A whole year!?

Nat RussoBooks, Personal, Process 2 Comments

If you’re observant, and you take a close look at the dates on these blog articles, you’ll see something disturbing. It’s been nearly an entire year since my last post. So, what’s been going on that has kept me so busy? More importantly, what the heck is the deal with Necromancer Ascending!?

The Long, Sad Story

Okay, maybe that’s a little over dramatic. It’s neither long nor sad, really. In fact, quite the opposite. Sure, there are some ups and downs like everyone else, but overall it hasn’t been all that bad.

Work (the day job) has been somewhat interesting, as it has for most of us. Prior to this whole global pandemic, I’d already been through a handful of reorganizations in the course of a couple of years. That’s enough to keep anyone a bit off balance for a while. The great irony is as I shifted to working 100% remotely a year ago (for non-pandemic reasons), I found myself with far less writing time. The lines tend to blur between work and personal when there are no lines around one’s office space. I sit down to work around 9am and often notice at 7pm I haven’t had any breaks. And because of the blurred lines between days and dates, these days, I often find myself responding to team members on Saturday and Sunday, going so far as to get involved in pair/group programming sessions.

I changed that behavior, eventually. 😉

Yeah, Yeah, What About the Book

I get it. I hear ya. “Blah blah blah, Nat Russo, that’s all you sound like right now.”

Putting the end cap on this cycle of The Mukhtaar Chronicles has been personally challenging in a way I never expected. I’ll be adding more details to the foreword when I finally wrap things up (insider secret: though the foreword might appear first in the book, it’s usually written last). Suffice it to say there are portions of the book I wasn’t personally ready to finish. There are many ways in which I wasn’t ready, ways that I’ll wait until the foreword to bore you with. But, I just wasn’t ready.

I’m ready now.

No, I haven’t reached the end of some existential journey that suddenly bestowed a revelation from on high. In fact, I’ve merely just begun one. It’s a journey I never thought I would find myself on. But, here I am. Smack dab in the middle of it (at the beginning of it, really). It’s a journey that has given me insight. Insight that Nicolas sorely needs if he’s to accomplish what he must as he goes forward. Insight I didn’t even know I was lacking, but my entire being was holding me back, saying, “Don’t you take another step until you have it.”

That’s unintentionally cryptic, I know. I’m not trying to “vague blog”. Wait, is that even a thing? We should start a thing if it’s not a thing yet. In fact, “A Blog About That Thing” would be a perfect name. All the article titles should be equally vague and never specifically reference any subject matter whatsoever. 😀

I digress… 😑

Suffice it to say I’m back at the keyboard, armed with…if not everything I need, at least everything I have. That’s something a lot of new writers don’t grasp when they’re starting out, I think. They can’t start because they’re lacking a specific piece of software, or a specific journal, pen, laptop, book, coffee, apartment, job, whatever. They don’t realize virtually everything they need is inside.

What I was lacking wasn’t on the outside. It was on the inside.

So, when are we going to see Necromancer Ascending? Well, I don’t how to speak in terms of dates just yet. I can tell you that I’m roughly 3/4 through the 1st draft and it will need at least one round of editing. The editing bit usually takes me a couple months (when I haven’t screwed things up royally). There’s a set piece1 I’ve been avoiding that I think I’m ready to tackle. (Well, two set pieces, actually. But, I haven’t been avoiding the second. I merely haven’t gotten there yet.) I’d say there’s still a good shot to have it out this year, if my beta readers are still available. It’s been quite some time since I’ve spoken to them.

It’s been a long year, but it’s been a good year. A transformative year. What more can a person ask for?

  1. My parlance for any large battle scene, climactic scene, or a scene with intricate enough details to warrant more than the usual microscope of attention to detail. In other words, it may be a lot of fun to write, but it’s also a lot of work.

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About Nat Russo

Nat Russo is the Amazon #1 Bestselling Fantasy author of Necromancer Awakening and Necromancer Falling. 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 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.

Comments 2

  1. I relate to almost this entire post: Re-orgs, WFH, taking time to gain the insight your characters — or even your universe — needs to be what they need to be.

    I finished my rough draft last year around the same time I began extra curricular work for the day job defining (and writing) API standards for my company and org. That journey has led me to work with Google on aip.dev (not a typo).

    Strangely, it’s satisfied a lot of my needs for writing and owning something. For the first time I’m satisfied with the reasons I’m not writing my story. Once all the processes, tooling, and committees I’m working on stabilize, I know I can come back to it, and I feel like my story will be better for it.

    Of course, I don’t have a fan base waiting for the next installment 😉

    Anyway, not to hijack your comments. I just wanted to share with someone I felt would understand.

    1. Post

      Writing can be such a strange thing to do at times. It seems no matter what we’re writing, on some level it’s still a distillation of our experience because of how much of ourselves we put into it. On occasion, you just need to take the time to do other things.

      Thanks for stopping by! Every year I make empty promises to write more articles, and every year I find I’ve pretty much covered most of the basics. 🙂

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