My first draft of Diamantine, the second book in Weapons and Wielders, is finished.

This was one of the easiest and most fun books to write I’ve had a chance to work on in ages. It was definitely a refreshing change of pace after the struggles I dealt with on Defying Destiny, and I think it’ll show in the writing that I just wanted to have fun with this one.

Now, as I mentioned previously, I’d been debating cutting the arc of the book in half – and I did do that. That’s how it’s “finished” this soon. Thus, this book does not contain the entire tournament – it contains the first half.

There are several reasons why I went this route:

  • The first draft is about 144,000 words. That’s already significantly longer than Six Sacred Swords (113,000) and roughly comparable to Defying Destiny. If I’d done the whole tournament in one book, this would have been extremely long, which is not the style I’m going for with Weapons and Wielders. Arcane Ascension is my giant tome series – I don’t want this to go that direction.
  • It has a really solid emotional climax, and I don’t think it would have the same impact if I continued the story right after that point. If you read it, you’ll see what I mean.
  • There are a lot of mysteries in this book that I think fans will enjoy speculating about between books. Who is that mysterious masked hero of justice?
  • This lets me get back to work on Arcane Ascension 3 much sooner. I’ll probably be editing this for about another 3-4 months before it’s actually ready to launch, but I can start working on Arcane Ascension 3 slowly almost immediately. I won’t be able to ramp that project up until this ships, but this will get AA3 out many, many months sooner. If I tried to do the whole tournament in one book, that might have meant missing next year on AA3, and I don’t want to that.

Ultimately, I felt that this was the right way to go for all the reasons above, and I think the series as a whole will be stronger for the decision.

There’s a chance my beta readers will disagree. If they disagree strongly, I may have to readjust. We’ll see soonish.

So, what’s the time table for Diamantine look like?

The next step for me is self-editing, which I’m expecting to take about two weeks to a month.

Let’s assume a month.

That puts me at mid-October for sending out beta copies.

Assuming that, we’ll probably have about a month and a half for beta (since they always slip past the one month window I’m shooting for).

From there, we’re at early December.

Then it’s the professional editing stage. That usually takes about a month.

If everything goes smoothly, I might make a holiday release. I’d like to do that, since I’d love to be able to say I launched three books in a year, but I won’t compromise the quality to accomplish that.

If not, we’re likely looking at an early January release, maybe February at latest.

After that, I should be working full-time on Arcane Ascension 3. It’s too soon to give any good estimates on when that might be done – those books are very long, and much more complex than Weapons and Wielders. My goal is still to get it done before the end of 2020.

And beyond that? I have a lot of other books planned. Weapons and Wielders 3, Arcane Ascension 4, and a whole host of other stuff. Stay tuned.