The “Lemur Saga” is my first real effort at a fantasy series, discounting my first “epic” novel, penned in my University days (and that was more like a single book in 5 parts, and I only ever did a first – or second – draft). Single books are fairly easy: you’ve got characters, you’ve got an adventure idea, and, if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to complete a first, and possibly even second or third, draft without drastic plot changes. Certainly, I’ve had my failures – the re-written-six-times-and-never-good “Quest for Lemuria” and the never-got-around-to-quite-finishing “Scavengers of the Deadlands” (but I know why that is – because I’d written the climax and was stuck on how many loose ends I had to tie up).
Book two’s are hard – and I can only imagine that book three’s are more difficult still. I’m not a plotter, I’m what they call a discovery writer; I start at the beginning with a rough idea of how the ending is going to be and sort of strike out blindly for it on a weaving, winding path. When I stray from that path I stop, retrace my steps, and try to take a new route. Once I’ve finished, I might then be able to come up with a vague synopsis, but what I’ll generally find then is my synopsis is too convoluted, too random.
It’s even harder when you’re trying to juggle two characters. And probably ten billion times worse if you’ve got people itching for our second draft, constantly asking you when it’ll be finished, offering threats or bribes. Treating you if your one purpose in life is to produce this damned book. A book you want to get perfect, but just doesn’t feel “right”.
Patrick Rothfuss, I have a new appreciation of you. No longer will I wait impatiently for your final installment – I’ll simply look forward to the time when the date is released and I can begin reading the forerunners again.
Brandon Sanderson, I wish I had your dedication and your ability to plot, because if I could plot this book out properly, then perhaps I could avoid this re-writing mess.
Sometimes I’m glad that there’s only maybe a tiny handful of people anxious to read “Tail of Two Scions”.
And the book, when it is written, will be for them. And for myself.