A Stefani Wilder Novel - pre-order now!
Demigods (working title)
standalone fantasy novel
14,000 of 250,000 words
A novella of Bydaira
34,000 of 32,000 words
The Panther's Girl
Drawchilde: Book II
200,000 of 200,000 words
Iavan and the Deodin
Drawchilde: Book 0
105,000 of 100,000 words
The Lego Hacker
Jillian Diehl, PI, Book I
80,000 of 80,000 words
Heir of Iron
draft complete at 130,000
Well of Trades (working title)
draft complete at 92,000 words
Last year, one of my goals was to write an average of 1,000 words a day. I decided to shoot for that again this year and it really wasn't a problem. My current total as things stand is 388,000 words for the year. That's an average of 1180 a day. And it's still November.
So basically I could not write another word and still succeed. Which means it's been a big year as far as raw output goes. Here's what those words break down to in terms of work and time:
That brings me up to the present. At the beginning of November, I was just a teeny bit shy of my goal for the year. And I really felt like I needed to get moving on my Bydaira novellas again. I wrote two of them a while ago that I never published because I realized they had gotten too big and were infringing on the eventual story I will someday tell with three full length novels set in that world. So those never saw the light of day.
My fantasy focus since then has been on a couple standalone projects and my other epic world, Laeronyll. I've now got complete drafts of three books set in that world. Two of those are legit epic (over 200,000 words). The third is normal novel length.
Anyway, all that output has left me feeling a bit tired. I decided to hop on NaNoWriMo to motivate me to write my Bydaira novella. I did that, and then I realized I would need to either write a second novella or work on something else to hit the 50k goal for the month. Never being one who can set a goal and then discard it but also not feeling totally up for a second novella, I cast about for ideas.
Like most writers, I have notes. I have copious notes on stories I have written or am writing. I also have loads and loads of notes for projects I have not yet even started. A week or so ago, I went back through my notes and found a pretty fully fleshed out world I'd totally forgotten about. It doesn't have a name. It doesn't have more than a very rough outline of a plot. But it's fun, it's totally different from what I've been focusing on this entire year, and, best of a all, it's a clean slate.
So I dove in. I'm shooting for one giant novel to tell this entire massive story. I do not think I'll do it all in one sitting, rather I'll return to it on and off between other projects. It's going to be a bit different. It's a first-person narrative written by someone who is not human. I'm shooting for a feel that's kinda like Remains of the Day meets Sherlock Holmes set in somewhere kinda like ancient Rome but with a bit of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell thrown in.
Will it be any good? I have no idea. Will I even finish it? Hard to say.
But I have realized something the last few years as I have steadily inched my way towards writing for an audience instead of just writing for myself. Having readers is great, but readers come with expectations. I have committed to one Tipped Z novel a year as long as people continue to read and enjoy those, but the fantasy is where my heart truly lies. The epic style stuff I love working on, though, truly takes an epic investment of focus, organization, and effort to produce. I've been more strategic and focused this year than ever before.
Turns out, that's tiring! So I've decided it's almost important to build in projects like this, leaving room for play and experimentation and total freedom. You know, all that glorious stuff that made me fall in love with writing fantasy in the first place.
Next year, Vaquera's Haven will come out in February. (It's actually available for pre-order now.) I'm also really really hoping to get my next Bydaira novella trilogy finished and out.
But I've been on the fence with the Laeronyll work. I keep waffling back and forth on whether to publish it via Brown Wing Press or pursue a deal with a large publishing company. My leaning is inching steadily towards the first option, but a part of me can't help but feel attracted to the thought of a trad deal and the prestige that would go with that.
Still, there are significant downsides to going that route, not the least being how slow the industry moves. If I tried to do it that, it would be a long, long time before readers get their hands on those stories. And that, of course, is assuming someone actually wants to buy the work.
So, I don't know. Part of me just like to do things my own way. So we'll see. It's all still a giant experiment.
Thank you all for reading, though. It's a funny feeling—knowing there are people out there looking forward to my next release. It does a lot to keep me motivated.