It’s about time for some status updates on my books, so let’s get to it.
Diamantine, the second Weapons and Wielders book, remains my next planned book release. My plan was to try to get it out by the end of the year, but this is looking less and less likely for a number of reasons.
The first reason is purely mundane; I pulled my neck badly a few weeks ago, and the pain has made working more difficult. I’m recovering, but that injury slowed my progress for some time.
The second reason is the scope of some of the changes needed to finish the project. Most of my beta readers were generally very positive about the book, but one reader in particular had some significant criticisms that I feel were valid. The summary is that I introduced a ton of new characters in this book, as well as reintroduced some old ones – and the sheer number of them means that each individual character has less impact and screen time.
In part, this was deliberate, because I was setting up these characters for being relevant in the third book (or later books) – but doing that with several different characters in the same book makes it hard to invest in these new characters, and to some degree that does them a disservice.
In order to fix this, I may be deleting some characters from this book entirely, as well as adding some additional scenes to make some of the characters that should feel important be more relevant. This should, I hope, help make the book feel better as a stand alone work rather than just building into the third book.
Regardless of how much time I spend on adding content, this book is still designed to be part 1 of the tournament arc of the story, and I know not everyone will enjoy that style. This is something I’m going to highlight as clearly as possible in the book itself, but I know that some readers prefer books that wrap everything up neatly. That isn’t my style, and never has been. I think execution is important here. Much like Sufficiently Advanced Magic didn’t cover an entire school year, I don’t think covering the entirety of the tournament in one book is necessary as long as the ending itself feels satisfying – and I think this one does. I know not all readers will agree with me, though.
(I have, of course, seen the reactions to Cradle’s latest book. My hope is that being transparent about this – and having a different style of ending – will make this book a little bit less divisive, but we’ll see.)
Once I make these large-scale changes, the book still needs another editing pass. That generally takes about a month, plus time for me to review the changes. I might be able to get this done faster, but I’m not certain.
Finally, the cover art isn’t quite done yet. The current draft of it is looking beautiful, but I’ve asked my artist for a few adjustments to one of the characters, and I’m not sure how long it’ll be before those changes are completed. Without finished cover art, I can’t get the graphic design/typography for the book started, and without a finished cover I can’t ship a book.
So, what’s all this mean?
A December release for Diamantine is no longer likely to happen. I won’t rule it out entirely – I’m pushing hard to get my edits done as quickly as possible – but even if I get my own changes and the final editing pass done in time (unlikely), there’s a moderate chance the cover art won’t be ready.
I am revising my estimates to a mid-January release. I’ve also considered delaying it longer deliberately so I can release it closer to back-to-back with Weapons and Wielders book 3, but I don’t think I’m going to wait that long. I’d rather focus on Arcane Ascension 3 rather than trying to race to get Weapons and Wielders 3 done, since I know that the vast majority of my fans are waiting eagerly for AA3.
Speaking of the other books, I’ve made progress on them as well, but it’s been slow due to my focus on editing Diamantine (and my injury).
Arcane Ascension 3 is roughly 17% written at this point. I expect that once Diamantine is out, I’ll start making progress on this much more quickly. My current aim is for a mid-2020 release.
Weapons and Wielders 3 is about the same, although a good part of that is content that was removed from Diamantine. I do not intend to finish this until after Arcane Ascension 3, although I’ll probably bounce back and forth between them, since that helps me stay productive. Having multiple books to work on is a good way to keep myself from getting blocked on writing for any significant period of time. My current goal is a late 2020 release on this one.
I have some other side projects, like Carefully Worded Wishes (a more Cultiviation-style novel set on the continent of Artinia), but they’re largely on hold for the time being.
That’s my update for now. Thanks for your patience, everyone!