Saturday, June 11, 2016

Restructuring the ARK Series: An Autumn Veil and A Steel Horizon

In accordance with my first formal rejection for the ARK books, which, FYI, makes me a real author, I'm taking seriously the advice to not pitch a work exceeding 125,000 words in length. (One veteran speculative fiction agent said bluntly in panel at the Chicago Writing Workshop back in May, "I've never sold a sci-fi/fantasy book longer than 140,000 words.")

FYI: I attended the crap out of that conference.

The So-So News: I didn't feel like I was finished with An Autumn Veil after the first act, which is why I kept writing and revising for six years. But if I wanna sell, I've gotta play ball.

Other So-So News: This means I have to break An Autumn Veil into two books, one 97k, words in length, the other 107k words in length. Book two will be called An Autumn Veil. Book one will now be called A Steel Horizon. Also, prologues are no longer "in vogue," and the same veteran agent who's never sold a book over 140k words recommended cutting them. Thus, my prologue has been relegated to an interlude.

The (Potentially) Good News: I can now approach prospective agents with a book that (1) will more likely sell due to its reduced length and (2) feature the sequel right off the bat. Which means that I could potentially receive a double advance and double royalties because I will have sold two books instead of one.

Also: Goddess from the Machine, the first major spin-off novel, is about halfway done. Presuming I sell these first two books, I'll have something new out the door within a year and a half. Three is the magic number when you're selling a series, since we binge our media in this culture - and not just Netflix, y'all.

And I've updated my website to reflect the changes to the ARK series.

Here are the revised chapter and part listing for the first two novels in the ARK series.

BOOK 1: A STEEL HORIZON

Part I: Ghosts of Chimon-Jing
1: The Autumn Garden
2: Midnight
3: Ghosts of Chimon-Jing
4: The Trainman
5: The Conclave
6: What Friends Are For
Part II: Lying Awake
Interlude: The Prose of Fotius, Record One
7: Helmsman's Folly
8: The Merchant Arcade
9: A Special Place in Hell
10: We Should Be Sleeping
11: If The Stars Are Willing
12: Broken Promises
13: The Only Life I've Ever Known
14: A Well To Draw From
15: What Tomorrow Holds
Part III: A Steel Horizon
Interlude: The Prose of Fotius, Record Two
16: A Lovely Day
17: Revelations
18: City On The Winds
19: Storm Clouds
20: Event Horizon
21: To Reap A Whirlwind
22: Falling
23: The Heavens Remained Silent
Epilogue: The Prose of Fotius, Record Three

BOOK 2: AN AUTUMN VEIL

Part I: The Demons We Serve
1: Awakenings
2: Prison Cell(s)
3: The Voice On The Other Side
4: Greasers
5: The Knowledge Of Good And Evil
6: A Letter From A Murderer
7: Into The Hinterlands
8: I Am Of The Gifted
9: Judsung Hollow
10: The Wrong Business
11: The Bridge Of Nof
12: A Good Death
Part II: A Convergence of Fates
Interlude: The New Guy
13: Four Things
14: Hell And All Its Demons
15: Where I'll Stand
16: Puzzle Pieces And Pawn Coins
17: One Of Us
18: The Talisman
19: Signed, An Anonymous Appreciator Of Fine Mechanics
20: Which Way To Go
21: Arcologies
Part III: An Autumn Veil
22: Staying Dead
23: Lost And Found
24: A Threshold Of Courage
25: A Root Of Evil
26: Truth
27: Starlight
28: The Dryad
29: The Nonagon Directive
30: Deja Vu
31: The Blood On Our Hands
32: The Trainman And The Magistra
33: I Won't Let You Fall

And since you've read this far, here are the five major parts (no chapters!) of Goddess from the Machine:

1: Some Measure of Peace
2: Constellations
3: A Star-Strewn Girl
4: The Fear of Our Scars
5: Goddess from the Machine

If you've been with me this long, you've got my thanks.



D