8/2018 Writing update

Another month passes and so I am back to the monthly updates. As I mentioned in a quick post pretty much exactly two weeks ago, I finished the sixth draft which I declared the first beta draft. I’ve found one beta reader even before it was finished from a discussion on Goodreads and, almost a months later, he was given the current draft. Now, I’ve received some early bit of feedback from him though the weekend gave me little chances to have a look at it.

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Storytelling: tying up the ends

This is a thought that I had a few times at the end of a longer series, especially if the world-building was complex and many factions took part in it. Some of these will have longer ends, adding several pages and chapters even after the threat is dealt with to show how its demise changed the people and the world.

I think that Paolini’s Inheritance series is one of those with a longer ending. Some even ask if the last 60 pages are worth reading and I admit I was surprised when I saw 80% done (or, 20 to go) on my e-reader when Eragon fought Galbatorix. The ending, as long as it is, shows the impact of the political turmoil created during and after Galbatorix’s reign and how his fall changes it.

Of course, not all series have the story written in a way that requires tying up several loose ends to make the story feel truly finished. To some, these parts are not even necessary – all they want to know is who won and that’s it. Yet, it might feel more complete if there’s an end that shows how the world changed beyond the tyrant’s death.

Why am I mentioning all of this? After finishing the Chronicles of the Black Gate series ending with The White Song (my review), I expected longer ending. Maybe not in the scope of Inheritance but definitely longer than a single chapter.

It can also be spread out more – characters can have plans about the situation before it gets there (which is definitely the case in White Song) but even then, for me, it’d be nice to see at least a hint that some of the possibilities either came to pass or was put in motion.

I’m curious about what the books I’ll read in the coming month and years be like in this regard. Will I see more books with a simple ending just knowing that the threat is gone, or will I see more with a detailed ending? Time will tell.

Feel free to add your opinion on endings in books.

Writing update: First beta draft complete!

I’ve reached another major milestone. The first beta draft (sixth draft by my own weird numbering) was completed some minutes ago. The largest changes were massive cuts in the early parts (something I wrote a blog post about a few days ago), the later parts being mostly rewording of sentences and other such smaller changes. Because I did major grammar pass between draft 5.4 and the sixth draft, this draft’s grammar pass was quite fast (it seems I’m learning something in this regard as well, hooray).

So, what’s next?

I’ll give the updated version to the people that were my ‘alpha testers’ and my first beta reader. In the meantime, I’ll play some games (World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth launching just in a few hours) and try to weave in the fifth book of ‘Chronicles of the Black Gate’ series after the two-week break from reading caused by my work on the beta draft.

I guess that by the end of the month or the beginning of the next one, I might try to find more potential beta readers in the few Goodreads groups I am a member of, though I’m not decided yet on the exact timing. Anxiety/stage fright is still a thing – as is the feeling that anyone reading will be like “what the hell is this?”.

I’ll also give some more details soon, this time for real. I have some of them prepared but still deciding what exactly to share at this stage (as the final version won’t be ready sooner than spring 2019). I’ll most likely give some details about genre and such + show some sample(s).

So, that’s my quick update. See you next time!