Licanius #3 - The Light of All That Falls

Archived progress reports are below.

As at 09/2019

Officially, unequivocally, complete. ARCs are going out. Release date (for print, ebook and audio) is set for 10th December, 2019!

As at 04/2019

This update is mostly just to assure everyone that everything's still on track! TLoaTF is now officially in production at Orbit: edits are complete so for me, only copyediting and some final proofing remain. The release date is December 10, 2019 - that goes for print, ebook and audiobook.

There may not be another update here for several months, now; if that's the case, it just means that nothing especially significant's happening on my end. The next change on this page will almost certainly be to archive all these TLoaTF progress reports, and start talking about what's next!

As at 02/2019

A short update - edits are submitted! While it’s always possible another round of tweaks could be needed (and copyediting is still to come), I’m very pleased with where the book’s at. Word count ended up at around 280k, so it’s around 15% larger than AEoTTC.

Aside from anything more that’s needed for this book, the next couple of months are going to consist of me working through my (still large) backlog of e-mails, and planning what’s next. I have several new projects in mind – once I settle on which one(s) I’m going to actively work on, I’ll post some more information here.

I’ll still update this page if any major milestones come up for TLoaTF, of course, but the release date of December 10 is looking rock-solid!

As at 12/2018

Great news to round out the year – TLoaTF has now been submitted to Orbit!

This, while not the end of work to do on the book, is certainly a major milestone: I’m feeling confident about the state of the final draft, and feedback from beta readers has been excellent too. There’ll no doubt be more to do after my editors are let loose on it, but – unless I’m a long way off-base with my impressions of everything at the moment – we’re not too far from being done!

So to the release date. As it now stands, it’s December 10, 2019: almost exactly one year away. I can’t say whether or not that might move up if everything goes smoothly during editing, but I see absolutely no reason for it getting pushed back any further. If it does change for any reason, I’ll post about it here.

And for those who are curious about the audiobook version, the intent is absolutely to be launching alongside print and ebook, with the excellent Michael Kramer returning as narrator.

Other than that? Until edits are back I’ll be recovering a little bit, spending time with family over Christmas, replying to at least some of the (many, many) e-mails sitting in my inbox, and generally organising my thoughts on what’s next. I’ll definitely continue to update here when there’s news, and probably try to post something every couple of months regardless, just to keep everyone in the loop.

As always, my thanks to you all for your patience – this book’s taken longer than I anticipated by a decent margin, but you’ve all been wonderfully supportive of my taking the extra time to make sure that the finale is the best it can be. I can’t wait to see the book in everyone’s hands next year!

As at 09/2018

For September, there's really not a great deal to add to previous updates - things continue to progress smoothly toward a November submission. Word count, for those curious, is now at 270k (up from 225k for TSoWWL and 240k for AEoTTC) - that could still vary a little as I revise, but this book will almost certainly be the largest in the series by a significant margin.

Being so close to the end, I'll likely skip October's update entirely unless there's a major delay to report. So the next post should be around the end of November / early December - hopefully, to confirm that TLoaTF has been submitted to Orbit!

As at 08/2018

Once again not much to report for this month, but that's an indication that everything remains on track. The current, basically final draft of TLoaTF is now complete, with only a few chapters still needing major tweaks and corrections. This part of the process should be completed around mid-September, after which the final phase - minor revisions and polishing - can take place.

Bottom line: it's getting close, and everything's still on target for a November submission!

As at 07/2018

Very little to report this month (which at this point is good news!) – things are continuing to go well, with another six chapters completed in July bringing the total to 45. By the end of August I expect to be either finished this draft, or extremely close. The plan to submit the final book in November remains on track.

As at 06/2018

A quick and somewhat late update for June: everything’s moving along almost exactly as anticipated, with another five chapters complete for the month. That brings the current total to 34.

In terms of the timeline: if things continue to go as planned, I’ll be finishing this part of the drafting process in September, and following up with approximately two months of final revision / polish. That places submission to Orbit sometime in November, which in turn allows for a release date around this time next year. Still a while away, I know, but we’re undoubtedly into the final stretch now!

As at 05/2018

Before anything else, just a note (and apologies) to anyone currently waiting on an e-mail response from me - I’m shamefully far behind on my replies right now! Since January, I’ve consistently had to choose between working on TLoaTF and getting back to everyone’s messages, and I think most people are preferring that I focus on the former. I do still read every message as it comes in, though, and they always brighten my day – so thank-you to everyone who has written to me recently, and please rest assured that I fully intend to respond to as many of you as possible once the book’s submitted!

As far as TLoaTF itself goes, progress has once again been solid this month, with another five chapters complete (bringing it to a total of 29 thus far). The section coming up needs some work, so June could potentially be a little slower, but I’m generally feeling very comfortable with how things are going. If all proceeds as planned, I should be able to announce a (hopefully more accurate) timeline to completion in the next update.

As at 04/2018

Just a quick update for April. It’s generally good news to report this month: the rewrites have been going smoothly, and these past couple of weeks in particular have seen a great amount of progress. Another eight chapters are now complete, so up to 24 total – almost half way.

