This past Tuesday I finally finished a task I swore would get finished. I completed a fifth draft of a script, the werewolf themed thriller Manhunters. On Thursday I met with a writing partner and finished the one sheet for a feature film we were going to try and get made. With these two projects now finished, there’s only one thing left for me to do.
I must return to the enchanted but deadly world of Tygan, to the vast continent of Haiden with its untamed wilds and sprawling medieval cities. Beneath a night sky cast aglow by five moons. Above the clouds where elemental titans slice through the clouds with their mighty wingspans of hundreds of feet, and light up the night with infernos laced into their very breath. Where a certain cruel and vain red dragon has begun his unlikely journey to being this world’s protector.
I will finish my novel Never Heroes.
Hard to believe how long this journey has been going. I wrote the first draft of this adventure back in 2007, nine years ago. It was originally to be a movie based on the Dungeons & Dragons universe, only back then I had no concept of three act structure, character arcs, or even how to format a script. The resulting debacle was a script that even before it was completed clocked in at over 400 pages. It was an absolute mess.
A seed had been planted. A character who at the time was but a supporting player who showed up for a few scenes quickly captured my attention, as well as my imagination. This character was a red dragon. It was as if he reached through the screen, grabbed me by the shoulder and asked “Don’t you know a star when you see one?”
If I didn’t then, I sure do now. Out of all the characters in the story, he certainly was the most photogenic.
During my college screenwriting courses in college, I saw a perfect opportunity to give that star a vehicle. Little by little I applied the knowledge learned about the art of storytelling, cutting the fat away from that first broken draft until something began to emerge. It was much like sculpting. I had made myself a big heavy, ugly block, and I had the difficult task of giving it a face, right down to the smallest detail.
What followed was years of planning, taking notes, abandoning the Dungeons & Dragons origins to make a universe of my own. So many places, people, rules and names. There was so much to keep straight, the Series’ Bible alone was a book in and of itself.
I was fortunate enough to have some of the best friends anyone could ever ask for, who helped me further hammer out the plot details and contributed their stunning artwork to give the book a unique style. Through it all, all the delays and promises I was unable to keep, my depression which they took the brunt of, all those times I was just about one of the worst people you could ever work with, they stuck with me. For that, they have my unending gratitude. Make no mistakes, this project is every bit as much theirs as mine.
To any of those people who read this, I love you all, even if I didn’t do that great a job showing it sometimes.
It has been a long journey. Not a day goes by that this story doesn’t cross my mind, if only for a fleeting moment. Now it seems the writing part of that journey may almost be done. At long last the majority of my issues with the manuscript has been addressed, thanks in large part to my editor who helped give me a sense of direction. At long last, after nine years of planning and over three of constantly writing and re-writing, building a foundation and tearing it down, we can all finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.
As it is now, Never Heroes can stand. Even now it’s better than most of the quickly churned out books in the genre. Adequate has never been my forte. I want this thing to be remarkable. The people who worked so hard on this thing with me deserve nothing less for their labors.