“So, Nat, how about a Necromancer Ascending update?”
That’s the current most-frequently-asked question, not only on social media and here at Erindor Press, but even from my colleagues at my day job! However, in order to actually give you that Necromancer Ascending update, I have to talk a little about process first.
Random image off the interwebz. Not the actual cover art.
I’ve written several articles about my writing process over the last few years, and I’ve been interviewed a dozen times or so by people who are all interested in the same thing: What does the process of writing a novel look like?
My answer? Controlled chaos.
Herding the Cats
Whether I’m actively writing or not, I end up with electronic “sticky notes” all over my laptop, various documents on the cloud all containing random ideas and dialogue snippets, a bunch of “canon” documents in a Scrivener project, a hastily charted timeline in Aeon Timeline, maps I put together in Campaign Cartographer, a jumble of thoughts, and a handful of people acting as “external storage” for my memory. It can take a while to wrangle that all together.
And now, the time has come. It’s time to write Necromancer Ascending.
Yeah, yeah, I’m getting there!
Necromancer Ascending Update
See? There’s the header. Ok, here we go…
After my extended break (extended a little longer than planned due to crunch time at my day job), day one of outlining was slow to start but went well. My process involves starting at the end of the story, and I’ve spent the last year contemplating exactly how I’d like to wrap the trilogy up.
Well, if I’m being honest, it’s been on my mind a lot longer than that. Sort of on the back burner of my subconscious, which is where most of my best work happens.
So, I dove in and outlined an epilogue that should create the end “mood” I’m shooting for. [Shut up Grammarly! I’m not going to leave off the “ue” on epologue! Ever!]
From here, I’ll spend the next week or so outlining the climax, add the “big picture” plot points as signposts to steer by, do basic character work on any new folks I’ll be adding to the story, create all of the scene cards in Scrivener (and I do mean all of the scene cards…we’re probably looking at 100+, judging from the last two books), take a first pass at arranging the cards by chapter, then probably take a weekend off.
This will most-likely take me about 3 months.
When the 1st draft is complete, I’ll set it aside for 4-6 weeks while I move on to something else. This “cooling off” period is absolutely crucial. I’ll need to reach a state of emotional detachment from the story in order to make the first several revisions in such a way that they serve the story and not myself. Not that my personal interests don’t align with the story’s interests, but the only way to really kill your darlings
is to get out of that state where you feel as if every word is sacrosanct.
Not to be too blunt, but when shit needs cutting…you need to cut the shit, regardless of how clever you think you were when you first wrote the shit that needs cutting.
Once I get the manuscript into a state that represents my best possible effort, the pinnacle of my professional abilities, then and only then do I release it into the wild and share it with my editor and beta readers. Realistically, that will be anywhere from 12 – 18 months from today, providing nothing blows up in my personal or “day job” life.
Then, it’s anywhere from 3 – 6 months of additional revision. During that time period, I’ll hire (re-hire, in this case) my cover designer, start putting together marketing materials, throw a dart at the calendar, format both the print and electronic editions of the book, and then, finally, put it in your hands!
My “best guess” estimate of when that final step will occur? Sometime in early-mid 2019.
And as long and tedious as the process can and will be, it will all have been worth it.
It always is.
There you have it. An official Necromancer Ascending update. 🙂
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Nat Russo is the Amazon #1 Bestselling Fantasy author of Necromancer Awakening.
Nat was born in New York, raised in Arizona, and has lived just about everywhere in-between. He’s gone from pizza maker, to radio DJ, to Catholic seminarian (in a Benedictine monastery, of all places), to police officer, to software engineer. His career has taken him from central Texas to central Germany, where he worked as a defense contractor for Northrop Grumman. He's spent most of his adult life developing software, playing video games, running a Cub Scout den, gaining/losing/gaining/losing weight, and listening to every kind of music under the sun.
Along the way he managed to earn a degree in Philosophy and a black belt in Tang Soo Do.
He currently makes his home in central Texas with his wife, teenager, mischievous beagle, and goofy boxador.