There’s of course still plenty of work to do, but if things continue in this vein for May, I’ll start feeling like I have some real momentum behind me. Hopefully, by the time the June update comes around in a couple of months, the book will be close enough to complete that I’ll feel comfortable estimating a new timeline for everyone.

Regardless – things are going well, and further delays should be minimal!

As at 03/2018

March has been largely spent scrapping /rewriting / revisiting the beats of one of the main storylines in TLoaTF – not the sort of progress I’d been hoping to make, but important nonetheless. Both ‘Shadow’ and ‘Echo’ underwent similar late(ish)-stage changes, where a section of the plot worked just fine in the outline, but never felt quite right in execution. I’d thought that previous experience might help avoid the same situation this time around… but, lesson learned! The good news is that I’m feeling confident that these rewrites will provide the improvements to pacing and character progression that I was looking for.

So there were a total of four chapters written this month, all brand new - bringing the total to 16 out of (probably) 50. That’s actually a fairly productive month, taking into account the scope of the changes being made, though of course it’s overall still a much slower pace of progress than I would like.

I would unfortunately expect to see another shift to the publication date soon, as I now think that my current submission deadline is realistically out of reach. I know this will be a disappointment to many people, and I absolutely apologise for that – simply put, I’ve managed to both overestimate how quickly I would be able to write, and underestimate how much work there was actually left to do. Rest assured that I’m still very happy with the story, though – everything’s progressing well, just more slowly than anticipated. Gauging my timelines more accurately is definitely one area I’m hoping to improve for future books.

As always, thanks to everyone for your continued patience, and I’ll update here again next month!

As at 02/2018

Not much to report from February, with the only thing of note being that I undershot my target number of chapters – I’ve now completed 12, with one of those being a new addition, so that total is out of an even 50.

While sleep has still been hard to come by, there were no major external factors to blame for this month being slower than expected – there was, simply put, just more to do than I’d thought. A lot of the writing I did while ill last year has needed significant work, including outright rewrites, which has certainly impacted progress.

I’m hopeful that things will pick up from here, but the next month or two will be telling. Either way, I’ll continue to push hard to get this last book out as quickly (while maintaining quality, of course) as I can!

As at 01/2018

A very busy – exhausting, in fact! - few months has meant that it's now been a while since the last update, so apologies to those of you who have been checking back often to see how things are going. We had a new addition to the family early in the new year(!), so between preparations for the baby, the usual chaos of Christmas, and then having a newborn in the house (plus a two year old) – all while working on TLoATF - it’s been... let’s say challenging to keep up with everything.

To get the (mildly) bad news out of the way first: I did somewhat underestimate how much my writing would be affected by all of the aforementioned. While my hours working per day have been fairly standard – sometimes actually longer, as I’ve often tried to make up ground in the evenings – lack of sleep / concentration has been eating into my rate of progress. That’s a problem that should ease over the next few months, though, as we all settle into a routine here.

Other than that minor issue, I’m pleased to say that everything else is progressing smoothly. I produced a solid six weeks of writing at the end of last year, reaching the point just before Christmas where I was satisfied that my work on the more ‘readable’ draft had ironed out the last of the kinks in the story. This month, I officially started what I would consider the submission draft.

As for what that means: I'm now focusing mostly on prose and checking for any inconsistencies across the smaller details – the big stuff's already well laid out, and there should be very few (if any) tweaks or additions to the plot. I tend to measure my progress by chapters rather than word count at this point, so for reference, I’ve currently fully completed seven of the book's 49 chapters. The plan is to knock over around eight to ten chapters per month, with a submission target of June.

Lastly, the official release for TLoATF is now Feb 19th, 2019. That’s a little further away than I had originally anticipated, but it does mean there’s some leeway in it too – if other minor delays do crop up, it shouldn’t mean another change in the date. Regardless, I’ll of course be working as hard as I can to get everything completed by June, and I’ll be back to posting monthly updates from here on out.

As at 10/2017

Much-as-expected progress for this month, with the current draft of TLoATF now up to 55k words – not as far along as I’d have liked, but still not too bad given the circumstances. I’m very close to being completely healthy again now, so expect the word count for November to increase as I get back to normal speed. If all goes well, I should finish next month around the 85k word mark.

Looking a little further ahead, my wife and I are expecting our second child in December, so there may be a brief slowdown in writing as we adjust to life with a newborn again(!) – and, of course, Christmas is a busy time of year in and of itself - but otherwise, there’s nothing on the horizon that would be a barrier to reaching my 30k words per month goal. That means an April or May submission is most likely, presumably for a late 2018 release.

Given the busy period coming up, I’ll do my best to post a final update for the year at the start of December, but don’t be too surprised if there are no further progress reports until the end of January. However, I will make it a point to post if there are any significant speed bumps - so if all's quiet here for a while, assume that no news is good news!

As at 09/2017

After seeing multiple doctors, the great news coming out of the last month is that I’m finally on the mend! I won’t go into the finer details, but what I had was causing chronic pain and making it difficult to focus on writing for any prolonged period of time – thus my slower-than-usual progress. However it appears the problem has now been properly identified, and it’s expected I’ll be back to 100% in about a month.

