No, I haven’t been watching the Muppet Movie again (if you’re wondering what I’m talking about, see the video at the end of this post). And no, this doesn’t have anything to do with the amount of fiber I have in my diet as it relates to my colon health. What is moving right along is Book Four of the Osteria Chronicles!

But wait, I hear you say, you haven’t even released the third book in the series. I know! I’m still a couple weeks out from the official Release Day for The Maze, but I’ve already charted the course for Book Four and am (as Kermit and Foozie Bear would say) movin’ right along on it.

This is not a normal situation for me. Sometimes I might have an outline of my next book before the previous book is released, but never a draft. So what’s different this time? As you may remember way back when I was struggling through my third draft of my renewed efforts with The Maze, my wonderful blog readers helped me realize that stepping back and evaluating both books three and four would allow me to understand what needed to happen in book three. It was probably the best advice I’ve ever bothered to listen to.

Luckily, I ignored Grumpy Cat on this matter.

The result was a complete outline of the main stories in books three and four (and a thin outline of the rest of the series), an examination of every single characters’ story line and goals, which eventually became a more organized and more thorough draft of The Maze (book three) and a super rough draft of Book Four (which still has no title…one bridge at a time).

And by very rough, I mean absolutely horrible. The basic story lines are there but, as I discovered when I did a quick read through last week, there is a gob of stuff missing (gob in this case being roughly equivalent to the size of a herd of elephants). During the read through I made notes of what I needed to do to fill in and flesh out the book, as well as things that needed to change based on what has occurred in The Maze. As far as “work” goes, this was kind of fun because I had a few light bulb moments in which I was able to work in some unsavory characters from Book One (The Trials of Hercules) and give more of a role to some minor characters I like.

Finn, always ready to “help”

This isn’t to say things weren’t still a mess. Because I had tossed some stuff into Book Four that didn’t work in The Maze, chapters were out of order. The quick drafting meant some “chapters” weren’t even chapters, just a few paragraphs to get the ideas out. And, as mentioned above some chapters were non-existent. This meant plenty of notes and plenty of sorting. Which meant a few hours of arranging lots of little pieces of paper (with chapter ID numbers on them) on the floor and hoping no catnip-addled cats came in and decided tiny pieces of paper were the best toy ever invented.

So the chapters were mostly in order, but all my notes (taken as I was doing the read-though) were not. Rather than re-write all the notes in order, I decided it was time for a computerless version of cutting and pasting to organize them.

Now that I knew how many chapters (or semi-chapters) I had to work with, I pulled out my handy dandy calendar and plotted how much work I needed to do each day to turn this into a very-close-to-compete draft by mid-December. It’s going to be a mad pace, but I’m hoping to get the book out by the first week of May, so I’m putting a bit of pressure on myself to stick to it.

One issue that may crop up is, as you can see in that please-don’t-become-a-cat-toy photo, this book has a massive number of chapters, about twice as what I would normally have. Some of these may get meshed together, but this tome may just be too big and I may end up having to split the book. That decision will have to wait until the end of this rewrite.

The reason for so many chapters is that there is SOOOOO much going on in book four to set up events in the final two books in the series. Not only do I bring in some story lines that didn’t get finished up in The Maze, take one of the troubles (that began back in The Voyage) to a breaking point, and continue with the series-long struggle with the titans, but I’m also covering a couple of my favorite myths.

One of these is the legend of Medusa (who you will meet in The Maze) which also pulls in the lengthy legends of Perseus and some trouble with Poseidon.

No, not THAT Medusa…
THAT Medusa.

Another story line (which stems from Medusa’s story) is the tale of Bellerophon and (every little girl’s favorite) Pegasus…

To sum up this long post, I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me, but I’ve got a really strong start and I’m actually looking forward to working on this book (something I rarely said when working on The Maze).

What about you? Are you looking forward to any projects – big or little? I’ll be back next Wednesday with more book news, and be sure to stop by Saturday to see how I survived being stranded at sea.

