Usually, the revision process is incredibly satisfying for me; to paraphrase Michelangelo’s reputed saying, all the material’s present, I just have to chisel away the unneeded bits. This time, though, the revision process is like pulling teeth with a pair of pliers; there’s just so many scenes and plotlines that I love, but since I don’t want to confuse the issue too much, I’m trying to simplify it a bit. To make it worse, I’m planning on taking the series in a new direction with my next attempt, so I can’t even save the good scenes that don’t fit into Memorythief for the next book.
Maybe I should learn to let stuff go, but if I could do that, I wouldn’t have become an author and artist in the first place.
On a somehow-related topic (at least in my brain it is), here’s the rough version I did for Yggdrasil, the Tree that holds the worlds in Norse myth, with a human character for scale. Amazingly, I got the scale right the first time I tried, instead of having to do three or four renders to tweak it.
Okay, I’ve finally finished with the first draft of book three, Memorythief, definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever tried to write, so now I just have to finish the character illustrations, and start editing!
I might have tried to bite off more than I can chew with this one, given that Ragnarok is one of the bigger plot points, but by the time I’d gotten to writing chapter two, I realized that if I kept going with my original outline, I’d have written myself into an impossible-to-escape corner by the end, and I’d have to abandon all the other wonderful things I’ve got in mind for future installments in that world. So, voila, I threw in Ragnarok just so I had a really good way to file off the sharp edges and incipient contradictions, not to mention it’s just fun to blow stuff up from time to time!
On a related note, here’s the cover ( if you follow me on Facebook, you probably saw me post a cover image a week or two back, but immediately after I posted it, I realized I had to change it to make a couple of pieces show up better), I swear!
A little later than I’d originally planned, but frankly, I’ll live with the internal disappointment by wallowing in the satisfaction of having gotten book two Horsethief into a much more satisfying shape than I had planned.
It was a lot easier and faster to write than the first (No duh!) in the first place, but there was still some room for improvement, especially since I slapped in the related short story I had originally written and distro’d for free. If you’re reading this, please either buy it, or at least talk it up on social media and all (LaughLaugh).
Okay, I remember I said I was 3/4 of the way through the next manuscript, but unfortunately as I progressed further and further, I realized that I was writing myself into a corner, so I’ve had to make some significant changes and additions to book 4, AKA Memorythief, so I can move the story along and be able to tell other stories in the future. In short, I’m writing the Ragnarok, and using that to reshape the world to something more in line with my original intent for this series, in addition to redoing the interior art for the first two books and their covers. Like someone once said, no artistic project is ever completed, just abandoned. I’m hoping to have the much-longer manuscript finished by the end of September, just in time to coincide with the re-re-release of books one and two with the new art in the first part of October. In the meantime, here’s a couple of pieces of the new art, just as a teaser: