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Paladins Backstory

Posted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 3:53 pm
by Phill
Paladins is a book idea that evolved from two other book starts that never got finished. (I have several dozen of those "false start books", by the way.) The first book idea involved a human in a car accident that turned out to be an alien. The other started out as a UFO encounter that accidentally bonded a shape-shifting alien mechanism to a Navy fighter pilot.

The latter idea I started writing in the 1990's around the time Top Gun was popular. It was called "Shepherds" and had what I considered to be an interesting premise to it. The former idea I got from Galaxy Quest in the relationship between an alien and a human. That one was tentatively named "Squid". Neither story panned out and I'm not sure I even have much of the Top Gun-inspired one left. Originally started in 1992-1993, I looked at it again in 2012, and that's about all I did there. None of the narrative is in this new effort, but the concept is.

I went back to "Squid" and played with that for a while, before I realized that Squid and Shepherd could be two aspects of the same book.

I was about 40,000 words into Squid by then (for me, that's not a lot) and scrapped about 25,000 of them to take it back a long distance in the story and began to revamp it. As usual for me, I have a beginning premise in my writing, an end point that I want to get to and a general theme, but the story mostly writes itself.

It wasn't until the first major "break" in the narrative, at 72,000 words, that I realized I had more than one book on my hands. Or at least it looks like it now. I'm more than 75,000 words into it and the story is one hell of a long way from being told. And all that's before editing (which usually adds 5%-10% to the word count).

But this is one of those "up in the air" books for me. I THINK I'll be finishing it (mostly because I have one book "finished" already - kind of - even if the story isn't fully told), but there's no set plan as to what to do with it overall. Will it be another trilogy? Will it be a closed series (more than three, but a set number)? Will it be an open series?

Like the Scouts series, it has the potential to be any of them.

Even the title is pending. "Paladins" might be the name of the series (or trilogy) and I haven't decided on what to call any individual books. I'm also writing it rather differently than any I've done in the past in that I'm not writing individual discrete "books" - at least not so far. It's basically one REAL LONG novel. Considering where I am in it, and how far I have to go, I figure that were it one novel, it'd be in the 300,000 word range by the time I'm done with the story I had in mind (so far).

The bottom line is this is all very tentative, but still, for me, rather compelling. New ideas are popping (something that hasn't really happened in my writing since early this year) and I feel like I can breathe new life into two old concepts.

Okay, sitting here, I'm thinking first book could be "Invasion of the Squids", the next book could be "Rise of the Shepherds" and the "last" book could be "Dawn of the Paladins". I HAD thought "Destiny" instead of Dawn, but that sounds too final and I'm still not sure this won't turn into one of those multi-generational sagas they use for Anime series. I can easily see it going in that direction.

Anyhow, that's the back-story, fractured as it is, of Paladins (or whatever this thing will evolve into). I'm hanging onto my lug-nuts because this is going to be a bumpy ride.

Re: Paladins Backstory

Posted: Tue Jun 28, 2016 7:02 pm
by Phill
Paladins is actually a done deal, at least the first book. I finished it last night.

As it turns out, once it's edited, it will be called Rise of the Paladins. It's Book 1 of Shepherd's Odyssey.

Book 2, The Yprithin Campaign, was started today (I wanted to keep the writing going while the spirit moved me).

This will be much like Scouts, in that it's an open-ended series. What it will not be, though, is neatly wrapped up at the end of each book. Much like the serialized shows, there's always something more to say that's left unsaid in that book, but will be picked up in the next. It's following the lives of the characters in them, and life does go on, after all. More always follows.

It will also be multi-generational, so expect old characters to die off to be replaced by new ones. They are fighting a war, after all. Casualties are bound to happen.

To be honest, the first book came to a natural ending and I didn't really see it coming. I have so much planned for the whole story, I thought it would start looking like a set of encyclopedias (for those of you who remember such things before the Internet made them obsolete) before I got it all written down. But I hit the end of what was a mild climax, and realized that if I cut it off then, I could pick up the timeline a couple of years later and start a whole new book with that.

So, I'm left with a surprise finished book that needs editing and cover art. Like the Scouts, I'll be putting these out as I get them formatted and prepared, instead of doing what I did for the Sunderland Saga by finishing the trilogy before putting any single book out.

The unedited book is coming in a few words short of 116,000. I always ADD to the count as I edit, so expect that to go up. It's a longish book (although not a record for me - yet), but it covers a hell of a lot of ground. I need to sand off the rough edges before I put it out there.

I'm hoping to have it ready to go by the end of August (editing is a PAIN!), so look for it then.