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18 August 2008 @ 03:37 pm
evolution of a series  

So back when I started THE QUEEN’S BASTARD, I knew it was going to be a big book. I was guessing around 175K. My editor said, “Glack!” and we cut the book at a place which I actually am *really* pleased with; it allowed me to do a shift for THE PRETENDER’S CROWN that wouldn’t have worked nearly as well if the book had ended where I initially planned for it to. (Plus, where I’d initially expected it to end turned out to be at about the 230K mark, which, well. O.O) And at the end of the day, TPC wraps up with more or less the ending I’d expected for TQB, rather than the one I’d expected to reach by the end of the second book.

Consequently, I’ve been struggling to figure out how to deal with the third book in the series. I called the series a cycle instead of a trilogy, because by the time I turned TQB in it seemed pretty likely I wasn’t going to be able to wrap the series up in 3 books, and “cycle” lets you write as many as you need. :) But we’d never really discussed whether or not Del Rey would be okay with a more-than-three-book-series, and so I’ve been kind of trying to write a proposal that pulled the series together and completed it in the third book. I wrote the first three paragraphs of the synopsis–a chunk that *could* be covered in the prologues that are part of this series–and realized that yeah, it *could* be a prologue…or it could be a book all on its own. The fact that I’m struggling with it finally suggested to me that I was really leaning toward it being a book all on its own.

So I ended up emailing my editor to say so how many books do you want this series to be? It could be three, it could be four, it could be five. It’s not impossible, given that it took two books to tell the first part of the story, that it could end up being *six* books. My guess right now is that four is a nice number, but I’m reluctant to actually pinky-swear that one, given that I used to be quite sure it was a trilogy.

And this, gentle readers, is how series grow out of control, and how what was originally billed as going to be 5 books becomes 12, or 3 books becomes 6, or what-have-you. I have myself complained bitterly about writers who can’t seem to end a series, and therefore feel a bit sheepish at the idea that one of my own series is expanding beyond what I initially expected it to be. OTOH, I now have far greater sympathy for it happening, and find it kind of interesting to view from the inside.

miles to Isengard: 194.2
ytd miles swum: 7.1

(x-posted from the essential kit)
 
 
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
 
 
 
mela_lyn: Lilacsmela_lyn on August 18th, 2008 04:20 pm (UTC)
Brandon Sanderson is actually going to be completing the series. Robert Jordan's wife was his editor and together they worked to put together as many notes as possible and write large snippets together. Brandon also worked with Jordan when he himself was becoming published.

Read Elantris and you will see that Brandon is a spectacular writer! And he is working hard to keep the series with the same tone and style as Robert Jordan. If you go to his LJ (mistborn, I think... he's in my friends list), he has updates all the time on his works and the Jordan project.

I too have a friend who about choked when Jordan passed and the series was on the last book. She keeps telling me to read it, but I'm waiting til the last book is out. :)
Beshterbeshter on August 18th, 2008 04:42 pm (UTC)
LOL I've gotten through book one. That's about it. But I will let my friend know, I felt bad for him because he has been in love with this series since he was a kid, and to not have it finished was jusst a lot for him.
mela_lynmela_lyn on August 18th, 2008 04:49 pm (UTC)
Brandon is seriously one of the best fantasy writers out there IMHO. Elantris is a stand alone, so it will give him an idea of how he writes... and he's just amazing.