I love writing West. It’s where I get to push myself as a writer, experiment with new things and see what works. I love the characters, the story, and it’s tonnes of fun to write.
I’ve dabbled with writing multiple stories side-by-side throughout the years, but it doesn’t fit my writing style of today. I need to work on one project, see it through to completion, and then I can move on. And right now, the project I’m working on is, of course, the infamous Secret Project. So where does this leave West?
First of all, to give you an overview of where we are and where we’re heading, let me share this tidbit:
In total, there are seven volumes of West.
This goes way back to the early days of V1, when I first laid out my plan for the series. I planned out seven major arcs, which gives us the seven volumes. So right now we have three more volumes to go, but in terms of storytelling, I’d say we’re about half-way. There’s lots still to happen, but for now let’s talk specifics: Volume 5.
V5 is interesting to me for a multitude of reasons. Mostly it stems from the way it pushes the West series in a very different direction to what we’ve seen before. Some elements remain the same, but the way things play out are unique.
In many ways, V5 spins things around and switches the focus onto West himself. It shares a more introspective chapter of West’s life. We saw some of this in V4, but V5 takes that further by asking stronger questions and demanding honest answers. A lot has happened in West’s life, and all within a very short period (Volumes 1 to 4 take place within six months). There’s a lot he needs to come to terms with.
But the world stands still for no one.
Volume 5 introduces us to a new set of characters. Some of them are bad, some are worse, and one makes Jack look like a saint. So rest assured there’s going to be action. Lots of action. But staying true to the themes of V5, expect consequences to come from the action. Not all of them will have rosy outcomes.
I’ve mentioned before that much of the volume occurs away from West’s hometown and includes only one major character. Despite less than 10K words having been written of V5 right now, that’s largely true. We’ll see all of our favourites from the main cast, but they’re taking a back-seat this time around. It’s West + X for V5. (Who accompanies West out of town isn’t necessarily a huge surprise, but I’ll leave you to speculate. Hint: It’s the person you’d expect, but no, not him.) As you’d expect, we’ll be learning more about this character too—a lot more since 100% of West’s interaction will be with them and only them (aside from the new characters).
So the question now becomes: when?
When, when, when?
I’m going to play it safe and say early-to-mid 2017. Sooner would be better, of course, but I’m not going to rush it out. While it may not be the longest of the volumes (I’m expecting something around the length of Yates) V5 deserves a lot of care to give the plot justice. It’s not one I can hammer out in a month or two.
So by this time next year, V5 will most likely be available to read. I’d give it a better than 90% chance.
Until then, I’ll continue to share more details about the story as it nears completion. Updates will be minimal for the next few months since my attention will be focused elsewhere, but I’ll keep you in the loop for all things West.