So now that the third book in the Redemption of Erâth series is finished, edited and published, it’s time to start thinking about where to take the series from here. (Well, not really – it’s been planned out for a long time; I just need to write the rest of it.)
You see, way back in 2011 I originally outlined a series of seven novels, without thinking too hard about where I was going to go with them all. I had a rough idea of the main characters, and a pencil-thin sketch of the ending, but really it was the frame of an outline; just the bare bones with which to get started. I don’t think I even really considered whether I would even reach the end of the series, or finish telling the tale.
Well, now I’m three books and 400,000 words into it, and things are – more or less – going strong. The great thing about writing is that even when things are planned, there are still surprises. I didn’t know Sonora was going to die in the first book until about a chapter before it actually happened. I didn’t know that Brandyé was going to join the army of Erârün in Exile. And I had absolutely no idea that Elven would (spoiler for book three!) become a king.
So what’s in store for book four? I took some time the other day to begin mapping out the path of Brandyé and Elven in the fourth installment, tentatively called The Fall of Thaeìn. I start by splitting the book into five sections of five chapters each (as has become the standard layout for Redemption of Erâth books), and then giving each part and chapter a name. These names act as as placeholders to remind me of what I intend to happen in each chapter and section of the book.
Then, based on a rough determination of how long each chapter should be (around 4,000 words per chapter for book four), I split the chapters into rough scenes – usually about 1,000 words per scene. I might do this for one or two chapters at once, but not for the whole book – because, of course, things may change as I write. The overall direction usually stays the same, but the details – even important ones, such as who lives and dies – could vary from moment to moment as I fill in the plot with actual written, flowing sentences.
This is what I have so far:
Part I: The Threads of War
Chapter 1: The Southern Villages
Chapter 2: The Battle of Südsby
Chapter 3: The Forms of Death
Chapter 4: A Séance
Chapter 5: The Return to the Cosari
Part II: Alliances
Chapter 6: Khana’s Tale
Chapter 7: The Challenge for Cosar
Chapter 8: From Sea to Mountain
Chapter 9: The Defense of the Hochträe
Chapter 10: The Sky Fleets
Part III: The Siege of Vira Weitor
Chapter 11: A City Beset
Chapter 12: The Siege Begins
Chapter 13: The Waning Year
Chapter 14: The Appearance of Danâr
Chapter 15: Flight from the Black City
Part IV: Betrayal
Chapter 16: The Illuèn’s Last Stronghold
Chapter 17: The Ashes of Defeat
Chapter 18: Decisions
Chapter 19: The Meeting Under the Wall
Chapter 20: A Broken Friendship
Part V: Retreat to the North
Chapter 21: The Lonely Road
Chapter 22: The Armies of the North
Chapter 23: Passing the Bridge of Aélûr
Chapter 24: The Fortress of Hindarìn
Chapter 25: The Last Trace of Peace
I’ve written (so far) about 1,000 words of the first chapter. I have to say, it’s refreshing to be back at the creative wheel, to be spinning yarns and telling tales and putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard). I have no doubt that this new story will take me places I can’t yet imagine, but I’m looking forward to the journey: and I’ll be sure to share it with you as we go!