Thoughts on My Two Trilogies

Before beginning the actual post, here in the USA Sunday, May 13, is Mother’s Day. To be honest none of us would be here or be who we are if it weren’t for our mothers. Raising children or the next generation is probably the toughest job on this world. So here’s to all of the mothers, and mothers-to-be out there. Have a great mom’s day and I personally salute you for your love, work, devotion, and dedication.

* * *

On Tuesday May 15, 2018 I’m releasing A Taste of History Past, Or – That’s Another Fine Myth You’ve Gotten Me Into, Book three of the Survival Trilogy. This is a second edition with revisions and updates This completes this trilogy with this release. With second editions of the first two novels in 2017, and the release of the novel The Harsh Lands which is the trilogy in a single novel, and A Taste of History Past, this week I’ll be moving on to my next book which will be one of short stories titled Words in the Wind.  (Links to the website where additional information is available is below.)

* * *

I’ve written, as I stated above, two trilogies. Of course when I began the first novel the plan, at the time, was for the story to be presented in a single novel. This makes me think about Anne McCaffrey and one of her short stories that then became four novels later, (Freedom’s Landing is the first book). Sometimes a story stays with you and demands more.

My two trilogies are: The Survival and Discovery. The Survival trilogy consisting of, Time of Isolation, Desperate to Survive, and A Taste of History Past. The Discovery trilogy consisting of, The Ones Before, Discovery, and An Ancient Fire. The trilogies are listed in order of publication. Yet I wrote the first two books of the Discovery trilogy before I wrote the Survival trilogy.

As I stated, the original plan, in both series, was to write a single novel and here I want to explain how I track my writing as I create the first draft. First off, if you’re new to this blog, when I write I don’t outline. I have the complete story in my head and I see it as images that I then translate into words on the page. My goal is around 100,000 words but normally end up with around 15,000 more. This translates, for my novels, into the range of the high 300’s to mid 600’s, (one novel pushed close to 170,000 words) for a page count.

As I write I keep this goal in mind and actually worry that I won’t reach it until I reach 50,000 plus words. At that point I know how much story I have left. Then comes the next worry: Will I complete this within the limitations I’ve set? And as I push 80,000 words I generally know. I realized in the novels, Time of Isolation, and The Ones Before that when I reached my word count limit I still had a lot of story to tell. Too much to wrap it up in a single novel.

This meant that there’d be a second novel. Still with what I saw, in my mind, I really didn’t think I had enough left to create a second novel. So this left me in a quandary as to what to do. Yet, the desire to continue the story stayed with me and I then wrote, Desperate to Survive, (Survival) and Discovery, (Discovery). In a sense I probably had no reason to worry since both novels turned out to be longer than the first ones. And to be truthful in both trilogies the second novel wraps up the main story. As you can see from the titles of the second novels it is where the name for the trilogies came from.

I realized that the two fictitious universes I’d created left room to write about different time periods within those worlds. So with The Survival Trilogy I went forward in time creating a whole new set of characters and where in this world and time period the action takes place would then reflect the past world from the first two novels. In the Discovery trilogy I went back in time where that story would reflect and show the beginnings of what became known as fact in the first two novels.

In both trilogies I realized that if I had a desire to continue that there would be many other novels that could come from these worlds. Most likely both will stand as they are. The genres for them are: Survival trilogy – Science Fiction Adventure, and Discovery trilogy – Post Apocalyptic. By going to my website, (https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction/) you can see the covers, and read the blurbs about these stories and see if they may be of interest and something you’d love to read.

There you will find the ISBNs. And they are available from most retailers and can be ordered online through their sites.

God Bless and have a great weekend and Mother’s day! (https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com)

Advertisements

Unexpected Unplanned and into the Unknown

Available as of December 5th, three new novelsThe Ones Before, Discovery, and An Ancient Fire. All part of the Discovery Trilogy. They will be released on Tuesday December 5th. Available as paperbacks and EBooks. The story is post-apocalyptic by many generations who are looking back and attempting to solve a myth that will not die.

Of Gods Strangers and Messengers, Science Fiction Adventure, (ISBN: 978-1-946179-12-8 Paperback, and the link to the webpage for this book: (http://www.fdbrant.com/page21.html), and Unexpected Unplanned and into the Unknown, a Post-Apocalyptic episodic novel, (ISBN: 978-1-946179-15-9 Paperback, and the link to the webpage for this book: http://www.fdbrant.com/page20.html) Both are available as paperback and in the EBook format. They were released on July 14,2017.

The Harsh Lands, (Link to webpage: http://www.fdbrant.com/page19.html) is available as a paperback (ISBN: 978-1-946179-00-5), for Kindle (ASIN: B01N69YCCW), or in the EPub format (ISBN: 978-1-946179-02-9). This novel is the complete Survival trilogy in a single book with a length of over 1150 pages.

