How Long Is This Story & How Long Will It Take
I’ve had loads of feedback. Thank you and please keep it coming, I’m interested in your thoughts and criticisms, whether as reviews (Amazon and Goodreads), direct (firstname.lastname@example.org), Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/TheBiteBackSeries) or even comments on the blog posts. I read them all and I respond to every email at the moment.
I’ll feed back on the range of feedback in another blog post, but two emerging threads are ‘how long is the story / how many books’ and ‘how quickly’, and I’d like to deal with them separately here.
How Long Is This Story
Okay, a word of warning to start with. It’s longer than I thought at first, and for reasons I’ll describe below, my estimations need to be taken as just that – estimations.
The whole Amber Farrell arc has three parts or three sub-arcs, unimaginatively called the beginning, the middle and the end. This is not a series that will trot on with no end in sight, and each third of the whole arc has a direction and a purpose.
The beginning deals with setting up the world view and explaining the factions. Much of what appears to be, turns out not to be. For example, in Sleight of Hand, Athanate are not vampires. This was my original theme for the beginning – deception and revealing the truth.
The middle will be the development of the factions’ positions, the increasingly fraught relations as Emergence (discovery by humans / paranormals revealing themselves to humans) threatens. Things get tougher and tougher until…
The end will deal with the fallout.
Nothing earth shattering about that progression.
Here I reveal why you should take my estimations with a pinch of salt – before I started writing I thought this would be a trilogy. One book per third of the whole arc. Ha!
My estimation failed because I was thinking purely in terms of the meta-story described above. Honestly, how long could it take to describe the Athanate, the Were and the Adepts? But I wanted each storyline to be woven with threads down from the levels of ‘OMG the whole world is in danger’, through ‘I’m becoming a vampire’ and ‘my sister hates me’, right down to ‘I can’t afford to repair my car’.
Half way into Sleight of Hand, with this layering, it was clearly going to take more than a book to set up the world. At this point, Sleight of Hand was called Bite Back. I split it into two, shuffled some mini-arcs around, and thought ‘well, two books for the Athanate, one for Weres and Adepts’. So my estimates were now that the beginning sub-arc was a trilogy, then there was a book for the middle and a book for the end.
Ahh. Book 3 is not going to be quite enough to fully reveal the Were, let alone the Adepts. So the Bite Back series, the beginning sub-arc, is now estimated at four books.
On that basis, I have to think the middle (which will form a series in itself ) will be two books and the end (also its own series) will be two books.
The answer then, is current estimates say the full Amber Farrell arc will be three series comprising eight books in total. Or maybe nine. Let’s say not more than ten. J
Is That All
No. There will be a prequel novella dealing with the attack on Amber in the South American jungle. There will be a series using Bian as a POV character; shorter books, maybe three of them. Both of those are started. I’ll put the starting chapters of both up on the web site presently.
I currently anticipate a book based in England using a different POV character, using the same world view and global events. This might be a format for another couple using different characters around the world. And maybe some short stories featuring existing characters, even including Amber.
Is That All (2)
No. I have tons of ideas for other books. I should have started writing earlier!
Alt-reality Sci-Fi, sort of YA, Joan of Arc (without the burning end)
Spy thriller male protagonist
High Fantasy dragons/coming of age, female protagonist
And so on.
How Long Will It Take
Each book is different, but I doubt I’ll be able to write anything that is shorter than Sleight of Hand, for instance, at 120k words.
Four months at 1000 words a day doesn’t sound excessive (until you try it), and two months for edits is pushing it. I really can’t see me getting more than two Amber books out per year.
I can, however, write two different books at the same time. A change is as good as a rest! This means that, hopefully, this year (2013) will see two Amber books, a Bian book and an Amber novella. That’s what I’m aiming for. Keep me to it!