Tuskers IV is finished.

I still have half a dozen chapter headings to write. Those usually don't take long.

I want to give it a quick read/re-write, then send it to Lara.

I'll print out a copy to work on while she has the book, then do a final rewrite in a month or so.

Meanwhile, I'm going to finish Fires of Allah.

As I've mentioned, I've decided to refine my process. I'm going to give myself plenty of time to finish this book. I'd like it to be at least 80K and would be happier at 100K, though the story is the story.

I'm going to do more research on this book than I've done on any other book. I'd like to try to get the firefighting down as correctly as possible.

When I'm done, I'm going to set it aside for month or two, then completely re-write it, and then send it to Lara. And give it a rewrite after it comes back from Lara. This is the new process. A little more intensive and time-consuming than what I've attempted before.

During the waiting times, I'm going to try to get my backlog cleaned up again. Starting with getting Star Axe and Snowcastles/Icetowers back on the market.

Starting next year, I'll start putting my finished books out every few months.

The real change will come with the next book.

My old process. Find an idea that I like and that I think will sustain a book, sit down and write it straight through without any major changes. Get it edited. Give it a brief rewrite.

My middle process. Step one, the same. Step two, think about each chapter before I write it, then write it, but otherwise write it straight through. Get it edited. Do a more thorough rewrite if I can.

The new process. The same way I've been thinking about chapters before I write them, apply the same technique to the book as a whole. Try to identify my strong points, what I do best. Work out all the ramifications in advance. Take a longer time to finish the book with more thought between each chapter. Set it aside, and then come back and give it a really thorough rewrite and only then send it to Lara.

I'm attempting to find more depth in my writing. At the same time, I want to focus on conflict and tension in the first page and ratchet it up from there. For depth, the characters need to be more detailed, and there has to be emotional possibilities. For tension, the plot has to be tight and focused.

Since I'm only as talented as I am, I have to try to use time spent as the improving factor. More time and thought.

But--I have to be very careful I don't block myself. And even more careful I don't ruin the book by overthinking or overwriting.

So it will be a fine line.

I don't even really know what the next book is going to be, yet. I'm purposely avoiding thinking about it too much until I'm done with Fires of Allah.

So I want to be as focused as ever on writing, but try to slow it down and put some more thought into each stage. Pretty clearly, I can finish a book. That doesn't seem to be a problem.