, well, less terrible than they were. (I actually took a couple of Udemy courses. Wow, blending modes, layer masks, and curves adjustment layers make sense now! And I am finally semi-competent with the pen tool.)

But I know, I know, you aren't here for the digital art I create to entertain myself. You want to know how soon book six will drop.

So, as of today, I've got 169,337 words written, and I've almost finished Chapter 31, out of 52. You'll notice that latter number keeps going up with each update.

AQATWW is much more outlined than any previous book. I still just cannot do what some authors apparently can, which is produce a complete, detailed, chapter-by-chapter synopsis before they actually start their first draft. I envy them, because the chapters where I do have a solid, comprehensive plan (i.e., I know what's going to happen from beginning to end) get written much faster.

Most of the chapters in my outline, however, are more like, "Alexandra goes to The Place, and The Thing happens." That's a whole lot of detail to fill in, especially when I am not sure how Alexandra gets to The Place, and The Thing requires a bunch of other things that I haven't figured out yet.

But I know why each chapter is there, and the plot points I need to hit. I know what all the important and climactic moments are and where I need to build up to them. I feel like the stone is starting to look like an elephant.

I am also hoping I'll be able to do more trimming this time on the second pass. AQATWW will be another long book, though hopefully not as long as AQATWA.