The Necromancer and the Reaping Spear V2 is complete! (NSFW)

(Editorial Note, Nov. 29 2020: I’ve left this post up for posterity, but if you haven’t already, you should read this one first: Making Points, Mental Health, and the Necromancer’s Vengeance Series (northbornsword.blog) –in short, yes, everything written and posted today on the 29th is something I was fighting myself over when I wrote and posted this one on the 25th. That should illustrate the extent of my capacity for suppressing cognitive dissonance in my efforts to put a pretty façade across ugly truths.

Now you know. Continue reading if you wish.)

Hello, readers mine! First, a disclaimer I’m going to append to all future posts concerning my books: The Necromancer’s Vengeance series is a work of adult fiction in every regard. Its psychological themes, examination of dangerous political ideologies, namely fascism, and omnipresent horniness are in no way suitable nor intended for children.

Anyway! As of around 10:30 PM EST yesterday evening and as this very post indicates, I’ve completed my primary developmental edit of The Necromancer and the Reaping Spear. And it only took me three months!

… that was intended to be a joke, but that’s rather insane now that I think about it.

Oh, but it gets better! Those of you who’ve seen the sparse posts where I stated my expectations for this hefty work may recall I threw various numbers around for word count. As long as the Resurrected Edition of The Necromancer and the Revenant, I once said, or 230k words. I may have mentioned a figure of 300k at some point?

I’d like to preface this next bit by saying that, in my own estimation, I’m not a smart woman. I just have an eye for facts I can latch onto and blep out later like an especially incompetent mother bird.

Four hundred eighty-five thousand words, and it’s definitely over 300k new ones because tens of thousands of words from the original 190k word draft just weren’t good enough to keep. I wrote a bare minimum of 100k of those words within the last 23 days (minus one for the single break I took in November.) I’ve learned to live in the 80-hour work week these past few months and I’m just glad to be done. I really hope my career takes off after this, because I CANNOT write any more books this way. It’s not physically or mentally sustainable.

Now depending on where I decide I need to add more detail during line-edits, we could hit as many as 490k. This means that when I publish it, the total length of the Necromancer’s Vengeance series will immediately jump past both The Lord of the Rings and War and Peace.

We’re also less than halfway through the series because I intend to write both of the remaining books to the same length. You may be wondering–North, what in the name of all that is cinderous, umbral and profane do you need that many words for?

I’m glad you asked! First, the fun parts:
-Sex scenes: for around double the amount of sex per total page count versus Revenant’s, um, three (look, I know, I’m working on it, okay?) there’s somewhere between twelve and fifteen and all of them are at least moderately infused with paranormal/supernatural elements. We’ve got threesomes, we’ve got demons, vampires, psionic-induced hallucinations–oh, that reminds me, regarding magic systems:

-This is the book where I introduce my take on psionics! Suffice to say that if you’re expecting some X-men style stuff… ha, you’re about five tiers too low on the eldritch scale. This power system (because the difference between magic and psionic power is a pretty key distinction in the Twin Spirals Universe) is my pride and joy. I hope you’ll love it too.

-Not to leave the spell-slingers cold, magic is also far better thought-out. You’ll also find I wrote up a fairly good solution for why one particular member of the cast is able to do things with their magic that they definitely don’t have the scientific credentials for

-We now have at least two protagonists depending on where you set the line–Syla assumes a far more prominent role in this book than in the previous one.

-In tandem with all the above: this is the book where I wrote from the start without any expectation of finding a traditional publisher or representation by an agent. To that end, there was nothing stopping me from going full bore in every aspect. Themes, worldbuilding, infusing both into character arcs–it’s all there.

Martial arts, supernatural powers, demons and gods–in point of fact, several of the most important fight scenes involve three or all of the above at the same time! I can also promise I did a much better job this time at laying out the rules IN ADVANCE like a sane person so I don’t have to pause the fights to explain to you why Technique X or Power Y is important/tied to the character’s development.

So what about those themes and worldbuilding? Here’s where I may lose some newcomers, but if so, I’m not sorry for it. This needs to be done.

I, a self-professed dimwit, have decided I’m going to tackle certain issues still endemic in high and epic fantasy works. These are:

-The heroization of sexual abstinence/portrayal of sex as shameful and violence as morally neutral, with its morality or lack thereof being determined by the authority of its perpetrators rather than its application.

