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