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.)