So, I finally got a chance to work on the cover for The Atheling today. I keep rearranging my design elements because I can’t find a position that pleases me completely, but otherwise I’m now cleaning up details for the faces and have a sketch and underpainting for the airship. It just needs wings. I might be shrinking it to sit in front of the moon a little more once I get some of the details on it.
Other progress on the novel includes hearing back from several of my beta readers! (Yay for beta readers! I don’t know what I’d do without you guys!) So, I’ve been doing the easy edits like spelling errors. (Wow, you’d think I was drunk while writing some of those typos.) >.< But I’m making notes on anything that requires a little more work like slow places or scene changes, and those will take a little more effort and time. I’m wondering though …
Everyone knows how much the word count is bothering me this time around. The other books in the Elf Gate series are large, but this is the largest one I’ve created to date. I keep trying to consider which scenes might be disposable, but every time I think I could make another cut, I realize it wouldn’t make that much of a difference to the overall length and might kill some of the personality. Plots without personality are very boring.
Last night when I woke with insomnia at 2:00 A.M., I tried (again) to think of a solution for a more reasonably sized volume, and I may have come up with an
incredibly painful possibly brilliant idea.
It will be a lot of work to rewrite because it would remove a huge chunk of plot, rather than just one or two scenes, and drop it into book 5, instead. If I do this, publication for The Atheling might run more toward July than June. It’s that big of a rewrite. (My beta readers are probably making faces about now wondering what kind of George R. R. Martin ploy I might be considering for such a drastic move, but I assure you the cuts won’t be that drastic.) I will play with the ideas tomorrow and see if I can rework the details that must connect to the other plots, but this might be just what the book needs to make it less of a monstrous undertaking to read. (That means I’m both excited and dreading this at the same time.)
The chunk salvaged for book 5 would then definitely force me to split book 5 into two new books. An unplanned book 6 would be necessary to finish rewriting the original manuscripts toward their new series ending. More work is the last thing I need right now, but the quality of the product comes before publication dates.
Thanks to my beta readers, however, I’m now one step closer to that goal. 🙂