First off the good news. Wanderer book four is coming along well now and progress has sped up over the past couple of weeks. It’s now sitting at 110,000 words (on October 6th it was on 92,000). I still think it will be in the 130,000 to 150,000 range so there’s still some way to go. It’s very hard to estimate but at a rough guess I’m targeting a February or March release date.
The bad news… first some background. 18,000 words in 6 weeks isn’t actually that good progress, and it was a lot slower for some of those weeks. It took me a while to realise what the problem was but after talking it out a bit at home we figured it out. The problem was Wanderer book five.
Or more precisely the plan to write book five straight after book four. Including the book I’m now working on I’ve written three novels in the Wanderer series in a row. While I’m far from bored with the setting and I really want to write book five to end the series the thought of having another 180,000 words or more to write was dragging on my productivity. I was slowing down when I needed to be speeding up, and there was a risk that would bleed over into my writing too.
Once I realised that was the problem I decided I needed to take a break after book four and write something different, then return and write book five after that. It was definitely the right decision. My enthusiasm returned immediately and progress has sped up a lot. The writing feels better too. I suspect I’ll have a few thousand words from just before that I’ll have to rewrite later on to improve their feel.
While this is the right decision I appreciate it will be a blow to a lot of people who are desperately waiting for book four and will want to read book five as soon as possible and I’m sorry to change my plans and cause disappointment. In the long run it will lead to a much better book, even if you do have to wait longer for it.
That leaves one outstanding question, what will I write between books four and five? At the moment I haven’t decided, and I may not really make my mind up until I sit down and start writing. Dark Soul book three is definitely an option as are a number of ideas I have for new books in new settings. Time will tell…