The debut novel word limits described here are really strict.

Stricter than I’d like to acknowledge. But. Rules are rules.

It’s almost time to rearrange things in The Forge. (Non-fiction comes first.)

I guess this is going become two 80,000+ word books. While the original “The Forge” title is an essential part of the overall story arc, when we break it into two, we’ve got a mage’s journey into darkness, and the mage’s return.

I’m leaning toward something like The Darkness and The Forge as the two new books. The sequence of Darkness, Forge, Sword, Crystal, Crown, Orb, and Scepter is kind of important. The Gateway an the Mage Lands are a little different.

The other possibility?

80,000 word prequel novel.

The style must also be immersive, gritty, and detailed. Herman Melville kind of immersive. Also, I like a single-tracking-shot kind of story-telling: the reader is stuck with the main character’s lack of information.