Looks like I’ll be done with the final draft of THE CHAMPION (GFL V) by tomorrow. Then I have five days to tighten and polish before I head off on a Very Important Trip (the purpose of which I can’t yet tell you, but it’s good — hint only for people reading this on my site, it’s in New York City).
In some ways, writing the fifth book in a series is far simpler than writing the first, or a stand-alone. You’ve got existing characters, much of the world building is done, and you have continuing plot threads with a natural story to tell. On the other hand, it is far more complex: because you have existing characters that need screen time, world building that establishes hard rules you have to live by (no ret-cons, people), and some continuing story threads that simply have to be addressed. In no way has this book been as hard as, say, NOCTURNAL, but there have been some major challenges.
What sucks is the amount of words that did not make it in. I’ve cut an estimated 50,000 (200 pages) words from a book that should finish at about 160,000 (640 pages). Some of it was solid stuff, but as the plot tightened it became extraneous and unneeded — so it had to go (no, there will never be a “Director’s Cut” that includes those words, they’re just dead). Those dead words are part of the process, though, part of getting the clay on the wheel and shaping it into something grand.
Overall, GFL Book V has been challenging, but I’m better at my job than I used to be and there was nothing that couldn’t be overcome. I think we have something you will enjoy. There are some major developments in this one. I don’t know if there will be one or two more books after this to complete the series, but Book V definitely sets up high drama for the finale.
THE CHAMPION should ship in September.
Didn’t order yours yet? Get on it, sucka. http://www.scottsigler.com/thechampion