This blog started as an account of my pilgrimage to write and publish an epic fantasy novel. The past several posts have been focused on aspects of writing fiction. Today, I will speak a little about the first half of The Tower and a summary of the activity to date. I will include no spoilers since I am writing a first draft and any aspect of the story could change in subsequent drafts.
As currently conceived, The Tower (working title only) is the first of a trilogy entitled King of the World (working title). The founders of civilization, an ancient race of superior, magically endowed beings long ago descended below the surface of the earth when a portion of their society grew corrupt. Those that remained on the Earth’s surface lost much of their magic, called lithomancy, and became the race of mankind. For almost six thousand years, the memory and influence of the Old Ones or the Elder Race, has been kept alive via religion, myths and legends. Shrines of worship dot the land and it is an important rite of adulthood for young worshippers to spend a year seeking the shrines to commune with the Old Ones.
However, signs of change are upon the land and the ancient prophecies are being interpreted as a return of the Old Ones to once again rule the surface of the Earth. Who supports the return of the Old Ones and who opposes it? In a world of peace that hasn’t known armed conflict in centuries, the citizens of the countries of Laurentia are not prepared for a possible war that would enslave all of mankind.
The Tower is the introduction of a small group of uniquely skilled and chosen travelers who are invited on a pilgrimage they don’t fully understand but will ultimately have far-reaching consequences to the future of civilization. Also introduced are those who know what is prophesied to happen and are working very hard to ensure preparations are made for the ascension of the Elder Race, the Old Ones of religion and legend.
So, my progress on this story is as follows. I’ve written just over 80,000 words (which is the average length of a mystery novel). For fantasy, however, this is more like only half a novel. 80,000 words translates to about 275 pages. Readers of fantasy will note that many of your favorite books are 500+ pages and some are close to 900. I may be closer to 1/3 than 1/2 half. We’ll see.
To help me in my writing pilgrimage, I’m in a writer‘s group where I submit a complete chapter online each week and two other writers provide a critique a week later. I’ve already had the Prologue and Chapter One reviewed and I’m quite grateful for the feedback because quite a few errors were found. Apparently I have a tendency to write in passive voice which is where things happen to characters, rather than characters taking action on things or events. Only 2% of my sentences had this flaw, but now that I’m aware of it, I intend to purge it completely.
I also used the thesaurus a bit too much early on and used a few words that if you didn’t know the meaning, would stall the story and cause you to have to look it up. Not good for a smooth flowing story.
Some of you may be wondering where or how I came up with a story idea about ancient races living underground and rising again. I was inspired by some research I did about some ancient Buddhist myths. In a future post, I’ll post more about research and how it benefits writing.
For now, I carry on in my writing and will update on my progress again soon.