The Atridia Duology: Books and Length

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As time has passed novels seem to be getting short and that’s something which has been on my mind lately. I’m reading (okay listening to) Nevernight by Jay Kristoff (tl;dr: it’s awesome, go listen to it). If I read one of his blog posts right, I think it’s about 160k (the hardback is a beautiful thing). Obviously, because I self-publish length is always in the back of my mind, though less so now I’m activelly writing more for myself and ebooks are continuing to rage and be more popular.

Yet, despite this, the average novel length seems to have shrunk to between 75k and 110k.

Now, as you know, I’m working on The Fractured Era, The Broken World, an in-world novel called The Divided Land, and a novella called When the Stars Fade. Because the first three projects are a duology with a third novel sandwiched inside, I’m very aware the final product may well be longer than usual. Say 100k for each novel, with Divided split across the two books; that’s a big paperback but, again, paperbacks don’t tend to sell and I’m included to make one for my personal collection and focus most of my attention on digital.

Digital is easier, aside from file size, the sky is the limit.

I almost wish I could just leave paperbacks behind but there’s still a call, still people who only read in print so I’ll always try for paperbacks, even if it means publishing Divided as a separate volume or something. Something is good. Something is a plan.

But how long will this be? Perhaps I need to outline more, to be more organised in how I shape the story. I plan to release the books, whenever that is, at the same time, on the same day. They’re nested, designed to be read as two acts of the same story, just as Divided is, though the protagonists are different.

When the Stars Fade, on the other hand, is a pet-project. Not quite a prequel but still tied to the universe, to the Narrative, to Jaada. Plus it starts to explain why the Atridians saught their neighbouring planet in the first place, as well as the genesis of the wars between the Xoikari and the Tabori which culminates in what the Ubani call the Devastation and the Directorate, the Singularity. Plus it gives me a chance to write about space and exploration, astronauts and stars.

 So, right now, 100k is my max limit for each book. We’ll go from there, I think.

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Let’s Try This Again: The Fractured Era and The Broken World

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It has a title page, ergo it must be real!

Opening up my timeline file got the juices flowing, I’m not sure if I’m ready to actually start yet but I have ideas. I’m basically planning to write The Fractured Era and The Broken World together. However there’s also another component to this called The Divided Land, I’m not sure if it’s a novella or a story within a story (probably in TBW as Jaada, the protagonist is an author) but I do know it focuses on a war between north and south and the creation of a manufactured disease. Oh and the creation of the Atridians’ third gender, the Ubani, as well as the religion which elevated them to the state of ‘mortal gods’.

Timelining is allowing me to fill in gaps I didn’t even realise were there, wonderful spoilerific bits and pieces which allow me to answer questions I did have. Names mentioned in passing have back story, purpose and a reason for being remembered. I knew, for example, the Directorate had staged some kind of coup but had no idea why or how. Similarly, I knew the Ubani were a recent addition to the Atridian species, looked upon with derision and blamed for the near extinction of their race, but didn’t know why.

TFE and TBW are easier, both have plots revolving around the secret history of their own civilisation, a sanitised history a la 1984. Except, by the point Jaada gets involved in the second book, the dying Directorate has done such a thorough job no one has any idea what’s truth and what’s their version of history. Juran, on the other hand, is torn between his work and his curiosity about the Ubani, the worst thing anyone can develop an obsession on during the period in which he lives. That and falling in love with your best same-sex friend. Except Juran never thinks of himself as gay, he’s just in life-long love with his closest friend, something which transcends friendship and isn’t necessarily reciprocated to the same degree.

Juran, on the other hand, is torn between his work and his curiosity about the Ubani, the worst thing anyone can develop an obsession on during the period in which he lives. That and falling in love with your best same-sex friend. Except Juran never thinks of himself as gay, he’s just in life-long love with his closest friend, something which transcends friendship and isn’t necessarily reciprocated to the same degree. Juran’s story was never going to end well. Especially not as his name lives on, longer than he does, in the form of the first Atridian starship which is given his name in memorium of his work on it.

Jaada is straight but has been burned by love. Her boyfriend turned jealous and burned her books, seeing her committed to a mental hospital for the crime of loving writing more than she loved him. By the time of TBW, she’s free of him and the Hall of the Mind but the scars run deep. Now officially a resident in a city on another planet, it’s only when the newly-elected representative of her homeworld seeks her out and asks for help, recognising what Jaada is, and how she can help Atridia account for its sins in order to deal with a shiny new future.

I’m planning on posting excerpts (usually out of order) on my Patreon under the $20 tier. I’m not doing this to restrict access but I do want people to want to see this stuff. Plus the money will help me write the books, covering my expenses while I work but also giving me an audience, which is the most important part. I work better knowing people are there, that they want to read the books.

I’m looking forward to getting started, properly, on this project. I have so much rough work that now I have a stable outline, it’s going to see much scrapped but that’s not a bad thing. The story is there, it just needs transcribing and polishing.

 

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Giving Patreon a Second Chance

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I wanted a chance to really interact with my small but growing fanbase. I also wanted a place to put random short stories, pieces of short fiction and detail my novel writing process. I’m about, once my mood lifts, to start The Fractured Era and The Broken World, the Atridia Duology. I’m not normally a fan of paywalls but I also want to try a longer term form of crowdfunding, with videos and all the secrets of how I write.

Even a dollar helps so please do check out my Patreon page now. Pledges go out on the first day of the month but I’m asking for monthly amounts so a single pledge will get you a lot of content, plus having people who want to read my stuff, it keeps me motivated. Right now that can only be a good thing.

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Considering Patreon

 

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I’m thinking on a Patreon. I have lots of short stories and could really use the money, even if it’s nothing more than coppers. Some of the stories are stand-alones I’ve simply not been able to sell, other as Ashteraiverse stories and I find myself in need of an outlet, even though, in the past, I’ve never had much luck with Patreon.

Now though, thanks to several anthologies, I’m starting to get a name for myself and I am, sadly, broke. I hate being reliant on the state and I’m just too disabled/sick to even look at jobs (not that anyone will employ me). I certainly have no desire to go back to work full time, I just can’t do it. But crowdfunding, it offers something else that continues to intrigue me, especially if I post stories which is a nice and easy thing to do.

The trick is the followers, the people. I am going to try this as an experiment, spend the weekend updating the page. Even if I get a dollar a month from one person, it’s certainly better than nothing, right?

Edit: You can check out my Patreon by going to http://www.patreon.com/ashabardon

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