I've been banging my head against my keyboard for a month now as I've set to work on Heirs of War, Destiny of One. I haven't made much headway at all, to be honest. I'm only six chapters in. Granted, I already had a rough draft to work off of, but there's a whole lot of rewrites involved. Why? Well, because the first draft was complete crap, and now that I've learned so much and grown as a writer, I can recognize that. The story is mostly solid, though, so I'm not scrapping it entirely.
The thing is, when I first wrote the second book in the Heirs of War series, it was split into three parts. Part One followed Zelene, Rhaya, and Terrena in Anscombe, while Part Two followed Ariana and Isauria, with bits of the others thrown in. Part Three brings all their storylines together. The problem with this draft of the book? It's 200k in rough draft format and with big gaping holes in some of their stories.
So I decided I was going to split the book up. Heirs of War, Destiny of One would follow Ariana and Isauria, and Heirs of War, Crown of Flames would follow Zelene, Rhaya, and Terrena in Anscombe and bring their stories together with Ariana and Isauria. It seemed like the perfect plan, and I haven't completely given up on that idea yet. But I'm getting there.
Why? Because it would piss me off as a reader. Here's the thing: You still hear about things that happen with Zelene, Rhaya, and Terrena as Isauria hears about them and interacts with some of those characters (and others from Anscombe) during her part of the story. So you'd have an entire book following just Ariana and Isauria while getting hints as to what is happening to the rest of them, but never seeing it until book three (Crown of Flames) is released next summer. If I was just a reader for this series, this would seriously frustrate me.
And keeping them separate really doesn't change anything cost-wise. I'm still going to pay the same amount for an editor because it's the same amount of words. If you are buying paperback, the cost of one larger book (I don't think) is much more than the cost of two. And of course, if you are buying an e-book, then you'd only pay for the one book. Will the cost still be $2.99 if I have two books in one? I'm not sure yet. I don't want to go much higher than that. I'm not trying to say my books aren't worth it, but I know what it is like to be a broke book lover, so I try to keep that in mind with pricing.
I'm still not ruling it out entirely, but I'm fairly certain merging them together is the better plan. What do you guys think? Would you rather have one big book with all of the characters, or two separate books that follow separate story lines happening simultaneously? This is one of the perks to self-publishing. I can get input from you guys, my wonderful readers, and make my decision based on that.
And if you think I should just keep it all as one book, which title do you like best: Heirs of War, Destiny of One or Heirs of War, Crown of Flames?