As some of you may recall from a year ago, I was working frantically on Book One, now Oath of Fealty, which had a December deadline. At this point, book one had already started to balloon, and I was only a couple of weeks away from going into complete crunch overdrive (4000 words/day, 20,000+/week.) trying to get it done early enough to do a good revision before its due date. I thought that what is now the end of Book Two would be the end of Book One, but by the end of October, that was clearly not going to work, despite having tried to write as "compressed" as possible for the final 80,000 -100,000 words.
The cut direct to split the 230,000 (approx--I forget exactly) monster into two books left me with between 50,000 and 60,000 words of Book Two...but in a highly compressed form, as I'd kept trying to squash everything into one. More like a very expanded outline than the actual book. So a lot of the work of writing Book Two has been opening up the compressed bits to show the real texture. Plus, of course, adding the rest of the story to the endpoint. This isn't how I usually work--so it's been a learning experience. It's also meant that in revision I come across places that were never fully "uncompressed," particularly in the area that was most squashed to begin with. I've been working on the Book Two revisions for about a month--interrupted by copy edits and a few other things--and it's coming along, but slower than usual.
It's also ballooning again. I've informed Book Two that it can't grow--it must not grow--it must instead reshuffle things as I add bits here and there, so that other bits fall out. Like all my books, it has a mind of its own and is about as cooperative as a roomful of toddlers at a birthday party. It insists that there's still more plot in there--still more that has to go in now--right now--and that none of what's in can come out, because it all leads to something in Book Three--and Four, and Five (which, I've already told it, we don't have a contract for...)
One thing about the writing life...it's never dull.
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