The original Some Things Transcend was a ramshackle bit of a novella. It really wanted a rewrite, I thought, and it was my plan to do that last year when I sat down with it. Re-reading it, though, I realized it wouldn’t be fair to Jahir and Vasiht’h to release that story as people’s first introduction to them… STT is a point of strain for both of them, where they get stretched out of old shapes and into new ones, and I didn’t want them to be known as ‘those therapists who helped Lisinthir.’ I wanted them to be ‘Jahir and Vasiht’h who–oh, Lord, they’re the ones who help Lisinthir?? How does that work out! I have to know!’
So I wrote Mindtouch and Mindline last year, and that, I thought, fulfilled my responsibilities to them adequately. Except by then I was too tired to leap straight into the rewrite of Some Things Transcend, so I put it aside to work on Laisrathera.
When I finished Laisrathera and started dabbling in the first scenes of the STT rewrite, I thought, ‘oh, I’m just setting up to work on this later.’ And when it became evident that STT was going to push itself into my queue, I thought, ‘okay, fine. It’s just a novella. The original was 23,000 words, I’ll polish this off in a week and move on.’
…and then it grew.
When I hit 40K, I thought, ‘well, all right. This is long enough to qualify as a novel for the Nebula ballot, surely I’m almost done.’ And then it got to 60K and I thought, ‘I’m near the end! I must be, I know what’s going to happen!’ And I kept going.
Well, it’s 100K now if it’s a word, and I just–just–hit the Big Battle, and after that I still have a very long denouement to wrap the thing up and I’m betting it’s going to need another 25K, if I’m lucky.
Even the Wingless is about 132K, and to fit it in a 6×9 paperback with a spine that’s nearly an inch thick I had to reduce the font size to a point where I have to squint a little to see it. I’m thinking the sequel’s going to be just about as long. If not longer. I was hoping to be done with this project by middle of April, but I’ve written 48K this month and I’m still not done…! And the ridiculous part is, when I write this quickly, I underwrite, leaving out details in order to make sure I get the fundamental bits of dialogue and action in. Doing my editing passes is only making the thing grow.
I hear a lot of peers talk about churning out a novel every month, but they write tidy 45-60K paperbacks that I only wish I could manage. But apparently everything my characters need to say requires a dissertation-length book. -_-
So, my revised estimate for the completion of STT is mid-May. Let’s see if I can keep to it, because I’d really like to release more than one novel this year. :,