I set myself the target of October 2017 to publish the final part of the Sorrow Song Trilogy; The Blade’s fell Blow. I do not normally impose deadlines on myself, I know from past experience that I do not work well with them. This is partly because I have a medical condition that reacts to stress. I love writing and I know there are some people out there who want to read the final instalment of this series, but I am loath to make myself ill over this. At the moment we are still in June so October seems quite a long way off but I know that in the world of the independent author it really is not.
From experience I know that the editing process for getting the book ready to print is going to take an inordinate amount of time. I have passed 82,000 words now and I expect to be writing quite a few more yet; that is an awful lot of words to work with. One further complication is that I have used lots of unusual words take from Old English and they all flag up as incorrect in the spell checker. I understand that but one of the things that I have to be careful of is making sure that I spell the words consistently throughout the text. To this end I use a simple style-sheet. These are invaluable tools for the writer even if they might seem like an unnecessary diversion at the beginning of the writing process.
A style-sheet is simply a list of characters, names, unusual words, and anything else that a write might find useful to record so as to maintain consistency throughout the novel. Readers are very good at spotting inconsistencies, which is good because it shows that they are paying attention to the text, which the author should have done as well when writing it.
Like I said, I love writing, and coming to the final parts of finishing a novel is really quite a great feeling. The Blade’s Fell Blow has been, for me at least, reasonably easy to work on. I had a wealth of research from the previous two books, The War Wolf and For Rapture of Ravens, to work with of course. The plot more or less wrote itself as it was more of an exercise of tying everything up. One thing that I was careful to do, however, was not to be too tidy in this respect. I think life rarely is ever that efficient at sorting things out.
To maintain the tension I had to consider using a few devices to (hopefully) keep the reader interested as the book heads to a conclusion that is widely known; the Normans win! One of the things that interested me, however, is the decision was far from clear cut despite what the historians have written. I have spent quite a bit of time looking into this aspect of the story and then trying to work it into the plot. Some of the events that I describe might surprise a few readers, but I have researched them and I believe that they do give a truthful account of what happened and why.
I am hoping to have all of the original writing finished by the end of this month. After than I will be going back to the beginning and reading every word on every line and trying to ensure that there are no mistakes of any kind creeping into the 80,000+ word count. Once I am happy I will then have to go through the rigours of formatting the manuscript for publishing in both eBook and paperback. In the past this has proven quite onerous, I am hoping that there have been some recent improvements in the process since I published Eugenica, however. After that, well I will be returning to my fantasy novel and seeing if I can get that out for the New Year.