Time of Isolation: (link to webpage:http://www.fdbrant.com/article02.html)  Paperback (ISBN: 978-1-946179-06-1) Kindle (ISBN: 978-1-946179-07-4) and Epub (ISBN: 978-1-946179-08-1) and Desperate to Survive: (Link to webpage:http://www.fdbrant.com/desperatetosurvive.html) Paperback (ISBN: 978-1-946179-09-8) Kindle (ISBN: 978-1-946179-10-4) and Epub (ISBN: 978-1-946179-11-1) are available for purchase as of April 21, 2017. These releases are second editions with the novels revised and updated. At this time A Taste of History Past, (Link to webpage: http://www.fdbrant.com/page18.html) will remain as a first edition and EBook only with this being the final book in the Survival trilogy.

The Woman in the Snow 2nd edition, (Link to webpage: http://www.fdbrant.com/article01.html). Contemporary Christian Fiction available now: Paperback (ISBN 978-1-946179-03-6) Kindle (ISBN 978-1-946179-04-3) and Epub (978-1-946179-05-0):

 

As a reminder, as I link back to my previous Christmas stories, I thought it important to write about alternative stories. Ideas that take us away from all the “feel good” stories, not that there’s anything wrong with feel good stories. I thought about the fact that for many such a time isn’t necessarily a great time even though we’d like it to be. These stories aren’t necessarily negative, but simply provide a different view. And with these thoughts I wrote for 2012, A Darkness Incomplete. https://windmillsmetaphor4writing.wordpress.com/2012/12/22/a-darkness-incomplete/

Ah yes, here is number eight, (And the novel that reached my original goal). And as the stories continued to come to me I found that my average word count was running somewhere between 115,000 to 125,000 words. And if I was to try the traditional route to a published work then for a debut novel the word count would have to be less. In fact publishers request that these “first” novels  be from 80,000, and no greater than 100,000 words.

So as I wrote this novel I consciously worked to keep the word count down and within that range. Unexpected Unplanned and into the Unknown, when first written, ended up around 84,000 words. And for me it was a tough write as I ended cutting a lot of material that would make the story richer, and in my mind better. So I put it out there, and one publisher seemed interested, but in the end rejected the story. There were no other bites or requests.

This meant I needed to go back and rework the story, which I did. In truth if you dig back into the archives here in this blog you will find the novel presented – both as it was originally written, and then later with the changes and revisions. It allowed any to see the process of writing and revision. Still once a publisher has rejected your manuscript you cannot go back and resubmit the story. You get only one chance with that publisher.

This story came about from images in my mind, and from some past reads that pointed me in the direction I needed to go. I write three types of stories, and here I’m referring to the structure. They are chapter, which most are, timeline, which have no chapters, and episodic, which this novel is. While most stories deal with time, the timeline generally is there for all to see and is more in the background. Kind of like any day we go through. We get up in the morning go through our routines, and then find ourselves, at the end of the day, back in bed. There’s a definite beginning and end, and this applies well to chapter books.

In my timeline books it is time itself that is the factor. It is critical to the action, and since there are many players in the story, where they are at a particular moment keeps things organized in one’s mind. Making it easier to follow what’s happening to whom and where it is taking place. So instead of chapter headings there’s simply a line stating day and time of day and who it applies to. The Woman in the Snow is an example of this.

In my episodic novels, which Unexpected Unplanned and into the Unknown is, each episode can stand on its own. In a sense it’s a short story that is part of the overall story. If you think about it you might compare this to a mini series on TV where each episode is given, which is complete onto itself, but one must see all of them to get the full story, and have it wrap up.

So, with the revisions, I ended up writing another episode, rewrote other portions, and changed the end bringing closure to this story. And because of the way the story stayed with me I’d actually started a sequel to this story. Again like the other I mentioned that is incomplete, this one may end up that way also. I’m still involved with two others that I’m presently writing. This novel is post-apocalyptic, again “the event” has happened far into the past. Far enough that the ones living in the present are unaware of what happened, or consider it myth.

It is a primitive world of walled villages, raider clans, trading centers, and transportation by animal and foot. The story begins with us following a young man who is about to enter the world of adults, and as such wants to fulfill one final desire before having to put such trivial thoughts away forever. Their village is in the foothills on the edge of a great desert, and behind their village is the peaks that always have snow on top. He wants to conquer those peaks and gets permission to do so. And it is during this time of climbing the mountains that his world changes forever. And here is the back cover:

A World of Walled Villages: It is a time where heavily fortified protection is needed because there are fierce roving raider clans who strike with deadly swiftness. It is from this world that Jay, a young male about to enter adulthood, decides to pursue his lifelong dream.

The Mountain Peaks: Tall, foreboding and challenging. These exist behind his village as part of its protection and isolation. It is these same towering and majestic peaks that Jay desires to conquer – unaware that his world and his life will soon be forever changed.

The Desert: Enormous, barren, deadly – this is the other element of the village’s isolation and protection. Few dare to venture here.

