Wednesday, September 23, 2009

so let it be done

Now that I am finally finished writing The Sword of the Prophet, I've been doing some of the administrative work today, trying to recall everything that went into the writing of it. So here are some facts.

The current word count is 124,500, 71 chapters, 432 MS Word pages in 12-point double-spaced font. That will change with revisions, but it gives you some idea of the size of this work.

I got the original idea for this story many years ago. I don't remember the exact year, but do know the exact circumstances. Dungeons and Dragons 3.0 was in beta and I was a beta-tester DM. I began to design an adventure that gave birth to the idea for this story, and to one of its main characters - Paragon d'Ironwood. I queried Dungeon magazine with the adventure and they were interested in seeing the full treatment, but alas I never finished writing it.

Some time later I met Jolly Blackburn at a convention and he told me the Kingdoms of Kalamar people were interested in doing a Kalamar novel, so I wrote out the adventure idea as a novel outline, set in Kalamar. That never went anywhere, so I decided to reset the novel during the Crusader period of earth.

But instead of writing the novel, I wrote a screenplay that came out at a whopping 180 pages long. So I cut it down, eliminated some characters, and submitted it to the Bluecat competition, where it received a very favorable review and some excellent pointers on ways to improve the plot.

In 2006, I began writing the novel based on the screenplay. Then I stopped and wrote a different novel. In 2007 I picked it up again, then stopped and wrote a different novel. Then I rewrote the 2006 novel, then in 2008 I rewrote the 2007 novel. Finally I picked it up again in 2009 and have been working on it unsteadily since about April.

This is not only the longest novel I've ever written, it has taken me longer to write than any novel I've ever written. Hopefully the next one will come a little quicker. Now comes the editing - after I've had a break from it.

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