The Heart of the Sands

Progress update on book 3 of The Gods Within

Posted on June 29, 2013 by Jim

The Heart of the Sands is going really well. When I write I go through periods in which I only get a few dozen words down each day, because I spend most of my time plotting out scenes and transitions and plot elements, thinking through important dialog and such. But when I get done with that stage, I know exactly what has to go down on paper, and I start cranking out two or three thousand words a day.

I'm in that kind of high-productivity stage now. It's satisfying to see the story taking shape nicely, but it's also the most fun. Basically, I have all these scenes and elements in my head and on scraps of paper, and they're way ahead of my writing, so I end up just frantically putting the words down, and suddenly, in the middle of all that, one of the characters does some totally expected.

At that point I lean back and say, "Wait a minute. Where'd that come from?" And more often than not, it works nicely, as if a whole bunch of elements came together at that instant, and the only path the story could follow at that moment was what seemed to spontaneously come out of my fingers on the keyboard. That doesn't happen often, maybe two or three times a book, but it is incredibly exciting and rewarding.

The Heart of the Sands is almost completely about Morgin and the Benesh'ere, and Rhianne and her growing power. As a slave, Morgin accompanies the Benesh'ere on the March, their yearly spring migration off the sands of the Munjarro, during which the Kulls hunt them for sport. Morgin finds himself fighting for his life so he won't end up with his ". . . guts up in a tree." But if he survives the March, then he must face the whitefaces, all of whom want his blood.

Rhianne's power is growing in leaps and bounds. But she is now dangerously conscious of Morgin's bloodthirsty blade, and it is conscious of her. She fears it may try to use her as it used Morgin.

I'm hoping to have the manuscript done near the end of July. At that point it will go to my editor for a couple of weeks, then to my publisher. We're working on the book cover now, which I should be posting in the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned . . .