Last night another long journey began. There’s no telling just how long it will last, or how successful it will be, but the journey has started nonetheless.
2,142 words and six pages, I began writing the second book in the Never Heroes fantasy/adventure saga. It tells of the continuing adventures of a massive red dragon named Zhyx, nicknamed Red by his companions, as he tries to prevent an ancient evil entity from bringing his world to apocalyptic ruin. Largely inspired by the Indiana Jones series, the rough and tumble adventure remains my pride and joy, and I have great difficulty seeing just how it will be surpassed in my own body of work at any time in the future.
I have three more books to finish in this series before I can call it completed. Funny I should start writing the second book now before the first one has even been published or even fully edited, but though writing is a difficult task, it has proven a very enjoyable experience for me. I can never stay away from it for too long.
Getting back into it, I was surprised at just how easy it was to dive right back into the Tygan universe. This is my first time writing a sequel. I had heard the stories of people jumping right back into the swing of old roles and projects after a long hiatus. Granted, my hiatus has not been nearly as long, but I have been working on much different projects in the meantime. Since completing the first full draft of Never Heroes, I have been focusing mainly on horror and thriller projects such as City of Wolves and Abyssus. Working on such tonally different stories, it did worry me that I wouldn’t get back into the swashbuckling fun of the original book. Reading through the material I completed last night, those fears were put to rest.
There were a few problems I was worried about with this sequel. One was how to get critical information and sequences to the audience due to the format of the first book. The entire first book is narrated from a first person perspective from our dragon’s protagonist without any breaks. It was this style that made the story so fun for me to write, as writing something in any character’s voice does add a lot of spice to it. The later books in the series have much more complicated narratives where crucial parts of the story occur in Zhyx’s absence.
I thought I would have certain passages of the book told from a third person perspective, though these segments wouldn’t constitute full chapters, at least not in this book. Rather, they would be short segments that could fulfill any number of purposes, from act breaks to breathing periods for the reader to get critical exposition and character development that the leads would otherwise be unable to observe. One such scene is the opening of Never Heroes 2, which I started writing last night. This scene is told from the point of view of Celice Arietta, one of the supporting players of the first novel.
Being inspired by Indiana Jones, one of my favorite sequences is the opening dance number at the night club in Temple of Doom. It took the character of Indiana Jones and put him in a tux and bowtie, exploring the character’s origins as a James Bond inspired hero. Watching the movie change from the high class champagne and wine bottle musical and back to the nitty gritty style of the first film was great fun, and it was all done in the space of a few seconds when Harrison Ford impales one of his enemies on a flaming shish kabab. That was how I wanted the second book to open. It starts off looking polished and clean, but quickly peels away to reveal itself to be more rough around the edges.
Never Heroes is an action based fantasy adventure, something not typically given a lot of focus on the genre. While there certainly are epic battles and duels of swords and magic, they rarely contain the kind of kinetic energy that I personally find appealing in adventure stories. That being said, it is still a love letter to more traditionally told fantasy stories. I thought it would be fun to begin the second book that way and then change it to what the reader was more familiar with in the space of a few paragraphs. It also gave some fun opportunities to show some interesting elements of this world, its people and their culture. It then devolves (or evolves, whichever way you look at it) into an exciting action sequence, and this is all before the main character even reenters the story.
Six pages in and the action hasn’t kicked off yet, but it will shortly. I can safely say this start did feel appropriate, and it is in line with where I’m hoping the series will go. It is an emotional journey for the lead and does contain some downright apocalyptic elements, but above all else I want this series to be a good time. If last night’s work is any indication, things appear to be on the right track.
I aim to get more of this sequence done today and complete my edit on chapter 7 of book 1 as well. Busy day ahead, but I’m excited. Thanks for reading everyone and I’ll keep you posted.