I want to throw out some quick notes on main thrusts of the Tome of Greystone books. I think that this info will help clarify the direction and shape of the stories moving forward. Yes, I am talking about this project like I am a real, published author who has some deadline to hit and a contract and a life… No, none of the above is true! But I am proceeding as if it *were* true, because it’s a heck of a lot more fun that way. I am about to send draft copies of Emergence out to the early readers who have asked to see it, so additional info might be in order.
The story arc for The Tome can be divided into three segments, which I will call sagas because it sounds dramatic and important. The first saga takes place within a five-year span, and includes “The First Proving” trilogy (Emergence, Knights and Watchers, and The First Proving) which takes a single year, then two follow-on books tentatively called “The Council of Lords” (if I don’t get sued for such a generic title) and “The Last Peace” which cover the remaining 4 years. I am at LEAST going to write all of this first saga in its completion, regardless of people liking it or a publisher caring. Why? Because it’s so stinkin’ fun! Period. “The Council of Lords” and “The Last Peace” are required to complete the full first saga anyway, so I do not plan to pause until they are written.
I have outlined a second saga as well. The problem is, I almost HAVE to write it given the way the first saga ends- there are several big questions left unanswered. But I have a feeling that I will be tired of writing by then. Maybe. Anyway, the second saga takes place in Greystone as well… but about 700 years have passed. My plan has this saga also being a trilogy of fat books or a collection of 9 skinny ones.
Lastly, I have outlined a third saga that takes place 300 years or so BEFORE “The First Proving” trilogy. Prequels. They are less critical to the overall arc, but finally explain all of the stuff in the other books and setup the beginning.
I just realized that I just copied George Lucas’ progression in Star Wars to a “T”. Oops. Oh well. I come by it honest, I guess.
Another few notes: These are not going to be typical “powers” driven stories. The plot does not center on the super powers of our heroes at all. Their abilities almost become secondary to the plot and the problems in the Land. In a way, this is the best definition of one of the core conflicts in the Tome: these guys get all of this power, but it doesn’t fix everything. Sometimes, it seems to fix NOTHING. The main thrust of the arc isn’t the super powers and their origins and how cool they are, and the climax of each saga is NEVER about the heroes discovering some great new ability or finding a new weapon or “believing in themselves” or anything like that. The climaxes are always about the choices that the heroes (and others) might make, and why they might make them. They are about the characters growing beyond what they are in the beginning of the tales. And there is not always a happy ending.
This is not to say their powers are not awesome or important. They are. And in true nerd fashion, they will be shown off extensively. But they are not the story in and of themselves.
Now, my main reason for saying all of that is because I haven’t yet written the Proving event. And I will be tempted to go crazy and make the story suddenly all about the magic. If that happens, please slap me soundly until I stop. Thanks in advance.
Another cool note… I have a Facebook friend named Peter who is the assistant to my favorite fantasy author in the world, Brandon Sanderson (a NYT Bestseller several times). Peter has given me some advice via email (and a lead on a good agent), and I am not ashamed to say that I have asked him to read this blog. You never know… 🙂