I’m making plans for the rest of the year. October will be my personal NaNoWriMo, in which I try to finish Altered Seasons, or at least bring it a lot closer to completion. I’ve kept that nice publisher waiting long enough. (I actually think October is a better month for this than November — it’s 31 days instead of 30, and you’re not spending several of those days on the road or visiting with relatives.) But I’ll also be taking part in the official NaNoWriMo, and using it to try putting a 50,000-word dent in Locksmith’s War. I am not keeping my fans waiting another three years.
So what am I doing this month?
Trying to catch up on The Dead Skunk. That’s the timeline I’m doing for alternatehistory.com. I haven’t updated it in a while, what with one thing and another, but it’s still technically alive. This has meant, among other things, trying to research the history of Xinjiang. Never try to research the history of Xinjiang. That is all. And here’s a slightly distorted map of the mighty and glorious and totally-not-a-British-puppet Republic of Louisiana.
Rereading the whole thing to bring myself up to speed, I’ve realized that The Dead Skunk is comparable in length to what I’ve already written of the Locksmith Trilogy. I don’t know how many people realize this, but we’re living in a Golden Age of super-mega-epic novels, which we don’t even think of as such because they’re posted online and parceled out in small, easily digestible chunks. This includes fanfiction like Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality and original works like Worm. There are a number of these giants on alternatehistory.com, including Look to the West (Volume 1 of which, Diverge and Conquer, is now available as an e-book), Now Blooms the Tudor Rose (this is the one I most recommend for sheer reading pleasure) and A Shift in Priorities.
My one piece of advice, if you're feeling ambitious enough to start something like this, is to know when to end it. Timelines are usually either abandoned or work their way up to the present day.