-Related: the underlying and extremely queasy-making connections between unexamined ideas still popular in mainstream fantasy and, uh… and fascism. Yeah, a fanatical obsession with recovering a non-existent past? Kind of a key thing for the Fash. See also, the above about the morality of violence.

-Related again: white fantasy authors and cultural appropriation! This keeps happening, to the extent that I’m pretty sure I crossed the line with the Ton, so I suppose I might as well confront it now that I’ve joined the cavalcade of blithe fuckery.

-STILL RELATED: fantasy’s consistent moralization of obedience to destiny (I.E., one’s designated place in the world) and, you guessed it, fascism, particularly as involved with the heroization of suffering, hardship, and trauma against external evils.

Why am I doing this? Because so far as I’ve seen–if you know of exceptions, please let me know in the comments, I’m serious–none of the other white writers in this field seem to be making the tiniest effort. Fantasy as a genre is entirely about sending messages and moral themes, yet I’m increasingly aghast at the refusal among my peers to really dissect the messages and themes baked into the stories we repeat.

I, too, wish the big names with whole publishing houses worth of resources at their back would have tackled this, but they haven’t, so… so it’s down to an occult-obsessed weirdo with a breeding fetish.

I can’t overstate this enough: I also agree I’m not the optimal person for this. But it seems that as a neuro divergent trans woman I’m one of the few affected enough by the above unsorted baggage to have no choice but to confront it. So I guess I’ll do it.

Also, I have a breeding fetish. Can’t dodge around that if I’m going to try to get you to read these books. They’re way too horny.

If your first response to a lot of this is “I don’t like politics in the media I consume”–

–bear with me, readers, I know you’re good people and you wouldn’t have stuck with me this far if you thought the above. But let North have her soapbox paragraph, then we’ll move on–

Anyway, if the above is your response, then what you mean is “I don’t like leftist politics in the media I consume”. If the idea of a diverse array of imperfect heroes fighting fascist wizards doesn’t appeal to you, I have to assume the parts of traditional fantasy you like are the unexamined racist coding and the constant shaming of non-straight cis males for having sexual urges and/or agency, and so on.

Personally? I think it’s pretty damn stupid that in a genre so invested in ragtag groups of people from differing backgrounds fighting impossible odds, there are so few works that explicitly frame that struggle in revolutionary terms.

Now, if you’re reading all of this and you’re thinking, “Hey, I actually agree with this and I’d like to see this book happen”–good news! The book is going to happen.

However, in order to make sure that it’s not the last of my books to do so, I need your help now. The Necromancer and the Revenant is an imperfect book with a lot of high points bogged down by some well-intended elements that, unfortunately, are actually pretty damn creepy. Fortunately, I future-proofed it against my own stupidity by accounting for this in its setup for Reaping Spear.

Part of the reason for the sequel’s length is that it has to account for all of the mistakes I made in ways that turn them into long-term narrative strengths. The thing is… you still have to read Revenant. With that in mind, please pickup a copy of The Necromancer and the Revenant: Resurrect Edition if you haven’t already. You can do so at Smashwords, here.

I’d appreciate it if you want to pay for it–I need the money and this isn’t just a hobby for me!–but I won’t be mad if you grab it for free instead. As I said, it’s imperfect. Yet imperfect as it may be, it’s still the start of the series. I wouldn’t still be writing these books nor letting anyone acquire Revenant if I wasn’t absolutely certain that Reaping Spear will make good use of its predecessor’s flaws to enable its own strengths.

I’m taking a well-deserved rest for the next few days aside from this very post. When I resume working, it’ll be on the line-edits that I mentioned at the start for The Necromancer and the Reaping Spear. As I do that, I’ll be reposting all of the preview chapters in their final, polished forms. I’ll also throw in a couple of new ones at the end.

Please, please read these, like, comment, and share them around as I publish them. Anything to tell the web’s various unseen algorithms to do something besides shuffling me away to gather dust like they’re currently doing. I’m an indie author with no realistic chance of getting access to trad. publishing resources.

Every tiny boost helps, please believe that. I know text isn’t as flashy, exciting, or easily parsed as images and video or music, but I promise you this book will be spectacular. I still can’t believe I’m the one who wrote it, and… I mean… I’m the one who wrote it.

You've thoughts to offer, dear reader?

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