Author Steven Lake

Closing on the Finish Line
Thursday, July 22nd, 2021 3:33pm
Keywords: Writing, Series, Story Completion, Offworld Chronicles, End of Season

One of the things that I'm starting to come to, which I strangely did not have with my other two series, is a sense of closing on a finish line when it comes to Offworld Chronicles.  Now, yes, that might be an incidental pun all its own, given that the entire series was about a race on an alien world, but the thought still applies.  And, while the story takes a new direction in my Planetfall series that follows after it (they're broken into two series as each focuses on something completely unique and different despite being in the same world), the thought that I've been at this since 2010 with the original stand along book, also called "Offworld Chronicles" that was started in 2010, and released in 2012, and then rebooted in 2014, with a large portion of that original story released as book 1 of the current series in 2015.

My primary reason for going back and rebooting it into a full size series goes along in the same stripe as many other authors before me, like Orson Scott Card (the creator of Ender's Game) and others, who took stories that were small, either single books, or short stories, that they felt never got the proper attention or treatment like they should've, and rebooted them into full books, or even multiple books, most of which turned out to be amazing epics, and stories, and were well worth their effort to do that, greatly improving the original stories.  That's kinda the same idea I had with OWC.  The original story was good.  But I didn't feel that it did the story justice being just one short novel, and so far most of my readers agree.

And sure, you'll always have detractors.  That's just a fact of being a writer.  You'll never have any book that's 100% liked.  I mean, look at the bible.  God wrote that though the pens of mortal men and even that doesn't have a 100% love rate, even though He created it. :)  So I'm in good company. ;)  But anyhow, like it or hate it, by February of next year (my current estimate), I expect to have book 7 out and in the wild.  After that, um, you're likely to see a long period of silence from me with nothing new coming out.  That's kinda part of what makes this so bittersweet.  Why such a long period of quiet?  Well, I've used up all my prior content I had built out of my super world, or "universe" that I drew all these stories from.  That tank is kinda drained.

I mean, yes, I have Planetfall in the works.  But that's such a unique writing experience that it's going to take me a while to fully build the world for that series before I feel comfortable releasing book 1.  I learned that lesson the hard way because, even though I took the cautious step of making sure the next book was in solid shape before releasing the currently ready one, I still ended up painting myself into some really ugly corners that could've been fixed by going back several books, and fixing the issue that created it.  But, once a book is in the wild, you kinda lose that ability.  I mean, sure, I could still do it as I have a small reading audience.  But, at the same time, people aren't going to reread a book that I've rebooted to fix an issue that I made for myself in a later book.

Now sure, I've begun the slow process of rebooting the Earthfleet saga, mostly to fix cannon, and streamline it so that everything is correct (believe me, it needed it), but most of that "reboot" is more "patching the holes" than a full on redoing of some or all of the story.  It's like saying the "reptile was green" in one book, and "red in the other".  That kinda stuff is what I'm fixing.  IE, issues and inconsistencies with cannon.  The core story itself is remaining relatively intact.  Part of why I'm doing that is to take what I did back 12 years ago and improve on it greatly with all I've learned since then, and to make a better story for new readers who stumble into the books for the first time in the near future.  You old timers already struggled with me as I went through my early growth period as a writer, and I thank you for that.  So what I'm doing now is to help out the next generation of new readers.

Plus, I still have 6 more books in my 'todo' piles for Earthfleet, so fixing the cannon now will make those better books when they do come out at some point in the future, of which you older veterans of my books will greatly appreciate.  Now wait, didn't I say I wouldn't be releasing new stuff for a while after OWC7 comes out?  Yes.  But what about the 6 Earthfleet books I just mentioned.  haha.  Um, I still have 4 more existing books to clean up and fix cannon in before I can even hope to do anything productive with them.  Plus, I'll have Planetfall working in the background.  So yeah, too much to do, too little time to do it in.  Well, unless someone wants to fund me to the tune of $60k a year so I can focus on nothing but writing.  But, yeah, that's not likely to happen. ;)

I mean, that'd be absolutely amazing if it did happen, but yeah, reality is kinda saying NOPE on that one.  So, I'm gonna have to juggle life between this, work, and all the other things I have going right now.  In time I may be able to dedicate more time to my writing, but we'll have to see.  Plus, if you really think about it, I'm pretty certain that all of you would rather I take my time and make a good book, than be voluminous and have stories that are painful to read.  So yeah, writing takes time, and it takes time to iron out all the bugs, polish the grammar, spelling, etc.  So all of you can understand that desire for producing the best story I can which, or course, takes time.  Anyhow, thank you for taking the time to reminisce with me on this, and please, please, tell your friends about my books.  I know they'll be glad you did. :)

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