Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The Long Journey: Part 3

The Saga's End?

I had conceived that the final novel in The Saga of Magiskeep would focus on Jamus' confrontation  with the Black Dragon and the need to master the Black River's Magic.

The Black Dragon, Kesel--"Everendings ever be"--had tormented Jamus from the first. Knowing the Magician's potential to be the Rivermaster--master of all Magic--the black tentacles of evil intent had reached for Jamus in the darkness he so feared as a child. As he grew and developed his skills, the Dragon pursued him in nightmares and visits to the Way of Mirrors where Shadows lurked to steal the life of any foolhardy traveler.

The power of his own Will helped Jamus elude the monster's black intent, but Blackwing persisted, commanding Lord Tamor and his army of bloodthirsty Shadows to conquer all of Turan.

Jamus confronts this army in The Wall Between, faces its threat again in White Wind and finally, in the fourth novel of the Saga battles again in Blackwing Rising.  

All was well. With the publication of the fourth novel, I thought I was finished. A project I had begun nearly thirty years ago had reached an end. 

But then, I realized there was more to the story. 

There was one more Dragon--The Fifth Dragon--a creature who had lurked in the background for quite some time. Mentioned and met in the earlier novels, this Dragon was the key to Magic. I knew him well, and also knew he was the final element the Saga needed to truly draw to a close.

And so, I began writing his story.  I hope to finish the novel by Spring of this year. Since I know where the story is going, I've already thought of possible cover designs. David Melanson, a super friend from The Halfwittenberg Door is my cover designer. So far we've collaborated on these two ideas. I'm not yet sure which one I'll choose as they offer decidedly different perspectives on the story. 

There are more stories of Turan, notably a series I began about adventures in Arcula, the land Jamus visits in The Wall Between.  I will eventually publish them in a separate volume, but once the final Dragon flies, The Saga of Magiskeep will be finished. 

Monday, February 1, 2016

The Long Journey Part 2

The Saga Continues

Writings on The Half-Wittenberg Door eventually included six tales of Magiskeep.  With a short summary of "Kingdom Beyond the Rim," as an introduction to the new tales, these stories formed bridges between the novels of the larger Saga. 

I have since published them as part of the Saga in "Honor's Way" and "Silvren Shards," two story collections.  "Honor's Way" fills in the story of Jamus' and Salene's marriage and introduces a young boy who identity will figure into the final novel of the Saga.  "Silvren Shards" develops backstory and other adventures in Jamus' life as he continues his journey to master the Four Rivers of Magic.

Again, with the writing of the second full novel, "The Wall Between," I thought I was developing the standard trilogy, but again, the story took charge. Characters and the Magic itself tugged at my imagination until I knew there would be one novel for each "color" of the Magic. 

"The Wall Between" uncovers the secrets of the Silver River and introduces the Silver Dragon, Rath, who becomes a pivotal character in each of the later books. Once again, whatever overall plan I started with found itself being challenged by the characters I'd created who's somehow managed to take on lives of their own. Each demanded attention and helped shape the Saga's story line. 
I started the third novel somewhere along the way, managed to write about half of it and suddenly lost my inspiration.  I'd developed a rather complex plot involving riddles and tapestries for Jamus to solve, immersed him in a world controlled by the White Dragon, and sank into a snowdrift of writer's block. 

This is a curious problem for me. What usually happens is that I'm sure I know how the book is going to end, but not quite sure of the best way to get there. At that point, I just wait. My brain seems to work on plotting strategy in the background, tossing about various possible routes to the end, solving and re-solving difficulties I've encountered along the way. It was going on a year or more before I finally sat back down to finish "White Wind."  
That meant, in the general scheme of things, that there was only one more novel to write--the concluding book of the Saga where Jamus confronts the dangerous force of the Black Dragon, the creature of  "Everendings" that has been tormenting him since his childhood. 

It was time to start writing anew.