As reported on Twitter:
My second novel is (finally) complete.
The novel's title is The Five Elements. It's a blending of fantasy, YA, and steampunk. It's an adventure novel, with powerful magic, sorcerers, swordsmen, snake warriors, alchemy and alchemical engines, and flying ships. I'll post a full description once I have that ready.
The next steps will be to have some others take a look at it and help me find any obvious issues. In the meanwhile, I'll begin work on the query letter and getting together the list of agents and publishers to send it off to.
On this blog I've spent considerable space talking about self-publishing, or at least selling your writing while bypassing the traditional model of agents and publishers. I've also spent a lot of time thinking about what's best for me. At this point, I still think the traditional model is the way to go. Publishers and agents bring a lot to the table; more so for someone who does not have a built-in audience or a long list of titles to peddle. Going it alone works well for some. But, for now, I'm going to continue to go down the traditional road.
That being said, if this new novel doesn't sell and I honestly feel it is worthy of being read by others, then maybe I'll revisit and put it online similar to what I did with The Hall of the Wood.
In terms of quality, I think my writing has improved. The novel took a long time (3+ years) only because I went down some roads that I realized were either dead-end's or too long to traverse and still stay within a reasonable word count. I do outline, but an outline for me is not necessarily set in stone. There has to be some room for exploring new ideas. As I was writing, boy, did I come up with a lot of new ideas. I think I was able to integrate those idea in fairly well, and hopefully tie up loose ends while still telling an entertaining story.
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