Saturday 10 August 2013

An update on the Tube Riders series

Yesterday I finished Chapter Thirty of Tube Riders: Revenge, the final part in the Tube Riders Trilogy. It's currently totalling just under 80,000 words, so based on the lengths of the previous two books its about halfway done.

My original plan was to start writing Revenge in September, write it over the winter and then publish it next summer. My current plan - one that is pretty likely at my current rate of progress - is to finish it IN September.

I've had a couple of angry emails asking when Tube Riders: Exile (Tube Riders Trilogy #2) will be out, because as readers of this blog will know, I finished writing the draft way back in February. I've done a fair bit of editing work on it, but Revenge was crying out to be written and I had to answer the call.

It does make me feel a bit stupid to be talking about the progress on Book 3 when Book 2 is still sitting on my hard-drive, but finishing Revenge before I release Exile actually makes a lot of sense for me.

The Tube Riders was written in 2009 and was originally a standalone book. I had no plans to make it into a series. The Tube Riders had to escape Mega Britain, that was about it. However, the wider world required a longer, more complete story.

As a writer I offer just enough "world" for the reader to expand it themselves. However, when I started writing Exile and now Revenge (a lot of which takes place in London again) I needed to expand the world a bit myself. I needed to show a bit more about life inside Mega Britain, and there were times when I'd write something in Revenge and realise I needed to clarify it in Exile for continuity's sake. In hindsight, writing the whole trilogy before releasing any of them would have been the best option (but probably one that would have driven me mad). As I wrote Exile and then Revenge, I found myself needing to tweak the odd line in the original book in order to keep the continuity the same. The most major amendment was that I made a very minor character (so minor that most readers will have forgotten this person, it was a blink-and-you-miss-it thing) two or three years older, because I wanted them to become a major character in Revenge. It didn't fit before, but now it does. Forgive me.

A lot of writers rush things. They bang out new books once a month and write series after series. I don't know if I'll ever write a series again after this. Before Tube Riders I was all about the standalone, and while no one buys my standalone books I've always preferred writing a story that was contained in a single volume. That's the artist in me talking, not the bookseller. The two engage in fisticuffs regularly.

I want the Tube Riders series to make my name and I want people to be reading it and recommending it in ten, fifteen years time. I want it to be good.

To that end I'll take as long as necessary, but I do think that its quite possible I can have both books out by Christmas. Providing I don't run into any major plot walls in Revenge, I should be able to finish it in September. Then I'll take October to edit Exile again, and November to edit Revenge. In December I'll drink beer and go snowboarding. Something like that.

So bear with me. Both books will be with you soon. But in the meantime, keep the angry mail coming. It's really quite addictive to know people care so much about your books. I can see why George RR Martin releases his six years apart. Unfortunately I don't have his patience.

Back to the writing desk ...

Chris Ward
11th August 2013


  1. Take your time. Good writing is worth waiting for. Also check out Neil Gaiman's response to a fan's criticism of George RR Martin's writing time.


    1. Haha, indeed. But we all know the only reason Martin takes so long is because he spends all his time watching baseball and going to conferences! :-) Chance would be a fine thing.

      That blog is pretty much spot on though. I'm moving house soon and have been spending hours and hours doing wallpapering and other boring stuff at the new place. Much rather be writing, but a house won't paint itself, haha.

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  3. Hello! I just finished book one of The Tube Riders (I must be far behind the times haha). I loved it and am anxiously waiting my pending order from Amazon of book two. Your imagination and clear visual description of complex events are excellent! Great fun and riveting, high stress reading!