And now, as promised, “Moving’ Right Along”…



The Maze: Book Three of The Osteria Chronicles is now available for a special pre-order price of $2.99 for e-books and $10 for print books AND I’ve made it easy for you to jump into the series with discounts on the first book (The Trials of Hercules). For full details, please visit this post. You can also read a few sample chapters from The Maze (PDF)Β 

17 thoughts on “Movin’ Write Along

  1. You’re getting better at talking advice and listening! haha Don’t worry about how big book 4 is. Remember Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was quite a bit bigger than the previous 3!


    1. Ah yes, the weapon-sized tomes of JK Rowling. Unfortunately, the bigger the book (print books anyway), the more I have to charge…and all those pages can really add up to a hefty price tag. There’s also some marketing tricks related to releasing two books within close succession. The trouble would be to find a good breaking point without tormenting my readers (you know, all three of them). But that’s all planning to be done after I see how ginormous this draft ends up being.


  2. You had me at Muppets! 😁😁😁 How clever of you to put the video at the end, to make sure I read the whole post. It’s great to see Book 4 movin’ right along… Anything that means less of a gap between installments can only be a good thing, especially if there are big storylines that carry over from Book 3! Keep up the good work!


    1. HA! My Bait-’em-with-Muppets plan worked. Yes, the marketing gurus say it’s best to publish books in a series within a month or two of each other (or sooner), but I’m too impatient to get The Maze out, and I don’t think I can manage to get Book Four in a state suitable for publication by December without giving up sleep, eating, and all those other silly life-sustaining things. Hopefully I can figure out a title for the book soon, although Book Four does have a nice ring to it.


      1. Ha! It does! πŸ˜‚ It’s a shame it doesn’t sit better with the titles of the other three books! πŸ˜† If you’re having trouble picking a name for your new baby, try scribbling down all the words and themes you associate with the plot, then think around each one and jot down any similes for those words that come to mind. It might help draw that tricky title out of its hiding place! And is that really true about the publishing of series books? Back in my bookshop days, it felt like the usual spacing between installments was about a year!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ah, but ebook publishing/tricking Amazon is a completely,different monster. It’s a little like a blog where you have to keep putting stuff out or people will forget you and to stay relevant in searches. Some of the marketing podcasts I’ve been listening to talk about putting out a book every month…which is so not going to happen with my principles of putting out a well-edited product. I do have a book in the line up that could be split easily into a trilogy so I may try the book-a-month scheme with that, but otherwise I’m just going to have to plod along with my slow production pace. Thanks for the title tips, I’m doing that very Thing as I work through this draft!


      3. Ah, there’s my print bias showing me up again! It’ll be interesting to see if those marketing gurus have a point… But I think you have the right idea by prioritising quality over quantity. I’m having a hard time believing that a series that consistently publishes a book a month would be worth reading! πŸ˜†


      4. Well, I should have said self-publishing, not just e-book publishing, but you get the idea. I can barely imagine finishing a first draft in a month, let alone a fully formed book. Maybe I should look up some of these speedy authors’ books to see what in the world they’re managing to put out every 30 days. I mean, I know Isaac Asimov and some of the guys who wrote Westerns could crank ’em out, but in a month? Maybe a month on Venus :))


      5. Aha! There’s your answer… Move to Venus! I hear it’s lovely and warm this time of year. πŸ˜‚ Either that or get your word count up by including lots of lists and quotations from other books, and using 5 adjectives more than you need to every time you describe something!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Taking (Wasting?) the time to switch pen colors every sentence or two makes me feel like I’ve devoted more of my workday to writing. But hey, my calendars, outlines and notes are things of beauty!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Utilising amazing stationery and making things beautiful is never a waste of time! Some day your notes might be housed in the British Library for future generations to marvel at your innovative colour techniques and write dissertations on what your use of a pink pen possibly could have meant.


Comments are closed.