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I just typed the words "The End."

It's been a long time.

Book four, Alexandra Quick and Stars Above, was completed in 2011, and posted at the end of that year. I began work on book five, Alexadra Quick and the World Away, early in 2012.

Things got in the way. Some of it was life. Some of it was, I guess, what you could call "writer's block," but which I'd call just an ever-growing, ever-heavier set of excuses which eventually resulted in months, and then years going by in which I wrote little or nothing.

Always, always, it was in the back of my mind. Whatever I did, especially when I had a free evening or weekend, I'd think "Why don't you sit down and write?"

I was ready to give up more than once. I even told you that I might never finish this.

For whatever reason, something happened this year. The spark reignited. I could write again. The closer to the end I got, the more motivated I was to finish.

And now the first draft is done.

Right now, it's 56 chapters, and 281,900 words. That makes it by far the largest volume so far.

This is a very, very rough draft. I've been working on this thing for over six years now. Never mind forgetting my previous books, I've forgotten some of what I wrote in early chapters of this book! So it's going to need a lot of revision. I expect multiple chapters to be rewritten, moved, and deleted, and possibly entire subplots to disappear. There are plot holes to be paved over, characters who drop in and then never serve a purpose, and oh so much bad writing.

I am happy to say that my two regular beta-readers for my previous books reported they are still willing and available, so I don't have to go on a search for new betas. I am hoping to have a semi-readable revised manuscript ready to turn over to them early next year. Then there will be more rewriting... So, I do not have a target date yet, but I can finally say with reasonable confidence that Alexandra Quick and the World Away will be published in 2019.

Thanks for your patience. Thanks to everyone who never gave up hope. And for those of you who did give up hope, I don't blame you, but I hope you'll still be interested enough to read the next volume.

(Will there be a volume six? And seven? Well, I know the names and general course of the plot for both. Yes, I still really, truly want to finish the series someday. But book five took over six years. Lemme wrap this up before I start thinking about book six.)

And here's a word cloud, since I haven't done one in a while. (In fact, in the time since I last created one, web technology has changed so much that most of the tools I used to use to create them are no longer available...)

AQATWA word cloud

Posts from This Journal by “aqatwa” Tag


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 9th, 2018 09:27 am (UTC)
Yes! Great news. I'm very glad to hear about overcoming your writer's block and i'm very much loooking forward to reading AQATWA :)
Dec. 9th, 2018 02:02 pm (UTC)
That is simply amazing news. Congratulations! You truly did beat GRRM. Also happy to hear about your betas, as they clearly do excellent work. I guess I'll need to reread the entire series in 2019...
Dec. 10th, 2018 04:47 pm (UTC)
WOW! this is exciting news! CONGRATS! :D I'm so happy and proud of you! :D

I'm excited for the book too of course, but MAN that must feel good! :D
Mako Bates
Dec. 11th, 2018 12:20 am (UTC)
This is super exciting; I'm definitely going to read it!
Dec. 11th, 2018 05:43 am (UTC)
YES!! You’ve done it!! I am ecstatic that at some point during the next year, you will hopefully grace us with the chance to enter and journey through that amazing, wonderful, thrilling, deep, broad, expansive, fascinating world you’ve more or less created out of thin air (and quite frankly improved a lot on JKR’s source material). You’ve done God’s work - or rather, you’ve done the work of the Stars Above? In any case, thank you so much for this news. It’s very welcome in this time of dearth of good fanfiction, and once you start actually putting the fic out, I shall guarantee you that I shall leave reviews on EVERY SINGLE CHAPTER just to tell you how much I love it, because I’m absolutely positively certain that I will love it.
Harel Rosenberg
Dec. 11th, 2018 08:42 am (UTC)
I'm so happy I could cry. Just last week I finished re-reading the last 4 books. And I'm happy for you, for getting over your major writer's block. Congratulations!
Dec. 14th, 2018 06:20 am (UTC)
Well damn son. Looks like I'll finally make that cover after all
Graeme Sutton
Dec. 14th, 2018 06:27 am (UTC)
In the distant desert, a cactus stirs from its slumber.
It has heard the call, and it will answer.
Tim Schultz
Dec. 15th, 2018 05:36 pm (UTC)
WOOOOOOO! That is excellent news, well done! I have been checking back in on this blog regularly for 5 years now just hoping to this post.:) :) :)
Anke Baeck
Dec. 23rd, 2018 05:54 pm (UTC)
I check out your livejournal about once a week hoping on AQ updates and this post just makes my heart soar!

So happy for you that you've managed to get through the first draft. That's definitely some great progress. I hope going through it to get the second draft doesn't get too rough with all the editing and changes you undoubtedly will have to make.

Looking forward to more updates on AQ ^^
hitesh sharma
Dec. 28th, 2018 09:40 am (UTC)
The best news i've had this month..
I am a huge fan of your writings and ofcourse AQ... I read them last year and have been regularly checking your LiveJournal for further update. The news that you are done with your block and have completed the first draft. can't wait for the published version...

keep up the good work. :)

i guess, i'll reread the four books again and hope to read the next one in continuum.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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