Gods or Men Release Update

Hey Powerlings, Soplings, and new fans of the series!

So it’s been a crazy last few years, but Gods or Men is very close now. General Notes:

+ Current predictions put the book at about 700 pages, give or take 20.

+ There are 73 chapters and 11 characters have PoV chapters.

+ Those PoV chapters tell 6 interwoven threads.

+ Eldaeus makes me laugh out loud probably every chapter.

+ Navon still makes me so frustrated, though I attempt to soothe such frustrations with City of the Dead, (Navon’s “theme” shared to me from @navonneedsahug)

+ I average about 60,000 words a month. The biggest writing month was NaNoWriMo where I rewrote about 125,000 words that month.

+ I am attempting to do about 125,000 Feb and March in order to speed up the release date for Gods or Men to this June. However, as you all know, I’m absolutely “quality over quantity” and will not release a book to you guys that isn’t 100% ready.

This is what I’ve done so far:

(the “red pointy” and “yellow” notes are from my document notes to myself about what the color coding of my chapters means for myself and my editors reference. I have highlighted in yellow what is done)

Red Pointy: Nothing Done
Red: Detailed Outline
Orange: Crapdraft
Yellow: Draft (warning: may require revision which drops chapter progress back to RED POINTY or RED)
White: Edited Draft [for plot] (warning: may require revision which drops chapter progress back to RED POINTY or RED)
Green: Round 1 Edit [for plot]
Purple: Round 2 Edit [for voice]

Blue: Round 3 Edit [Chapter Order/Plot Flow/WB]
Red Book: Round  4 Edit [Go back through characters again]
Blue Book: Final Editing: 1 [nuances]
Brown Book: Final Edit: Polishing

The “Yellow” and “White” levels are pretty intensive and require the most time. I would say I spend about 75% of my writing time in those areas. “Red Book” is where it goes to beta readers and I reread my previous novels before my final three rounds of editing. “Blue Book” and “Brown Book” tend to be more of a “me reading the book as a whole” sort of editing and are usually very fast–thus, “Red Book” is my last intense round of edits.

I am in the final rounds of editing— the book is currently on a “Chapter Flow / Character Voice” editing round. What that means is that each point of view is being carefully checked for narrative goals, consistency, flavor, and flow with the book as a whole. I have finished this round with Jerah and am about half-way through Navon and Jikun–which, when I finish them in the next two weeks (around Feb 24th), will put me about half done with this round of edits. I’ll then be going to Hadoream, then Alvena, and the “other” characters–Hadoream requires careful work, as do two of the “other” characters, but Alvena and the rest are super fast. I expect no later than the end of March for the completion of “Chapter Flow / Character Voice” round.

Next, it’ll go to “Go through Characters Again”— this is a final character round where I just make sure every character is perfect and that their plot lines / chapter order is ideal. This tends to be a pretty fast round. I expect no more than a month. (which = end of April)

Following this, the book will be in “Nuances” and “Polishing” phase — while these are short phases, they are crucial to the books final flavor. Some of the most amusing lines, character banter, descriptions, and world-building drops happen in these two phases where the rest of the shit is cleaned up enough that I can really “hear” the details of the characters reflections and interactions in the world. This is probably a month for the two. (which = end of May).

Thus, the book, I think, will be done around June, but since it then has to go to my editor and the publication process, this would mean the book can’t be in your hands until August (Gen Con, God willing). In order to try to get the book to you guys earlier, I will be working over time all Feb and March (12 hours a day, 7 days a week) in order to try to attempt to make this happen. So… wish me luck! It’s looking pretty damn fabulous already, if I dare say so myself!

J.J. Sherwood

By J.J. Sherwood

JJ Sherwood is the author of the epic fantasy book series, Steps of Power.

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