Skyward Three Updates

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Name Skyward Three Updates
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Date Sept. 16, 2020
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Brandon Sanderson

Skyward Three Update One

Hey, all. Brandon here with my first of a series of updates on the Skyward series. This post does not contain spoilers for the first two books, other than mentions of the structure of the series, but the comments could very well include them. So reader beware.

First off, a note about where I'm posting this update. I'm aware that /r/skyward not only exists, but is actually about the books. (I am surprised, as I anticipated such a common word having already had a subreddit for it when the series started.) Me posting here is not a suggestion that /r/skyward is an unworthy subreddit. I heartily suggest people help that subreddit grow and have fun with the discussion there.

However, for my shorter series, I think I'd prefer to post updates on a general interest subreddit. So, for the time being, you can expect Stormlight updates to go to its subreddit, Mistborn updates to go to its subreddit, but all other updates to be split between /r/cosmere (for cosmere stories, obviously) and this subreddit. I think that will make it easier for people to track where I'll be posting.

Finally, if the mods would rather I not co-opt this subreddit for posts like this, let me know. I'd be happy to post them to my user profile instead, as I don't want to derail this subreddit or take over conversations.

That said, it's time to talk about Skyward. As is common for me with a series like this, I had an idea of where the series was going when I wrote the first book--but didn't sit down and codify the entire series until it was time to write the second novel. Like what happened with Wax and Wayne, Skyward became four books when I did this, as I realized the story I wanted to tell worked better as four volumes: a stand-alone solo book to kick off the series followed by a more in-depth trilogy digging deeper into lore and characters.

The good news is that the outline for Skyward Three, which I wrote back in summer 2018, is in really solid shape. I only need to make minor updates to account for things I changed/tweaked while writing book two. I officially started work on the outline today, and anticipate spending about a week doing these updates.

From there, I'll need to stop and do a revision on the Stormlight Novella from the kickstarter. I anticipate starting the actual writing for Skyward Three on October first. The book should be roughly 100k words, maybe a little longer. Generally, I can count on 8-10k words a week of solid writing.

If all goes well, then, the rough draft should be finished January 1st. I'll try to do a second update sometime in November to let you know how it's going. If I turn in the book January 1st, I should be able finish the fifth draft by summer (depending on editorial and beta reader feedback) and have the book out around a year from November. But that's just a guess, not a promise.

Thanks, all, for your patience on this one. Stormlight books take a huge bite out of my time--justifiably so, but it does mean everything else has to arrange around those novels. I'm sorry to make Skyward skip a year as a result, particularly since it ends on a cliffhanger. But hopefully I can get books three and four to you all in 2021 and 2022, with no further interruptions.

As always, I won't be having replies from this post sent to my inbox. I apologize if I don't see your comment as a result.

Brandon

#2 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Skyward Three Update Two

Hello! Brandon here again with another update on the third Skyward book, tentatively titled NOWHERE. This update might have slight spoilers for the first two books in the series. Find the previous update here.

I've been working away on this book, slowly but surely, with progress every week. As I said in the first update, my outline for this book was quite solid, which let me jump right into the story with very little lost time. Which is good, as Dawnshard took a little more time from me than I'd wanted, so timing is a little tight on Nowhere.

The good news is that the publisher (Delacorte, a Random House imprint) has agreed to publish the book Christmas 2021. This took some work on our part, and me agreeing to some pretty tight deadlines, as covid has caused delays all through the industry and the publisher wasn't excited by the prospect of me forcing a relatively early publication date. (Publishers would generally like an 12-18 moth lead time after book turn in to publication, and this one will have around ten months or so.)

However, I think it's best to push a little to get the book done in time for next year--as Skyward fans have been required to wait while I did a Stormlight book in between. However, I've acknowledged to the publisher that if the book needs more than normal revisions (IE, something pops up in alpha/beta that takes work to fix) and I miss any deadlines, I'll agree to a spring 2022 release instead.

So, how's that looking? Well, book is on target writing-wise. I'm at around 62k words as of last night, with a goal of having 90-100k done by January First. That should finish up the novel, save for the interludes, which I'm planning to do a little later. (For spoiler-ish reasons, I can't say why.)

This series has a bit of a strange organization. I'd originally planned a trilogy, but as I worked on the outline for the second and third books, I felt that three books would be rushing things. I wanted to take this third book as a kind of focused character book, looking at Spensa in a rather new environment.

Slight Spoilers: The reasons for this are twofold. First off, I really thought that by the end of Starsight she would need some time to work on a few things relating to her arc. Second off, I knew that coming off of a Stormlight book, I might need a book that was more of an isolated fun adventure--something very different from Stormlight, to help me have variety in my writing. It's working very well, though my big worry is that people will feel this book isn't as connected to the rest of the series (or the stakes aren't as high) because of it. I am doing what I can to mitigate this, as it really is the story I want to tell right now. Hopefully, you'll all agree that the little diversion in book three was worth the journey. Time will tell.

Regardless, thank you for your patience, Skyward fans. The book IS coming. I hate taking a year off of the series like I did, but I don't think you'll have to suffer another of those. I anticipate the final book coming out Spring/summer 2022. (Theoretically, I'll be writing it second half of next year.)

As always, I'll be turning replies to inbox off for this thread, in order to keep the inbox a little more organized. So I apologize in advance if I don't see to your comment/question!

Happy Holidays. Next update should come in the early part of next year, as I am working on revisions. I'll let you know how it goes for hitting those deadlines! (Also, watch for the State of the Sanderson in little over a week to talk more about the projects I'm working on.)

Brandon

Event details
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Name Skyward Three Updates
Date
Date Sept. 16, 2020
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Entries 2
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