There Will Be a Delay: An Apology

This is a frustrating blog post to type, and one that’s overdue as I didn’t post anything last month. Despite the project eating my available free-time, progress editing Out of the Darkness has been slower than I’d hoped. Assuming the rest of this edit goes at the same pace, the book will be out later than I stated in the Kickstarter (March, 2014). It’s most likely going to be summer before this draft is complete and ready for Frontier to review. For that, I apologise.

The reasons are many and varied and I’ve mentioned them in previous blog posts. Add to those some household hassles that needed sorting and the usual run of winter germs, and things are behind.

On the positive side work is progressing—version beta-2 is a much better read. The word count is dropping, meaning it’s tighter and faster; consistency problems have been sorted; large sections have been re-written so they flow nicely; in fact, about the only thing that hasn’t been changed is the basic story, it’s simply told a lot better.

Is beta-2 the final draft? Unfortunately not. Drew Wagar reported in his interview with Lave Radio that implementing the changes Frontier required to Elite: Reclamation took six weeks. Without the starmap, I’ll have to figure out the placement of every location in the book with Frontier and make sure the written  descriptions tally with the planets in-game. That could take a couple of months (?). After that come more editing sweeps for proofreading and final checking. Will the book be out in time for the game’s release? I can’t predict that; it depends on when Frontier bring out the game.

If any of you were wondering why I did not go with Fantastic Books as my publisher, this is the reason. They were running an integrated advertising/Kickstarter campaign and are coordinating all the books for release at the same time. With them, I would have been the spanner in their works. Without them, I can give this book the time it needs.

I’ve said it before: the most important consideration for me is quality. I’m sorry the project is going to overrun, but I want to deliver the best reading experience and memorable story that I can, one worthy of you and the Elite universe.

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Image Credit: ‘Young man hiding in his jumper’ © LoloStock, Fotolia.com

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12 Responses to There Will Be a Delay: An Apology

  1. Thanks for the update; I really appreciate you, as always, telling it how it is.

    A delay is no problem. I’ve been amazed at how much everyone (Frontier, you, other authors) have achieved irrespective of whether original ball-park estimates have held. Clearly the game is still months away from Gamma (let alone retail) and that’s not an issue. It’s going to be a fantastic game and all the books are all going to be a wonderful complement to it.

    The glass is definitely well over half-full I hope you can take a step back and see how much you’ve achieved and don’t beat yourself up over a few steps left to go. All the best.

    • TJames says:

      Thanks, Jonathon.

      I try to be honest and realistic where I can. The basics were there in beta-1, but the time necessary to boost it to beta-2 has come as a surprise. It’s that ‘taking a step back’ you mention that’s lead to my reassessing the writing. It’s okay, but needs to be better. I’m much happier with the new version, and it’s satisfying to see it come together. It’s just going to take a while to get the rest up to scratch.

  2. Marko Susimetsä says:

    Did someone mention lynching?

    Nah, delays are unpredictable. One of the big reasons why I never even considered writing a full novel for Elite was the short time available to do so. It is good that you have time to actually make your story work and improve the language, so that we get the best possible reading experience!

  3. I’m fine with the delay, ultimately it means a better story and that’s what this is all about.

  4. John Harper says:

    How long is a piece of string? How long does it take to write a novel? As long it takes. Get it right and then let it go, you are doing the right thing by yourself and your fans T.J. We’re all behind you!

  5. Barry Neville says:

    Dont worry mate, I, and i’m sure everyone else, would prefer you to take your time to get it right rather than rush it out. Besides staggering the release of the books is a good thing. You crack on bud, dont worry about deadlines.

  6. Steve Jeyes says:

    Take your time fella.

    I’d rather read a novel that has gone through a series of edits than one that’s rushed out to meet a deadline. I’m trying my hand at writing too so I know how long it takes and how finding time to write is a challenge.

    Looking forward to it, and happy to wait.

    UnkieSteve

    • TJames says:

      Thankee kindly!

      Izza mighty pleased ta meet cha. Izza never no’s Izza a havin’ me an unkie! Time’s tha wiind and Izza tumble-weed thas gonna grab it. Let it be good to yah too, Unkie Steve.

      Y’all have a nice day now.

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