Well, it is done. After my several weeks long struggle to get through the second act, I’ve finally done it, and now have a nice complete outline for the second book in my action/fantasy saga.
Never Heroes 2 is underway again
Things have remained busy here. I still have to apply the chapter 11 prose edits to the first book, and my now 100 page long manuscript for the second book patiently awaits my return to the keyboard, a return that is now imminent. I have linked the chain, and now have an unbroken thread that links the narrative from first page to last. Now it’s just a matter of writing it.
A few things had to be altered for the outline to work. For one, I had to seriously cut down on some of the action sequences, which can be difficult when your protagonist, pictured above, is an immensely large and powerful fire breather.
The action sequences in the next installment promise to be very spectacular, a trek through a booby trapped temple, a fight with a mass of flesh eating tar, a great battle with a fleet of ships, and a final showdown on the summit of an ice covered mountain peak. A few sequences had to be cut or combined with others for the simple sake of making sure this next story wasn’t going to be too loud. Ironic considering I was initially worried it wouldn’t be loud enough.
This is after all supposed to be action fantasy.
Writing this outline was originally a very worrying and tiresome process, but coming up with these set pieces and vignettes for the hero and his companions to overcome reminded me one of the things that made me fall in love with this story, and that label was one of them. Action fantasy.
It was something I had never seen before. It is true that many fantasy stories had some spectacular set pieces, such as the epic battles of Middle Earth, or magic showdowns at Hogwarts. None that I had seen in film and literature though had certain qualities that, to me at least, make great action. Sequences and set pieces that are less like the works of Rowling or Tolkien, but more like something out of an Indiana Jones or Die Hard movie. Awkward and bloody violence, torn shirts and bruised knuckles, and more plumes of fire than you can shake a stick at.
The latter is a given, considering that once again, the protagonist is an immensely large and powerful fire breather.
The opportunities for good and exciting set pieces are incalculable when you have such a hero in a story, someone who can breath explosions out on a whim, has big, powerful wings that can fly and kick up storms, and massive claws and a tail that can scatter armies and topple buildings. When you have such a character, what do you do with them? Just how can they be challenged? What credible threats can they face? How do they overcome said threats? Just how much damage can they do? They have to be strong, but they still need to face enough things to make them seem mortal and vulnerable.
So far in this outline, I have eight major set pieces. Most of them are concentrated in the third act of course. I don’t want to be too noisy.
My protagonist is a force of nature with major failings to overcome over the course of this story, and he continues to do so even just in outline form. I can see the slow transition from the sulking and sinister shadow in the dark to someone much more humble, heroic, and maybe even a little kind.
It’s not just this particular book that continues to grow. While outlining this one, I actually started to get some pretty interesting ideas for books three and four in this series. The most significant discovery was how to enhance the primary threat the characters face in book three, which I had been trying to find a better concept for.
The original villain, dubbed the Dragon Eater, was conceived as a prehistoric beast the characters must destroy. Though doing a traditional heroes vs. monster story was an attractive prospect, it didn’t seem quite as far reaching as it could have been given how the first two entires were turning out, and my idea for the forth and final book.
Fortunately, as the writing process often goes, an idea came that changed everything, and enhanced the Dragon Eater from a mere instinct driven beast to be killed, to something much more nefarious.
That is one of the joys of writing. Coming up with ideas and building them more high and more proud is a great feeling, especially if you already loved the idea to begin with.
Action fantasy. It is not a genre I’m too familiar with, but writing it sure is a blast.
Never Heroes 2, here I come.