When I started writing The Antithesis Progression, I had a nice, tidy three-book series in mind. Then I wrote it, and discovered that what I thought was book 1 was actually 2 books cleverly hiding inside my head under a single title.
Well, no problem there. Turns out there was an excellent break point where book 1 could end naturally–and on a very nice cliffhanger–so I could move on to the new book 2 (which was originally the planned second half of book 1). I’d just sit down and write book 2 as soon as the time afforded.
If you’ve been following my progress with this book, you already know how that bright idea turned out. I’ve gotten four other books written in the meantime, and I’m quick on the way to finishing a further two, and still Free Will mocks me with its recalcitrance. And it’s not because I haven’t kicked ass on writing it either: Predestination rang in at 122,000 words after some serious cutting post-podcast and only had to cope with four major storylines. That’s a healthy sized book–it’s fantasy-novel length. Free Will is…well…bigger.
Much bigger. Two and a half reams of paper big. It isn’t done yet, and it’s north of 160,000 words with fifteen storylines (eight of them major). That’s too long, even though the second half of the book is wall-to-wall action and the first half moves along as a very fast clip. Too long as it is, and I’ve still got a lot further to go–easily another 50,000 words if I play the story to the original end point.
After printing the whole thing out today and separating out the storylines I had a read-through of each, and I discovered something:
I’ve done it again. My original planned Book 1 of Antithesis isn’t just two books. It’s three. Well, two and a half. And I’ve already written sixty pages of book three by accident.
What does this mean for you who’s been waiting eagerly?
Well, it means I’ll actually finish Free Will this century. Probably this month. And I’m close enough to the end to head back into production on the audio this week, which I’m doing. It also means that Free Will will be a reasonable length–it might even sneak in under the equivalent of 650 pages when all is done. It means you’ll get a book that ends on a sequence of scenes that is the biggest, brashest you’ve seen yet…
And it means that the first two acts of book 3 are going to be incredibly explosive.
This series keeps surprising me with how much story is wrapped up in it. I can’t wait to share that surprise with you.