Spoilers. If you haven’t heard yet, I’ll soon be three books down in publishing. One is an anthology and the other two are the first two novels in the Shifters & Mages series. You can read more about what’s going on here before continuing to read this.
Have you read it? Yes? Good. On with the show!
I now have a final termination date for the first two Shifters & Mages books. August 31st. So, if you haven’t read them, and would like to, you can purchase Puck’s Choice and Jenna’s Story on Amazon until then. Simply click on their name links. If you’d like to read Myths Untold: Faery before it’s unpublished in July, you may do so as well.
I mentioned a plan for republishing the Shifters & Mages series once I have the rights back for them and have written the other books in the series. I’ve also mentioned that I have had trouble with writing the third book in the series, and this has been a problem for some time.
It wasn’t until today that I came up with a reason why I was having issues, why I felt like I was forcing the writing.
There’s not enough plot to fill a novel.
Simple as that.
Puck’s Choice follows Puck’s adventures over the course of a couple of months (August to November) as she gets used to being a shifter in the human world. Jenna’s Story mainly follows Jenna over a much shorter course of time (a month? Maybe?) with flashbacks to another character, Robert, and his past as well as present.
Hunters’ Betrayal, the third novel, was going to follow Rand as he discovers his historical involvement with the Hunters, those who hunt down and kill both shifters and mages. It flips back and forth between Rand and his ancestor, Michael, and is supposed to end with Rand’s trying to figure out what to do with the information he learns.
While reading a non-related, non-fiction book, it occurred to me that it’s not enough. There just isn’t enough of a plot to make that a single book.
Now, I could turn that into a novella instead, but once I realized that the third novel didn’t have enough meat to make it an actual novel, I got to thinking about the last two books as well and realized the same thing. There’s not enough meat to their plots to make them full novels either.
Hell, if I hadn’t included Robert as another character to follow in Jenna’s Story, there wouldn’t have been much meat to that story either, but a lot of Robert’s tale makes sense when coupled with Jenna’s.
The question now remains, do I make the first two books novel length and leave the last three as novellas, or do I change the last three to make them novel length?
My answer: the latter choice. I got to thinking about all the events that are supposed to take place in book four and wondering if they wouldn’t make more sense in book three or five, and I came to the realization that it could. There are some events in book four that could occur in book three and some that could occur in book five.
So there’s the answer. The Shifters & Mages series is changing. I plan on re-writing my outlines some time in May, but the series will now be four novels rather than five.
1. Puck’s Choice
2. Jenna’s Story
3. Hunters’ Betrayal
4. Mages’ Sacrifice
I’m actually rather excited to get started writing again, and I might even turn Hunters’ Betrayal into my Camp NaNoWriMo project in July and then Mages’ Sacrifice into my NaNoWriMo project in November. That would be excellent!
That said, this changes my publication plans a little as well. I was going to release the books as follows:
1-3: all at the same time
4: six months after the first 3
5: six months after book 4
Now that I’m only publishing four books, I’m wondering if it wouldn’t be easier just to release all four at the same time. Of course, I have a long way to go before I’m ready to tackle that thought, but still, the thought is there, and I’m certain it will cross my mind multiple times until I make a final decision.
In the meantime, I’m just excited to be excited about working on the series again. That’s… well… exciting!