The Grand Scheme of Things

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What a fun post title.

It’s been a great month, but I’ll wait and tell you more about it on Thursday when my Episodes and Adventures post goes up. Today, I wanted to answer a couple of questions I’ve been asked recently about what’s next now that the Minstrel’s Song series is complete. The biggest ones being….

What’s next? And (for those who know the answer to the first question), When will the first book in the Turrim Archive be available?

That’s kind of a lot of questions all rolled into one, so I thought it might be worth devoting a blog post to discussing it.

First of all, the next thing coming down the pipes actually is NOT the Turrim Archive.

*GASP!*

I know, I know!

I really did not mean to… but I got captivated by an idea and took a couple of weeks off in April to write a somewhat ridiculous/adorable very short original fairy tale for the next Fellowship of Fantasy anthology. It was announced last week that the story has been accepted! Huzzah! *throws confetti and cupcakes* As of right now, it may be placed in the Fairy Tale OR the Cat-themed anthology… whichever it fits better in.

However, the next series of actual novels that I am currently working on IS the TURRIM ARCHIVE. It is my belief that this will be a five-book series. Currently, books 1 and 2 are written: The Orb and the Airship, and Mantles of Oak and Iron. I passed the half-way mark on book three last week – which currently is stubbornly remaining title-less, though I have a few ideas I’m playing with. My title for Mantles of Oak and Iron did not become apparent until I was nearly done with the writing, so we shall see if one presents itself in the next month. My goal is to have the rough draft of book 3 finished by the end of June, and be well on my way into book 4 by the time I head to Realm Makers.

What is the Turrim Archive and how will it compare to The Minstrel’s Song?

This series is an epic fantasy with hints of gaslamp and some glimmerings of high fantasy scattered throughout. It is different to The Minstrel’s Song in both feel and scope, and yet there are some similar themes that readers of both series will notice, I am sure. This series has more political intrigue and is not so quest-based, though there are some smaller-scale quests within the series, so far.

There are airship pirates and a military academy and a world that has been experiencing a pseudo-Cold-War-type relationship between The Telmondir Council and the Igyeum. It does have magic, but it is far more limited magic than you saw in The Minstrel’s Song. And, though it pains me greatly, this world contains no dragons. (try not to faint)

This series maaaaay have a character who is partially heavily inspired by my love of Malcolm Reynolds.

These books are shaping up to be a bit shorter than The Minstrel’s Song books, each clocking in around 115K words right now (for reference, that’s a couple thousand words shorter than Yorien’s Hand), though of course much can change in the editing phases, but I seem to be the sort of writer who does not add very many overall word-count during editing.

So, when can you expect to see The Orb and the Airship available for order?

Not for a while.

I am happy with the way that The Minstrel’s Song series ended up, and I am beyond thrilled with how the story unfolded. However, I also learned a lot through the process of polishing and publishing that series. And I am going at Turrim Archive very differently.

The grand scheme of things (there we go! you knew the title had to show up somewhere!) right now is to write all five books and then edit and polish them simultaneously and have the covers done so that the entire series is “ready-to-publish” before I release book 1. Then I can release the books a little bit more rapid-fire (right now I’m thinking 1 every 9-12 months) instead of making you wait 18-24 months for each next book. While I am doing that, I can continue writing whatever I decide to work on next. Of course, that does mean a bit of waiting right NOW, as I have 2.5 books left to write, and then going through the editing phase for so many words is going to take some time, as well. But I think in the end it is actually going to end up being an easier and smoother process, overall, with less re-writing and scurrying around frantically trying to make sure that there aren’t any inconsistencies or contradictions from one book to the next.

I had hoped to be able to finish the rough drafts of books 3, 4, and 5 this year… but as we are nearly at the halfway mark for the year already, I do not think I am going to attain that dream. I do think I can probably finish books 3 and 4 before the year’s end, however. If I could start releasing this series before the end of 2020, I would be delighted beyond all reason, but I really can’t promise anything at this point.

I hope that answers your questions about what I’m working on and when it will be available!

~ jenelle

7 Comments

DJ Edwardson

A sound plan. I’ve been going through a similar process with my next series, though rather than writing them all out I am currently doing what I call “deep outlining” For instance, book one’s outline is currently just over 6,000 words.

This is such a great idea for a blog post, by the way. Thanks for sharing a little insight as to not only your plans, but your thought process. I love these kinds of posts!

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jenelle

Thanks for the encouragement! I’ve been feeling a bit at a loss about blogging lately, so it’s nice to hear when my posts are useful or entertaining. :)

Wow, that is a hefty outline. I outline a lot more than I used to, but I don’t think I’ve hit 6,000 words yet. Not for a single book, anyway. I might be around there in my notes for the entire series, if I were to count up all my hand-written notes.

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Deborah O'Carroll

EEP to all the things! Thanks for sharing! The bit about Mal made. my. day. XD I think your plan is brilliant.

(The title of the post makes me think of Ratatouille. XD The bitter truth we critics must face is that in the grand scheme of things the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. XD NOT that your stories are junk–FAR FROM IT–I just thought of the line. :P)

I only recently started hearing the term gaslamp fantasy and… it’s making me insecure about whether my stories that I call “steampunk” are actually gaslamp and I HAVE CONFUSIONS. *gnaws knuckles*

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jenelle

I only recently started hearing about gaslamp as well, and I was also confused. I’ve been calling Turrim Archive “Fantasy with hints of steampunk” for quite some time, but then I read this article by H.L. Burke and realized, “Nope, it’s gaslamp, because the technology in my stories is powered by magic.” Essentially, her line at the end sums it up fairly well:

“So Gaslamp is essentially all the rule-breaking fantasy authors who couldn’t handle a world without magic but still wanted to enjoy the other aspects of Steampunk. Similar setting, tone, and aesthetics, and it may even mix technology/machinery into it … But it had magicians, dragons, cursed artifacts, and magically enchanced items.”

http://www.fellowshipoffantasy.com/fantastic-writes/all-about-sub-genre-steampunk-gaslamp

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