Since it’s coming near to the end of 2013, I thought I should give readers an update on the current status of my first book. As I said in a previous post, it will be titled The End of the Beginning, and it will be the first of three parts of Crucible of Heroes, the first novel in the Sanctum of the Archmage series.
Over the last couple of months I’ve been struggling with how to resolve an issue that’s become increasingly apparent to me: how to better establish the necessary context for later events. The Warlord Zomoran, in particular, really needs to at least be introduced to the reader before those events unfold. The book needed a Prologue, I concluded, and I resolved to add one before continuing on with my work on Chapter 3.
But how to write it, without turning the early part of the book into a tedious exercise in exposition? My first attempt turned out to be a disaster. After writing myself into a hole from which there ended up being no escape, I had to simply throw away about 3000 words and start again from scratch. My second attempt, fortunately, turned out to be much more successful.
I finally finished the Prologue today, and at just shy of 6000 words, I’m very happy with the results. Not only did I manage to do what I needed in a way that readers are unlikely to find “tedious,” but I managed to add a bit of action into the early part of the book as well. The first two chapters were already more “exposition-heavy” than I liked, and adding a bit of excitement to the Prologue will better help to break that up.
The best part, though, is that I managed to do it in a way that also allowed me to flesh out two other characters at the same time. As it turns out they also stood to benefit from an extended introduction, and adding the prologue allowed me to really flesh out their personalities. By the time I was done I was coming to find them quite engaging, and I hope that you will too. And now that the Prologue is complete, I’m ready to go back to continue working on Chapter 3.
As of now, The End of the Beginning is about 22,000 words long, which should equate to roughly 63 pages in a typical paperback printing. Based on my current progress and estimate that should make it about 45% complete. The final version should end up between 48 and 50 thousand words, or about 140 paperback-equivalent pages — which, by SWFA standards, should make it a short novel in its own right.