The saga of the Great Red Wyrm continues. Zhyx, the red dragon, has had a rough time in his first outing as an action hero, but he has a few more stories to get through before we can both call it a day. That being said, he will be able to take a few month rest along with me before I get to work on book 2.
Well, it took a few lumps, but the artwork for the characters of River and Celice are finally done. All I can say is, especially when compared to the original picture of River, I am very pleased with the final result.
Here is the original.
And here is what we have now.
In addition, some updates have been made to the character of Major Celice Hulayen Arietta. In the book, she sports a bandolier of crossbow bolts, which the picture has been updated to include. It certainly doesn’t look like what one would expect out of a fantasy, but the idea of this series was to explore conventions found in other genres and apply them to a world of dragons, magic and anything else that is generally fantastic. So far, things seem to be working out pretty well.
Now that the query process has begun, what awaits this project in the future?
I will be working on a script project over the next month or two. A little thing I have had bouncing around inside my head for some time now. A few days ago I was able to write the opening scene, and it came out pretty well. A few more sessions working with a friend of mine, this work should be pretty solid.
After that script is completed, work on book 2 will continue. The plot of book 2 is already pretty much set in stone. I know the beginning, I know the middle, and I know the ending. It is just a matter of fleshing it out until it becomes a complete story, and more importantly, how to apply the themes of the first book to this one as well.
The main inspirations for this story are Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jaws, and The Thing. Three vastly different stories in their own right, but all of them have the appropriate elements I seek to make book 2 of my dragon’s saga complete. What I especially look forward to is expanding on the characters.
Citch and Slight, pictured above, are very minor characters in the first novel, but that does not detract from their significance in the story. It was Slight whom River has spent the better part of eight years hunting, and Citch remains one of the top figures in the villains’ inner circle. Following the end of book 1, he has more than likely ascended to the top position of power.
Sometimes expanding in a minor character can work for a series. Just look at the Friday the 13th films. In the original classic, it was Jason’s mother killing camp counselors at Crystal Lake, her son’s suppose death being her motivation. It was only in the sequel that the creators decided to resurrect Jason from the grave to take up her mantle, and he has since become the series icon when in the original he was little more than an afterthought. Sometimes, a story can hold some very interesting things in the least expected of places.
Better yet is the matriarch of all dragonkind, the graceful but sassy Saar’Jya.
Saar’Jya is a significant character in the first book. It is she who directs Celice to Zhyx to be her chosen hero for hire, so without her, we wouldn’t have a story. That being said, she only appears in two scenes in the original book. I plan to use her a lot more in the upcoming books as she is quite a fun character to work with. She is a lot like Obi-Wan of Star Wars fame in that she is an incorporeal entity who cannot physically interact with the characters. Just take that concept and add some snark. The good news is her role expansion is underway. I already figured an interesting way for her to take part in book 2’s final act, so more of her beauty, as well as her snark, will be there for the other characters to enjoy.
As for the big bad in book 2? Once again, here is that piece of concept art that David Spada provided a few months ago. Subject to some revision, but it already looks pretty fantastic.
David Spada plows on with that next picture of Zhyx, and come Wednesday, Joe and I will be having a meeting in regards to illustration number 3. We have both already figured on a list of illustrations the book will need, numbering 9 total. We already have two done, so now there are seven to go.
The heroes article has been updated to include the new artwork. Thanks for reading and I will keep you all posted on further updates.