It’s Official: Starforge is the Most Stressful Thing I’ve Ever Written

All right, readers. It’s time to come clean. Last night, as I lay trying to sleep at around 4 AM, my mind whirling with questions and maybes and possibilities concerning Starforge, I realized something.

Starforge is officially the most stress-inducing project I’ve worked on in a long time.

Perhaps being kept up until hours like 5 AM thinking “Maybe I need to start over. Redo the entire opening like this?” should be taken as a massive clue.

For the record I’ve not restarted the entire opening. Though … yeah, even at 100,000 words in, I’ve considered completely redoing it from another angle. More than once. Technically I’ve already done it too; earlier in the project I cut 20,000 words and started the opening in a completely different way.

This project is stressing me out.

Why? Well, it’s pretty simple. Starforge is the finale of a trilogy. There are two books before it, both really well received and loved by a lot of people. Further still, those who have read the sequel have ranked it better than the first book, even as it drove things forward toward a finale. So the trend is now I have to deliver a finale that’s the apex of all three, tie everything up, keep everything from almost a million words of prior content straight, reference it, use it …

Yeah … starting to see how I might be a little stressed out? And of course, stress like that makes it harder to work (lack of sleep, etc) which has made me more concerned that the final product could be below the bar, which leads to more stress, which …

Yup. It’s self-enforcing at this point. The worst part is, I’m not quite sure what to do outside of trust my instincts (I had lighter versions of this for previous works and they turned out all right) and keep working forward.

Starforge has to be the best thing I’ve written to date. Full stop. If that means rewriting almost 100,000 words of it, then so be it. That’s only two months worth of work. This is the big finale. The end. Everything the prior two books led up to comes to a head here. This is it.

I can’t stop. One way or another Starforge is going to release. And it will be the next book I release after Axtara. But it has to be the best thing I’ve written. Every bit of character I’ve built up so far, every nuance, every bit of development. All of it needs to peak here.

I’m just praying I can pull this off.

Anyway, I’m about to dive back into it. Wish me luck, folks. This is the mountain of mountains thus far in my career, and that peak has got a lot of obstacles on it.

Now if I could just get some sleep …

8 thoughts on “It’s Official: Starforge is the Most Stressful Thing I’ve Ever Written

  1. Hey Max, if you can stand the suspense, let your readers be the final determinants of what is your best work, and maybe just write like nobody is watching?

    (BTW, I’m sure I’m not the only one who would not be disappointed if you took the Douglas Adams route, and ended up writing volumes 4 and 5 of the trilogy…)

    As far as peaking goes, we’re counting on you getting even better at your craft and writing increasingly better stories for years to come, it’s a bit early in your career for a culminating effort. Don’t let “perfect” be the enemy of “incredibly awesome” (which I have every confidence that Starforge will be, because it’s the way you write.)

    So chill, and get back to doing what you do best (after a nap or two).

    My $0.02

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh no no, I know this won’t be the greatest book I ever right. But it has to be the best thing I’ve written so far and be the best book of the trilogy. And that’s … a lot. There will be other peaks to come, but this is a very important one.

      And no, there won’t be a four or five after this. Any other stories in the setting will be about other characters or places. This is THE finale. It’ll fit.

      Gotta get back to it! Thanks for the support!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You probably already have, but maybe consider throwing some of the more stressful parts to your alpha group, the way your gut has written it, and see if any of their suggestions align more with what you are thinking of re-writing with. Chances are if your reader doesnt think it can be done better, then your gut is plenty reliable.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The catch is I don’t want them to have an unfinished product where it’s hard to see “Oh, this will come up later.” So I need to at least finish a first draft before making any decisions like that, and then go back and make alterations or alternatives.

      At the moment the gut is what I’ve got.


  3. Max, you’ve so got this. I have complete confidence you are going to rock this.
    Perfect is wonderful but your best is awesome so no stress.
    Trust yourself. We do. 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Don’t worry, Max, you got this! No matter what happens, we’re all excited to see where Jake, Anna, and Sweets go (and I doubt it’s gonna be a bad place, just maybe a little painful), and wherever that is, your gut’s gonna have it right. Babroniedad’s right, your best is awesome – we’ve got enough “perfect” out there, personally, so just give it what you’ve got and all the invisible crowd will love it!
    And don’t forget to sleep. Sleep is good.

    Liked by 2 people

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