I was reading the comment section to one of my previous updates, and someone had been a little confused about how I was writing this book. They're like, "Wait, so the entire last third of the book is all Sanderlanche?" Not quite. So, in order to explain it to you, how Wax and Wayne is progressing, this is a mostly spoiler-free visual aid that I have created for you. This is not how it will actually be published; this is how I have been writing it.
We're gonna start at the bottom here. Part One of the book, which was roughly... The whole book is gonna be 150,000 words; Part One was roughly 30,000 words of that. I write two separate narratives with two characters each. And I wrote those together; I just alternated chapters between the four characters. (The four characters for this book being Wax, Wayne, Marasi, and Steris. And some of those characters get more viewpoints than others; Steris gets fewer viewpoints, generally, than the others.) But the idea is that I kind of just wrote them all together, but they were in two separate storylines.
That then, as we hit Part Two, I brought everybody together and did it as one big narrative of four different characters, and I was alternating between them. And then I wrote this through.
And then I hit a point in the middle of the book, right about at the central point (right around 75,000 words) where I realized I was splitting the characters up again, and I wanted to go and write each narrative on its own for a while. What this gets me is: writing-wise, this is where we are, right here [in Part Three]. This is where I've taken the character groupings: one character's off by themselves, two characters are together, and one character's got a short little bit of viewpoints. (That's Steris, who's got a few viewpoints off in a third location.)
And what's going on here is, it's much easier for to take the book and to write, for instance, all of this [one character, 30K-ish words] because this character is split off from the others and just really drill into this character's character arc and narrative arc. And then, it gets to the end and I get to have a climax section that will be at the end of the book.
Then, I'll actually go write Steris next, which has a little mini-climactic chapter of her arc.
And then I'll write these characters right here [two characters, 40K-ish words], which is where I'll end. I will write that all the way through to the climax of their character arcs and narrative arc.
And then I will weave these all together. This, like I said, gets me some advantages. One is that I get to write the ending, essentially, from three different perspectives three different times, and I really like writing endings. This just makes it more engaging to me as an author. It is less oppressive for me to keep all of this stuff... like, if I were jumping between these three different narratives, it would be much more difficult to keep a tight focus on what's happening with them. This [Part Three] is how I write Stormlight books. This [Parts One and Two] is how I write Skyward books and things like that that have fewer narratives. So this book is half like one of those and half like a Stormlight book in the way I'm approaching just structurally creating the thing.
What the disadvantage of this is is that the pacing really needs to really be looked at in that part when I then interweave all these viewpoints. Because you'll read them; they won't be split up in chunks. You will read them interwoven, where it's jumping between the different narrative plotlines. And the issue there is, I will naturally create a narrative, for instance, for this character [one character, 30K-ish words] that has its own stops and starts and slowdowns and scenes and sequels, as we sometimes talk about in writing terms. And I'll do the same thing for this one [two characters, 40K-ish words]. And then I' have to weave these together in a way that the pacing feels right. And this is a lot of what the 2.0 revision of a book like this is about, is making sure that it just feels right as you're going through these, jumping between viewpoints and what-not.
I have just actually finished this part [one character, 30K-ish words]. I wrote the climactic moments of this sequence this week. I'm actually gonna write Steris next, and so that'll be 10K. And then I will do the last portion for the last month that I'll be working on this. We'll see if it goes long or if it goes short. The first viewpoint group ended up being just right smack where I expected it. I am pretty good these days at guessing how many words a given plot arc that I'm planning will take. For instance, Steris's might take a little less than 10K.