As I said in yesterday's installment, this concludes Chapter 8 and thus Part 1 of this volume.
I'm going to need to take a bit of a break here between parts. When I started putting up installments back in early November, I was a couple chapters ahead of my publication schedule, but for a couple months now I've been writing installments as I put them up, and as the novel has picked up speed that's become incredibly grueling. I've written 60,000 words since the beginning of December and 40,000 since the beginning of the year. However, that's a limit to what cutting down to five hours of sleep a night can get you. I need to do some additional research before embarking on Part 2 (which comprises Chapters 9-12) and I also need to free up a little family writing time for Cat to work on revisions to Stillwater, which she needs to start getting ready for submission to publishers.
So here's the planned schedule:
I'm going to take the next four weeks off from publishing installments. Chapter 9-1 will go up on Monday, March 16th, and the roughly 16 installments which will make up Part 2 will go up between March 16th and May 25th, roughly 10 weeks. I'll then take a second break of roughly four weeks before launching into Part 3, which will have roughly 22 more installments spread over Chapters 13-20. That means that the end of Volume One will be up by the end of October. (And yes, Volume One does close as a book. There will very clearly be more story to tell, but it won't just stop, there will be an ending to this volume which I hope will both be satisfying on its own and also leave people wanting more.)
In the meantime, we're 92,000 words into this story, which is substantially longer than my first novel. I'd appreciate it if readers, even those who normally don't comment, would leave a note on this post, here or on DarwinCatholic or Facebook, so I have some sense of the readership. I'd also appreciate any thoughts or feedback on the novel thus far: pacing, characters, genre, anything you feel like sharing.
There's something a bit experimental, certainly for me, but also in general, about this project. Every character has a substantial arc over the course of the novel as a whole, and to a lesser extent over each volume, but pulling together five characters over such a long single work (and despite the volumes this is one novel in rather the same sense that Lord of the Rings is one novel, not three) is challenging in itself. There are intersections between the characters, but some of them will be a long time in coming, and to a great extent the connections between them and the unifying theme of the novel itself is the war itself, the history. I'm determined to make it work, and I think there's something to be found in this approach to writing big history via the lives of ordinary people who are deeply changed by the central event. But in that it is something a little unusual I'm trying to do here, I would really appreciate feedback as I go along.
And of course: Thank you all who are reading. Knowing that you are out there reading about these characters and these events is one of the main things that's made it possible for me to keep up this pace and bring this dream of the last several years to reality.