I've just finished writing Ash Book #3. Now what I mean is the first draft, the raw warts and all and doesn't quite make sense and is that one with all the crazy in it. The MENTAL crazy.
It's about 76,000 words long, the same length as the first couple but the final product will probably be about 80-90,000 words. Let me explain:
1. I write fast and this is the fastest book I've ever written, and probably will ever write. I started it in November so, including for 2 weeks off over Xmas, it's been done in two months. The book's intense, complex and the pay off in the trilogy, so all the loose ends from the first two MUST be tied off. And, of course, the best was saved till last. Ash will go out with an apocalyptic BANG, guaranteed. Whatever has come before (and bearing in mind how the first book finished), the third has to be bigger and better.
2. Why so fast? Deadlines. Ash Book #2 comes out in March (UK) and the original plan was Book 3 would be the following year, March 2014. Instead it'll be July, THIS YEAR. Which is great so you don't have a year to wait to find out how it wraps up, just a few months after the second the third will be on the shelves. You'll thank me, the second book ends with a cliffhanger like no other. You will not see it coming, another promise you can take to the bank.
3. I use the draft to get all the big, main events in. Ash #3 criss-crosses time and space, a lot happens and all of it world-changing. I like to have these things sorted early on so I've plenty of time to give them that polish so it hits like a shock wave on the page. What I do on the second draft is join the dots and smooth out the internal logic so each scene ends as powerfully as it can and leads seamlessly to the next. Hence the word count will rise. Writing novels is a tricky business. What seems clear and logical to the writer may not make any sense to the reader. Especially if the story, like this one, has had a three book arc, so things in the first will only be relevant in the third.
4. You've got to build on what's gone before. Book by book Ash and the world he inhabits expands and deepens. Especially as Ash is the Eternal Warrior and has many past lives. It could be easy to get lost in them (actually a theme in Book 2) and means he's many personalities and histories. It important for the writer and reader to keep track of them and how they relate to the story. There is nothing random in story telling.
5. And I love it. Firts and foremost I've wanted to tell a big story. It's been a challenge and a large part of why I did Ash in the first place. I love history, mythology and travelling. All three played huge parts in Ash's tale and will do so in Book 3.
It's weird thinking about the third book when the second isn't even out. Such is the nature of publishing. But soon, very soon, the entire saga of Ash Mistry will be out. Assess will be kicked, and sacrifices made. Prepare for a world of darkness.