Following December's installment of this story—December's very long installment of this story—The Plant will be going back into hibernation so that I can continue work on Black House (the sequel to The Talisman, written in collaboration with Peter Straub). I also need to complete work on two new novels (the first, Dreamcatcher, will be available from Scribner's next March) and see if I can't get going on The Dark Tower again. And my agent insists I need to take a breather so that foreign translation and publication of The Plant—also in installments, also on the Net—can catch up with American publication. Yet don't despair. The last time The Plant furled its leaves, the story remained dormant for nineteen years. If it could survive that, I'm sure it can survive a year or two while I work on other projects.
Part 6 is the most logical stopping point. In a traditional print book, it would be the end of the first long section (which I would probably call "Zenith Rising"). You will find a climax of sorts, and while not all of your questions will be answered not yet, at least—the fates of several characters will be resolved.
As a way of thanking those readers (somewhere between 75 and 80 per cent) who came along for the ride and paid their dues for parts 1 through 3, Part 6 of The Plant will be available free of charge. Enjoy... but don't relax too much. When The Plant returns, it will once more be on a pay-as-you-go basis.
In the meantime, get ready for Part 6. I think you're going to be surprised.
Perhaps even shocked.
Best regards (and happy holidays),
And just by the way...
Readers of The Plant should be aware that although I am stopping at the end of Part 6 because of other commitments—most notably the job of finishing The Talisman sequel with Peter Straub—the pay-through rate has fallen off radically with Part 4. In fact, the numbers have dropped below 50%. Neither Marsha nor I can assign any particular reason for this precipitous drop off, it may be that people are stealing this particular installment simply because they know the story is going to stop anyway.