Challenges Part 2: Trail of Pyres

Trail of Pyres is a novel with endings, but those storylines just don’t want to get there!

Oh Sam, just to get there…

I have been condensing the time frame for ToP  considerably. The first concept was for the book to take place over the span of a couple years, but once I got going, it became apparent that I’d end up with a 500k word novel if I did justice to subplots in my head.

The Tek, aka the Hundred Nations, are a people constantly at war with each other, and Ivin and the crew were going to get neck deep in the politics there… but it turns out, they’re only going to get knee deep. The reader will get a solid introduction to the Hundred Nations (in particular the Hidreng and a couple other Teks) including their religious pantheon, known as the Hokandite. I’ll stop there to save spoilers, but let it be said, the Silone gods don’t have a monopoly on cruelty.

So anyhow, by limiting the exposure to the Hundred Nations I save lots and lots of pages, but to do so, I needed to compress the time frame since most of the action gets cut. I think you’ll notice plenty of little plot hooks sitting in the Tek area which will make people think “there’s a story there”. Of course, I want people to think that all the time! Even characters you meet for a little while should feel like their lives are ongoing even when we’re not watching.

Lots of mental battles were fought over what to include and what to cut, but I think I’ve got those worked out. The trick then was that characters needed to age, but I didn’t want to just skip ahead in time between books 2 & 3.

This is where book 2.5, Solineus, saved the day. The original intent for 2.5 was limited in scope, but with time needing to pass, Solineus presented the perfect opportunity to play around, allowing me to dig deep into another culture: The Eight Kingdoms, aka the Kingdomers.

Challenges figured out! Except! The moment I declared a release date for Trail of Pyres, I realized I needed a major change, plus! the aforementioned plot lines are NOT wanting to reach their ends. 

Wish me luck, that challenge has yet to be defeated.

Background Art by Jon Gibbons

© 2018 L. James Rice