The saga of Zhyx, the Great Red Wyrm ebbs ever forward.
The last few days have been nothing short of exhausting, because I have been writing non stop. Since my last post, at a rate of about a chapter a day, I have been proofreading and line editing. Chapters 6, 7 and 8 are now in the bag, with the manuscript having dropped down to 153,661 words.
That is almost 19,000 words that have been cut out since the line edit began. 19,000 words that are, in a word, not very good. Thus the characters have been streamlined, the story is moving along much quicker, description is blunt and to the point, and, perhaps most difficult, the action scenes have been given the gift of brevity.
One of my main concerns with this story is that, while it is predominantly character based and filled with lots of emotions to make the journey worthwhile, it is in the end an action story. How can it not been when your main character is a colossal firedrake? In my experience, action sequences are a more visual art than a written one. Something that can take up half a second of screen time could require an entire paragraph of description on the page. In these first nine chapters, the book boasts five action scenes of varying lengths, some brief, others pages long. In going back over them, they are gaining enough variety to keep the story from getting tedious. At least that is my hope.
Also noticed that each of the first nine chapters all begin and end the same way. Zhyx flies into a setting, a brief vignette occurs that moves the story along, and he flies out. It is not until chapter 9 that he enters a setting he will remain for several an extended period. While I was initially worried this was too repetitive, it did reveal an unintentional perk of the character. Being that Zhyx is a dragon, he can easily move from place to place uninhibited. Thus, the better part of the first half of the book is spent with him traveling all over the country of Haiden, which is excellent for world building purposes. No week long horse rides to write around here. That would require me being much more talented. Zhyx can get where he is going in a matter of hours, characters in tow or not. He is kind of like the Milenium Falcon if it had a mind of its own.
Also, City of Wolves is officially in the bag. Proofread through it last night to make sure it was ready for festival submission and sent it out to my partner for one final rush through. After that, it goes into the circuit, and I get to see if it is worth anything artistically. Now freed of that bind, I can concentrate fully on this book series.
A few days back, I told of my nervousness as far as where things would go next. Delving more fully into this world once more, I think I have figured out a pretty decent road map of where to go next in order to reach the ending.
Artwork is coming along. Below is the latest progress on deuteragonist, River. In figuring out the aforementioned roadmap, it is now clear this character will be going to some very exciting places, and become a legend in his own right. The aim is to finish this picture on Wednesday.
More artwork coming up for the main hero finally showing what his toothy maw looks like, so that is exciting too. Work on the chapter 3 illustration has begun, so expect to see more of that in the next few weeks as well.
Chapter 9 will be completed tomorrow. It is only a matter of time now before the search for an agent begins, and I begin the long and tortuous task of surviving the sea of rejection letters that are sure to come.
Thanks all of you for reading this and investing your time and interest in this project. That means a lot to me and everyone else involved. Take care and see you soon.