In the beginning was a blank sheet of paper. This is how a fiction novel starts. Nothing there, only ideas in the author’s head and a slew of notes. But before the story is told, there is nothing.
That’s what I had when I sat down to begin writing my very first novel, which I had titled Dragon Rising. Of course, that was in 2014, and today it has gone through a complete re-write and is titled Dragonblood Throne: Legacy. So how did it begin?
In 2014, after retiring from a twenty-five year career as a software developer, I had mentioned to a friend that I’d always wanted to write stories. My friend, Jeri, encouraged me to do just that, and I wrote a short story I’d been thinking about. She loved it, as did others I knew. What really blew me away was my father, whose reading up to that point in is eighty plus years had been restricted to mechanic manuals, read my story and also loved it. This got me to thinking…maybe I could do this after all.
In case you didn’t know, I’m an avid RPG gamer fan, and I had, at that time, been recently playing a game called Skyrim. The funny thing about me with such games is, I had more fun creating new characters than actually playing the games, and I’d created a character for that game with an idea for a backstory in my head. I hadn’t taken any notes, all I had was this idea. In fact, all I had was an opening sequence, like the beginning scene of a movie.
So, with encouragement from my family and friends, especially Jeri, I decided to write the story that I only had a beginning for. I made a few notes, made a map, but really had no idea where the story was going. I learned later that this is called “panstering” as opposed to “plotting“. I started by writing down the scene I had in my mind, and that’s when something I’d never expected happened.
Another scene came to mind, then another, and another, and before I knew what was going on, I was deep in the throes of creating a novel. The story seemed to unfold before me, like I was watching a movie, and I just kept writing down what I saw. Within a matter of a couple of months, I had the story completed.
Now that, by no means, was the end of it all. I started learning about self-publishing, and started learning I needed things like editing, cover designing, book trailers, and much more. I learned that there was a cost, and I discovered I’d found something I truly loved doing…writing!
As I mentioned before, the story was later re-written completely, though the story is still pretty much the same as it was. I just made it better, added a bit here and there, corrected a lot of problems, and so on. The final result was the removal of Dragon Rising from print, and publishing the re-written book with a new title and new cover. Thus, Dragonblood Throne: Legacy was born.
I want to share with you here, in this article, that first scene that I carried in my head for many years before it finally became the novel it is today. Thanks for reading and I hope your enjoyed this insight into what goes on Between the Pages.
Excerpt from Dragonblood Throne: Legacy
Shadows from the light of the twin moons that hung in the darkened sky flickered among the shrubs and trees of the forest. The greater moon, Sianor, provided most of the light that glimmered among the foliage of the wooded scene. The face of Sianor never changed, always full and bright, a miniature sun for the night, only extinguished on cloudy nights.
The lessor moon, Tibel, in a new moon phase and a bit smaller than its larger sibling, almost touched the edge of Sianor in preparation for an imminent lunar eclipse. The stars were scattered across the darkened expanse of the heavens like gleaming gemstones, sparkling with a rainbow of colors.
In the silent gloom of the forest, a young boar dug into the soft forest floor with his nose, searching for the tasty capor roots common to the area. Focused on his quest for food, the boar didn’t notice the four eyes watching him from the shadows of the dogwood thicket at his back. The green, catlike eyes almost glowed in a horizontal row, unblinking and unmoving. The only sounds breaking the tranquility of the morning were the low grunts of the boar as he carried out his task.
An abrupt whisper of wind heralded the appearance of an arrow shaft that seem to suddenly sprout from the boar’s torso. The animal fell listlessly to his side, his heart lanced by the swift projectile. The eyes in the thicket began to move, releasing the veil of shadows as they moved forward and revealed the two behind those mysterious orbs.
A huge cat with saber-toothed fangs and jet-black fur, standing well over three feet in height, emerged first. The cat’s movements were completely silent, the padded paws made no sound as it exited the thicket.
Next to the cat appeared a young elven woman dressed in black fur clothing; her long black hair braided into a high-knotted ponytail that hung past her waist. Slightly elongated ears tapered to a point at the top; her bright green eyes, with slit pupils, very much resembled those of her feline companion. She carried an intricately carved, oaken longbow.
Standing just over five and half feet tall, her slender, athletic build revealed well-toned muscles that belied her almost childlike appearance. Moving as quietly as the cat, she approached the boar, grabbing and removing the arrow from its body. After wiping the blood from the arrowhead on the grass, she returned the projectile to the black-furred quiver slung across her back.
“We’ll have a good meal for breakfast, Morlok,” Delina declared.
Morlok nudged her thigh affectionately with a soft, deep purring sound. Rubbing the cat’s head, Delina smiled as if comprehending Morlok’s unspoken language.
“The next kill is yours. I promise.” Grabbing the boar’s legs in both hands, she slung it up and across her fur clad shoulders with ease. “The sun will rise soon. Let’s get back home.”
Despite her small frame, she had no trouble carrying the eighty-pound boar, displaying a strength that came from more than mere muscle. Treading softly through the brush, Morlok followed Delina into the still silence of the morning as a faint light peeked above the high mountains to the east.