Over the weekend, I finished the manuscript for Sourcethief, the final book of the Twinborn Trilogy. It finished at a svelte 188k words (only by comparison to Firehurler’s 235k and Aethersmith’s 225k), making for roughly 650k words for the series as a whole. Writing the final words, which I’d planned for ages it seems, carried a great feeling of accomplishment, even if it’s only the first draft. A couple of my beta readers who have been keeping up chapter by chapter have already finished the whole story, and the response has been gratifying.
That all said, there’s still more work to be done …
The draft is just the beginning, in a lot of ways. I still have my beta readers’ feedback to go through, all my own notes and edits, and then it gets sent off to the actual editor. Despite finishing the manuscript just before the end of June, I’m still aiming for a November release. Editing takes time, and it’s time well spent. I shudder to think of the messes that Firehurler and Aethersmith would have been had they done to print with just the beta readers’ feedback and nothing else (or worse, my initial drafts).
Cover Art / Layout
The cover layout will be in keeping with the first two books in the series. I am using the same artist as well, Duncan Long. He is working even now on the Sourcethief artwork, using notes I’ve sent him for the concept. I’m not an artist myself, so my feeling for how the finish product will come out is always a bit off, but I anticipate this one being my favorite cover of the trilogy (though Firehurler will always have a sentimental head-start).
(apologies for the layout on the mockup for Sourcethief, I’m not the one who does the covers, but I do my own blog mash-ups. It will look better than that, I assure you)
As much work as they are, and outside what I’d consider my core skill set, I love mapping. It’s time consuming and requires a lot of attention to detail, including filling in a lot of blanks that the story itself never quite required answers to, but it fleshes out the world so nicely and the end results are always beautiful and well received. Sourcethief will include world maps of Tellurak and Veydrus.
This will happen both before and after the book’s release. Everything you hear about starting out in the writing business is that the critical mass for books is 3, which may especially be the case for someone whose first works are a trilogy. I hope things follow this trend, since despite being well received, I’d like to go from “doing well for a new author” to just plain old “doing well”. Part of this will be a transition from a writing-heavy workload to one more balanced between writing and promotion. Part of that will be a prelude short story that takes place prior to Firehurler which will give new readers an introduction to the world(s).
To that end …
What Comes Next
I’ll already be hard at work on subsequent projects by the time Sourcethief is published. I have been devloping concepts for the next trilogy in the Twinborn universe, tentatively called the Mad Tinker Trilogy. I’ll also be putting out a few short stories, similar to the Two Goblins story that I put on this blog previously. One with a working title of War-Bringer will tell the tale of Brannis’s fights with the ogres on Kadrin’s northern border, which earned him the promotion to command of the Kelvie expedition that starts Firehurler.
Be on the lookout. The story may end with Sourcethief, but there is more that goes on in the Twinborn universe than just the actions of an empire, a scribe, and his knightly twin.