Darkness Rising Overview & Updates

Hullo and happy Wednesday everyone!

I have been a little slow on updates of late, and for that, I apologize. I am going to make a concerted effort to update this website two to three times a week. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday in all likelihood.

So let’s get to it.

I have spent much of the past week and a half looking at content, characters, and narration in Darkness Rising. There is a lot that I can use in content and characters, with some significant readjustments to narration (which we have all known is coming for awhile). But there is also a lot of room to grow. I had roughly 9,000 words to work with before my soft cap of 100,000 total words. There are entire pages that I have stripped from the narrative (for reasons of redundancy and shameless padding). In its place I have plans for entirely new chapters and characters that did not before appear in Darkness Rising.

Though first let’s talk about chapters.

Darkness Rising had some very long chapters. In some cases ridiculously long (almost 11,000 words for Blood on the Mountain). Also, within chapters were multiple perspectives. I have broken down these chapters into smaller, more manageable chunks. For example, what was first Sins of the Father (Elan’s trek into Serenity to visit the Healer, the Healer receiving a strange visitor that night, and a brief scene involving Mordred and Aleksander in Isil). That chapter has now been split into three parts (of course retaining the perspectives of Elan, Sebastien, and Mordred) now called Bloodlines (Elan), Dark Prophecy (Sebastien), and Pupils in the Dark (Mordred).

Some of you will see some sense in this, while others may say, ‘Wait! The scene with Mordred is only a few short paragraphs. That will be a chapter now?!’ Yes and no. There are instances where I am making chapters out of very short scenes. Those scenes will be expanded upon. There will be some shorter chapters (1,000 to 2,000 words) but I won’t go any smaller. Recall above that I have eliminated scenes for reasons of redundancy. I am using that new found space to create more compelling story telling for scenes that deserve it. I think the result will be very satisfying.

Below, as a treat, I am listing all of my new chapter names with the perspective character in parenthesis:

Prologue: The Coming Calamity (Jophiel I)

1          The Arrival (Aleksander I)

2          Bloodlines (Elan I)

3          Dark Prophecy (Sebastien I)

4          Pupils in the Dark (Mordred I)

5          Landfall (Rafael I)

6          Wings of the Harpy (Daniel I)

7          Gateway to the North (Rafael II)

8          Order of Light (Elan II)

9          The Crystal Throne (Johnathan I)

10        Secret Counsels (Aerona I)

11        The Will of the Overlord (Daniel II)

12        Gift of the Sands (Johnathan II)

13        Soul of the Faithful (Lutessa I)

14        Servants Unseen (Aleksander II)

15        A Place of Sin (Elan III)

16        A Test of Patience (Rafael III)

17        Hardened Hearts (Elan IV)

18        A Weary Traveler (Jophiel II)

19        The Veil Drops (Elan V)

20        The Storm Begins (Aerona II)

21        Desperate Knights (Rafael IV)

22        The Observers (Daniel III)

23        Failure and Retribution (Rafael V)

24        A Knight’s Errand (Aleksander III)

25        Sacred Halls (Rachel I)

26        Premonitions (Aleksander IV)

27        The Wasteland (Elan VI)

28        Choices of the Lord Commander (Rafael VI)

29        The Descent (Johnathan III)

30        Valley of Bones (Elan VII)

31        The Last Stand (Black Wrath I)

32        Treasures Unlooked For (Ashleigh I)

33        Oaths (Johnathan IV)

34        An Unlikely Union (Elan VIII)

35        Breaching the Walls (Johnathan V)

36        Waking Nightmares (Elan IX)

37        Sacrifice (Rafael  VII)

38        The Darkness Rising (Johnathan VI)

Epilogue: The Dark Will (Amos I)

Yes, that is forty total chapters. No, the book is not massively long. Chapters could be as short as 1,000 words, and will not be longer than 4,500 words (my soft upper limit from Sea of Storms and Heart of the Sand). This book may wind up being longer than the two that follow it, but I don’t think that would bother anyone (particularly since my price point will be the same, regardless of length).

There are a few things that I want to point towards, if you have not noticed it. There are three brand new Daniel Baccan chapters, two additional Aerona Harkan chapters, and one additional Aleksander Avrill chapter. That is the major new change for the final pass. Everything else is merely revising, polishing, and refining.

Why was that change made? I wanted to introduce my two main Islanders more thoroughly and establish each character’s motivations more clearly. I will not go into spoilers here, but it should give rise to what Daniel Baccan is reflecting on prior to his actions in Sea of Storms, and when Aerona Harkan emerges from the Islands in this book, her impact should be much more profound. In the case of Aleksander, it further pushes Mordred’s machinations in Isil.

That is what I have for you today. That’s a lot to digest. I think these changes are going to be very positive. I can’t wait for everyone to see them in the coming months!

Changes & Re-branding

Hello all!

There is a lot of work to do with revising and changing the Vessels of Power.

I am starting this week by spread sheeting all of my characters, their appearance, speech patterns, affiliations and things of the like. This is so I can streamline the characters for consistency, and then more accurately chart their evolution (piles of notes aren’t nearly as effective as thorough, clean charts). Although I was startled at the sheer volume of characters. I had always intended on keeping a small cast, but it turns out I have 108 unique, named characters with lines.

108!

That number does not include nameless characters who have lines. These are mostly priests, stewards, and tavern patrons. When you include them, the number goes up to about 120.

Amazing.

Re-branding.

I will say that I did not intend to use that word in the context of my work, but it appears to be inevitable. As much as I like Existence as a franchise name, it has two main problems: i) it is a fairly common word, almost universally affiliated with philosophy; and ii) it does not sound very fantasy-ish. So I will be re-branding. I do not have a word or phrase to share with you today, but it will change in the future. I may also rename the Vessels of Power. It will not be drastic, but something with a bit more zing (and do not worry, book titles are not changing — I love those).

Whelp, back to work. Characters won’t fix themselves.

Chapter 22: The Heart of the Sand

Chapter 22: The Heart of the Sand

This is it. It all comes to a head. Aerona must face Eldred once again, but she is much stronger now, and there is more at stake. Their battle will be for the very fate of the world: Light vs Darkness. Yet is that all? Men and women have played a dangerous game to yield this occurrence. Will they stand aside?

Enjoy!

Existence Update: First Draft Completed!

I am very proud to announce today that I have finished the first draft of the Vessels of Power trilogy. Darkness Rising, Sea of Storms, and Heart of the Sand all have their first drafts finished. It is a monumental accomplishment for me, but the work has only begun.

So what’s next?

I will continue publishing the remaining chapters for Heart of the Sand (we are almost at the end!) and then I enter a two-to-three month period of re-writes and revision.

Now before anyone loses their marbles, no, the core story is not being re-written.

Re-writes and revisions will encompass the following:

  • Synchronizing character voice and dialogue;
  • Revising a cohesive, consistent narrative style;
  • Writing additional chapters for all three works (this will primarily come in the form of giving important characters more development time);
  • Re-writing select aspects from all three works (the main plot will remain unaltered);
  • Eliminating the time jumps from Darkness Rising;

That’s it. If you have been reading with me from day 1, you will see (in the published form) mostly a polished copy of the work you’ve grown to love, with small changes to the story.

When I finish posting the remainder Heart of the Sand chapters, I will regularly update the revision and re-writing process as I work through Darkness Rising, Sea of Storms, and Heart of the Sand. I will not be revealing spoilers of any kind; it will be more of an insight into my process.

Thank you for reading! I know you will enjoy the finished product this summer.