I finished the draft of Book 4 of Daughter of the Wildings the other day, at around 41,500 words – a good bit longer than I thought it would be. Since I tend to “write short,” I’m sure it’ll end up longer after revisions. I’d had the ending of that book in mind for a long time, even before I knew exactly what that installment would be about; I knew where I wanted it to hit on the overall series story arc. It was fun to finally write that scene. I’ve also had the first few scenes of Book 5 worked out for just as long, and now I’m developing the rest of that book. Should be ready to start writing soon. The series has developed in some surprising ways since I wrote Book 1, which I didn’t even intend to be the first book of a series; I’ve always written stand-alones, and it was supposed to also be a stand-alone, but it didn’t work out that way! Anyway, I’m kind of pleased and surprised by how well all the different story threads are pulling together in my planning, and it seems like every day I get a new insight into how everything in the series works together.
Of course, these are things I didn’t have in mind when I wrote the first couple of books. So once the draft of Book 5 is done, the plan is to revise the entire series as a single unit, as though it was all one book, to go back and make sure all those different bits of story are the way they should be early on. That’s an advantage of writing the whole series before you start to revise or release any of it; you can let the story develop how it wants to and then after you get to the end you can go back and make the earlier parts match up with the later parts, why certain things happened, what’s going on in the background, and things that turned out to be important that you didn’t think were all that important at the time. I’ll go back to the beginning and bring it all together so the whole series is solid and consistent and hangs together.
Now that I’m planning Book 5 and have a pretty good idea of what actually happens in it, I’ve written quick blurbs or teasers for every book in the series, so you, my readers, can get an idea of what’s in store. For now, it’s on the Still to Come page, but I hope to soon be able to get Daughter of the Wildings set up on its own book page.