Editing completed on the Girlie manuscript, that project now moves into the submit-and wait-category of writing, and because I chose to enter the raw manuscript in a literary competition late last year, I do have to wait for the outcome of that before I can begin the process of approaching alternate publishers one by one.
So, onto the next project.
The last epic fantasy I had published was the Dreaming in Amber quatrology back in 2008. Shortly after that I began a new fantasy project, but I set it aside multiple times as other life events and pieces of writing intervened. Now I am returning to it to finish the first book and my blog entries will focus on this project.
Tentatively titled The Clan Chronicles with a trilogy outline, the simple concept at the base of the project is to draw together six core characters creating and/or caught in major events around a plan by dragons to conquer the world. Book One doesn't have a title yet. That will come when it's done.
My fantasy novels are all positioned within a common world beginning with the lands of Andrakis, Targa and Ranu Ka Shehaala in the Andrakian trilogy, spreading to Ashua and Vechwer in the Ashuak Chronicles, and then spreading from Shess and Chekisu in the Amber quatrology to embrace all the previous lands.
In Freedom, the third novel in the Ashuak Chronicles, Alwyn and the Alfyn trick the dragons into chasing the Alfyn through a portal that takes the dragons far away from the source of magic, the Genesis Stone. The new series picks up on where the dragons emerged - on another part of the world, far to the west of the original lands.
Starting the new series has been nothing short of problematic, to the point where I had written eight completely different openings since 2008, each of which I really like and each of which would be a good choice, but none of which suited the bigger picture/concept when I reviewed them. My writing preference has always been to begin a story mid-action - my 'trick' for hooking the reader if you like - and each attempted start did exactly that.
Almost every opening I've used to begin a project never ends up in the final copy as the opening. The Andrakis trilogy original beginning became Chapter 10 in the final. The original opening to Blood never made the final copy at all by the time I submitted it to a publisher.
So, I've made a choice to open the new project with the dragon queen-to-be learning from an Elder what she must know and how she must act to be the Queen, and that she is under threat from within the Clan. This week has seen 14,000 words take shape - the first four chapters of what will most likely be a fifty chapter novel (target guide figure only).
The novel now begins with the reader meeting and getting to know the dragon queen, Shadrael, and dragon culture and plans. These are the new generation of dragons, the descendants of the dragons who were led through the portal. They are motivated by a desire for 'revenge' against their old enemies, the Alfyn and the Eyano - humans, and a core belief they are the most advanced intelligence and the dominant species who should rule the world. Their magic is still strong, but not what it might have been if they had been able to take control of the Genesis Stone. Readers will decide how they feel about the dragon's ethics and plans. And there is a whole lot more to unfold and reveal as the tale takes shape.
In the opening chapters, we learn how so far the dragon domination has been successful and that they know and are preparing to encounter a very different Eyano (human) culture - one that has developed industrial age science and engineering, semi steam punk level if you like. The dragons know that if they defeat this nation, Domovina, nothing can stand in their way.
The next set of chapters will introduce the next major character, Ven, a criminal boss making a living in Grad, the capital of Domovina. Through Ven I'm hoping to introduce part of the Domovinan culture and give glimpses of two more major characters who will emerge in the story - Ven's daughter, Jai, and the Domovinan prince, Ara, who will get their stories unfolded in chapter sets, before we return to the Dragon Queen and the looming main event. Time to write.