I am very pleased to announce that I have completed writing Dawn of Chaos, the first full-length novel in the Sanctum of the Archmage Saga. The final draft comes to about 143,000 words, or just over 400 “paperback equivalent pages.”
Now that the book is finished, the next phase of preparing for publication begins. I’m currently going through a technical edit of the full manuscript to identify and correct typos and misspellings, inconsistent word usage, and the like. After that I’ll do a full read-through to give the book a stylistic edit and make sure the final version is as polished as possible. I’ll also be looking to hire a copy-editor to review it. And I’ll be working with my illustrator, Charles, to finalize the cover and in-line drawings.
I’ll also be working on starting to put together a “marketing plan.” This will involve a lot of the kind of things described in the self-publishing references I’ve been studying such as the terrific Write, Publish Repeat, as well as updating my website and establishing an author platform (on Amazon at least).
So when will it be published? That will depend on how much time all of the above takes, but I’m estimating roughly three to four months. That makes my current target to release Dawn of Chaos on the Kindle store sometime this August.
Chapter 24 of Dawn of Chaos — now titled Homecomings — is complete. I’m now officially writing the last chapter, The Seeds of the Rebellion. It will finish tying up the events of the first novel and set the stage for the second, Wrath of the Peregrine King.
The book now stands at 133,754 words, or about 382 “paperback equivalent pages” (PEP). My current estimate for the final length is about 139,000 words, or just shy of 400 PEP. I’m hoping to be able to get through the editing, production and marketing activities needed over the next few months, and to publish it sometime this summer.
I’ve now completed writing Chapter 23 — The New Order — of Dawn of Chaos. Only two chapters remain and the manuscript will be complete. Next up is Chapter 24, The Seeds of the Rebellion.
The book now stands at 129,373 words, or about 370 of what I call “paperback equivalent pages” (PEP). I’m hoping the wrap up the last two chapters fairly quickly. My current estimate for the final length is about 136,000 words or just shy of 390 PEP.
EDIT: I’ve decided to rename Chapter 24 “Homecomings,” and to use “The Seeds of the Rebellion” for the final Chapter.
The climax to Sanctum of the Archmage: Dawn of Chaos is now complete.
I just finished writing Chapter 22 – The Last Stand – which is the last chapter of the the climax. Only a three more relatively short chapters of the denouement remain, and then the first draft of the novel will finally be done.
It’s been a while since my last post about the status of my writing projects, so I thought it was time to offer a quick update.
As of this morning the word count on Dawn of Chaos, the first full-length novel in the Sanctum of the Archmage Saga, stands at eighty-eight thousand, six hundred and seventy one (88,671) words. After some chapter and scene restructuring that I realized was needed to not rush the climax, that puts me in the middle of Chapter 17 out of 24, with fifteen out of a planned total of sixty-one scenes left to write. Since the chapters and scenes tend to shorten as the story moves into the climax, I’m estimating that this will probably involve another twenty to twenty five thousand words, with the final manuscript ending up somewhere in the range of a hundred and twelve thousand.
Another item of good news is that some of the unfortunate work-related distractions that were taking my focus away from writing are continuing on a path toward… well, not doing that quite so much anymore. I finally managed to complete a career change this summer into a position working in Data Science. As I settle in to that, I expect to be able to devote more of my spare time once again to my writing projects.
As for when Dawn of Chaos should be ready for publication: I think it’s likely now to be sometime early next year. On the one hand I’ve gotten much better at writing quickly and well, and can probably turn out at least a scene a week going forward. On the other I’m recognizing a need as the story evolves not to rush the climax, and I still have to figure out how to provide for a final editing of the book. I’ve gotten very good at being my own editor, but I’m not certain I should trust myself to do the full job on my own.
As for my modding work: I’m still planning to finish the v4 remake of The Quest (formerly The Miracle Worker, part I) after Dawn of Chaos is complete. Sadly, though, I think that will have to be my last foray into modding the story, at least for some time.
Chapter Fourteen is finally complete. As of now, the manuscript for Dawn of Chaos stands at just over seventy five thousand words.
This was a particularly difficult scene to write, because I wasn’t actually certain I could make the idea that I had for it work. I think the end result turned out to be very successful, although a bit longer than I had expected.
Chapter fifteen starts the buildup to the climax of the novel in chapters seventeen and eighteen. The good news is that I have a very clear idea of what happens in that part of the story, so — time permitting — writing the rest of it should go much faster. Once again my writing is picking up momentum, and I’m very excited about it.
Prologue to Chaos: Introduction to the Sanctum of the Archmage Saga will be available free on Amazon Kindle tomorrow, Sunday, May 17th. This will be the first free promotion for the newly revised and re-titled third edition.
I’m very pleased to announce that Prologue to Chaos, the re-titled third edition of the Introduction to the Sanctum of the Archmage Saga, is now available from the Amazon Kindle store:
I hope you all like the new cover. I think it looks great and I’m very excited about it.
The third edition features a new title as well as a new cover, and a full stylistic re-edit. The title change will let me use Dawn of Chaos for the first full-length novel to be released later this year. I think it works better and is a much better choice for it than The End of the Beginning, which I’m still going to use for the chapter that ends the story’s climax. I’m also very pleased with the re-edit, which I think significantly improves the quality and flow of the prose. I’ve learned a lot about writing over the last year while working on the first novel, and I think that the new edit shows it.
I expect to be able to pick up my writing pace in Dawn of Chaos again, now that the re-release of the prologue and another flare-up of crazy at work seem to be behind me. I’m beginning to get into the part of the story that builds up to the climax, which is especially exciting to write.
I also hope you all like the new look of the site. I thought it was time for a change of theme. I still have some tweaking to do, but I like the way it turned out. I also now have an email list that anyone interested in the saga and its progress can subscribe to, at:
I expect to be able to re-release the prologue to the (upcoming) Sanctum of the Archmage novels sometime in the next few weeks. Aside from a re-edit to improve the writing, it will feature a new title and cover illustration. And here they are:
I hope you like the new cover as much as I do. The title change from Dawn of Chaos to Prologue to Chaos will let me use Dawn of Chaos as the title of the first of the Sanctum novels.
Several very talented individuals helped make the new cover possible. They are my friend and illustrator, Charles Imbro, who did the original drawing; my friend and fellow fantasy author, Michael Layne, who did an excellent job of colorizing it; and my brother Michael Donadio, who did the title work. Many thanks to each of them!