5 weeks until I have to turn Spirit over to a publisher. Am I worried? Slightly.

There is still about 14 chapters left to do.  When I say do, some of them are full blown writes, others are cement together the chunks already there. I also want to give myself time to completely read the thing through from cover to cover. Not to mention, I still have to work for a living.

This was supposed to be a re-write, but 90 percent of the original book couldn’t be saved. The writing was just that bad. The main plot, and a couple of the sub-plots, are the same. There is the addition of a few major twists and turns. I think they work, but I’m not sure. They have taken the horse story to a whole new level. It’s still a horse story, but there is now some science fiction and other stuff thrown in.

Most of the biggest complaints on Amazon, other than grammar, typos, and things needing an editor is that the story is predictable, the characters are flat, and the book is an obvious set up for a sequel.  While I’ve tried to minimize the obvious tie ins to other books as much as possible and kept Spirit a self-contained book, it does leave the reader with questions that can’t be answered, at least not completely. After all, I do have a few more books to write in the series.

I know I’ve nailed predictability part. Sure, some parts, readers will be able to guess what’s going on, but other parts I hope provoke the “Oh, man, this is really happening?” reaction that I’ve had while writing this book.

Most of the characters aren’t flat.  The main one in particular has more dimensions than can almost fit in the book. Some still need some work, though.  But they are more of the secondary ones, so I’m not as worried about them. Yes, I would prefer for all my characters to be as real and life-like as possible, but I’m not sure how to do that, other than what I’ve already done. As I’m working with the publisher, I’m hoping we can bring in the necessary depth and breadth.

Besides the deadline, I’m concerned about the impact that this has had on the other books. Legend‘s going to need a complete re-write because of what has happened in Spirit. The rest are pretty much okay. While I do have chunks written in them, their stories are still flexible and malleable enough that it might only take changing a few passages in a couple of different places to bring them back in sync. With Legend, it’s going to be whole chapters and plot lines. But you know what? I don’t care. It’s like I told a friend in an email today, “unless I need to be emotional to write, I’m setting all my personal feelings aside.  I need to do what’s best for the book.”

What’s best for the book, and the series, is to get one out there that makes a statement as bold as what on in it’s cover. The Lone Horse logo is on Spirit‘s cover. That logo doesn’t only belong to the book or the series, it’s my calling card.