So – in terms of actual progress, the current draft of TLoATF is up to 40k words, and I expect that to be at about 55k-60k by the end of October. Thereafter, things should pick up again!

Happily, as far as the timeline to release goes, I suspect that nothing has changed a great deal. I might end up submitting to Orbit a few months later than I originally anticipated, but at worst I’d think that the release date would then be pushed back a comparative amount. Given that the currently projected release is around August 2018, I’m still expecting it to be in readers' hands sometime next year!

As at 08/2017

A slightly early update for August, as I'm hoping to take a few days off next week now that 'Echo' is finally out!

Progress for this month has been much slower than usual – the current draft of TLoATF is now sitting at 30k words - partly because the 'Echo' release has demanded quite a bit of my attention / energy, and partly because I've been dealing with persistent illness at the same time. I’m hopeful that some rest (and probably a few more doctor’s appointments) will see everything finally clear up and put me back on track for next month.

In much more positive (and only slightly tangential) news, I’m very pleased with how ‘Echo’ appears to have been received thus far. A huge thank-you to everyone who has picked it up, and I hope you’re all enjoying it!

As at 07/2017

July has been a fairly productive month, despite falling short of my initial target in terms of pure word count. The second draft is now at 20k words – while that’s not a lot compared to my normal output, I suspect that these first chapters will be among the most time-consuming to write in the entire book (especially given the changes I decided to make from the first draft). I’m certainly pleased with how they’ve turned out, anyway.

An Echo of Things to Come comes out in a few weeks(!), so progress for next month depend a little on how much of my focus the launch requires. It wouldn’t surprise me if the next 20k words of this draft take slightly longer than usual, too – that should complete the opening sequence for each POV character - but I also imagine that things will progress relatively quickly after that. I’m still aiming to submit this draft to Orbit early next year.

As at 06/2017

Progress in June, especially during the first half of the month, was pretty slow due to a much longer than expected struggle with the ‘flu – though I’m glad to say that I’m now (finally!) rid of it. Time this month was also taken up with switching my manuscript and notes from Microsoft Word to a new (to me) program called Scrivener, which took a while to figure out, but already feels like it will be well worth the effort.

In terms of actual writing, the rough draft of TLoATF reached 120k words toward the end of the month, at which point I made the call to reset and start on a more ‘readable’, polished draft. This will let me incorporate the changes I’ve decided upon over the last few months; as I mentioned in the last update, this is pretty standard for me, and is mostly to ensure that the tweaks I’ve made to the story work as intended before ploughing on.

So with only half of the year remaining now, it wouldn’t surprise me if I don’t submit TLoATF to Orbit until early 2018. The draft I’m now working on will be a lot closer to a ‘finished product’ than the previous one, so I’m expecting an output of closer to 30k words per month on average. If that holds true, I should be finishing up around January or February next year.

As at 05/2017

May was a bit of an off month due to a bad bout of the ‘flu that lasted for a couple of weeks, and which I’m unfortunately still shaking off. However, I did manage to make some progress - the rough draft of TLoATF is currently just over 100k words, so pretty close to half way – and I’m still generally feeling good about the book’s progress.

I’ve also made enough retroactive tweaks that I now have to decide whether it’s worth pressing on with this draft, or doing something of a reset and beginning a more ‘readable’ draft with my changes properly incorporated. This would be a pretty normal step for me; while I’m wary of wasting time by getting into revision loops, I did do something similar for both TSoWWL and AEoTTC, and it helped iron out some of the kinks sooner rather than later. I’m going to write a few more chapters for this draft before deciding in which direction to go, anyway.

The good news is that I wouldn’t expect this to greatly affect my schedule either way, as it’s mostly just about choosing in which order the work needs to be done – the changes need to be implemented at some point, so the overall time spent drafting / polishing should remain much the same. My ideal (though as I’ve said previously, probably ambitious) timeline is still to submit a polished draft to Orbit around the end of the year.

As at 04/2017

A productive month this month, with the rough draft up to 75k words and going fairly smoothly. It’s early, of course, but I’m really happy with how the various threads from previous books are looking like they’ll come together in this one.

As I’ve come to expect now, the story has already deviated from my original outline in several places, which always slows me down a little - but the changes haven’t forced any major reworkings of the plot, so I’ll tentatively say that this part of the process is still on track to finish up around the end of August.

As at 03/2017

A relatively slow start to the first draft of Book 3, which is now sitting at 30k words. My aim for any single month at this rough drafting stage wil usually be 40k-50k words, however March was busy with both travel and going through the final print proof of An Echo of Things To Come - so overall, I’m not too unhappy with my progress.

In terms of timeline to completion, my everything-goes-perfectly aim would be to have this very rough draft done by the time 'Echo' releases (August), and then something in good enough shape to submit to Orbit before the end of the year. That’s assuming that basically nothing else takes up my time during work hours for most of 2017, and also that everything in the book comes together more smoothly than it ever has before, so... realistically, it’ll be longer. Hopefully not significantly longer, but I’ll continue to reassess at the end of each month and post my updated expectations here.