Apocalyptic Event: Happened deep enough in their past that many people believe its myth – a story invented by their ancestors. Yet the resulting destruction is still visible in both the ancient craters, and the sparse populations.

And with this; everything is set that will lead to life changing events for the people, the world, and Jay in this post-apocalyptic tale of life and death.

And there you have it, a world that has ordinary people who face extraordinary circumstances or situations that force them to grow, to change, and to overcome the challenges that is thrown their way. Their choices are simple – survive, or die. And it will be up to them as to which will be the outcome.

God Bless and have a great week!

 

 

An Ancient Fire

Available soon, three new novelsThe Ones Before, Discovery, and An Ancient Fire. All part of the Discovery Trilogy. More to come!

Of Gods Strangers and Messengers, Science Fiction Adventure, (ISBN: 978-1-946179-12-8 Paperback, and the link to the webpage for this book: (http://www.fdbrant.com/page21.html), and Unexpected Unplanned and into the Unknown, a Post-Apocalyptic episodic novel, (ISBN: 978-1-946179-15-9 Paperback, and the link to the webpage for this book: http://www.fdbrant.com/page20.html) Both are available as paperback and in the EBook format. They were released on July 14,2017.

The Harsh Lands, (Link to webpage: http://www.fdbrant.com/page19.html) is available as a paperback (ISBN: 978-1-946179-00-5), for Kindle (ASIN: B01N69YCCW), or in the EPub format (ISBN: 978-1-946179-02-9). This novel is the complete Survival trilogy in a single book with a length of over 1150 pages.

Time of Isolation: (link to webpage:http://www.fdbrant.com/article02.html)  Paperback (ISBN: 978-1-946179-06-1) Kindle (ISBN: 978-1-946179-07-4) and Epub (ISBN: 978-1-946179-08-1) and Desperate to Survive: (Link to webpage:http://www.fdbrant.com/desperatetosurvive.html) Paperback (ISBN: 978-1-946179-09-8) Kindle (ISBN: 978-1-946179-10-4) and Epub (ISBN: 978-1-946179-11-1) are available for purchase as of April 21, 2017. These releases are second editions with the novels revised and updated. At this time A Taste of History Past, (Link to webpage: http://www.fdbrant.com/page18.html) will remain as a first edition and EBook only with this being the final book in the Survival trilogy.

The Woman in the Snow 2nd edition, (Link to webpage: http://www.fdbrant.com/article01.html). Contemporary Christian Fiction available now: Paperback (ISBN 978-1-946179-03-6) Kindle (ISBN 978-1-946179-04-3) and Epub (978-1-946179-05-0).

* * *

Today November 11th here in the USA is Veterans Day. A time of remembrance for those who have served and the ones who are presently serving in the defense of this country. Remember to thank a vet for the very freedoms you enjoy. Without their sacrifice none of this would be possible.  Now on to today’s post:

 

With the previous project done I then looked to what I’d write for novel number six. I found that I still had the passion to continue, (and was still short of my original goal) and before I got out of the habit of writing I decided that it would be smart to continue. I still had the two series I’d written earlier in the back of my mind. I felt that it would be important to make them trilogies instead of just the two novels. Yet both series had wrapped up their main stories by the end of book two, meaning that the stories could be left there.

I know of a number of authors that continue a series well beyond a trilogy. One that comes immediately to mind is Marion Zimmer Bradley and her Darkover series. In this series she didn’t necessarily cover the same time period in this planet’s history. So while there was a continuity to her stories they were not necessarily of the same location, actors or characters, or had the same plotline. Meaning that simply stated she stayed within the universe of Darkover, and that was all.

Another author and a further example of this happening is Ann McCaffrey, and her Pern or Dragon series. Originally before the series became really popular the books were linear, but as time went on many became stand alones within the universe she’d created. So this led me to the idea that the third novel in both of these possible future trilogies would take place in another time period, with new characters, completely different settings, and conflicts to overcome, but would remain within the universe created by those first two novels.

So this led to the third novel for the Discovery trilogy. When I looked at all that took place in the first two novels the protagonists were searching for answers to the myth of an ancient people simply known as The Ones Before. In those novels there had been no discoveries, no artifacts, and nothing written in their history to show that these elusive people ever existed. That meant if they had lived, then whatever had taken place at that time had to be pure chaos for nothing to have survived. And to be honest the survivors from that time of pre-history would have picked over the carcass of the lost and destroyed civilization until there would be nothing left – talk about your ultimate recycling.

And if I tell the truth here, I actually began a novel (which will probably never be completed) that would begin just before the apocalyptic event that set us on the pathway to the first two novels of the Discovery trilogy. And while I did get pretty far into the novel I needed to do some “on the ground” research, and unfortunately neither time nor money was available and it never came to fruition. So I abandoned that one, which I had tentatively titled, The Beginning, or is it the End? Who knows, maybe someday I’ll return to the story.

Anyway, with that failed project now on the shelves it left me to decide how I wanted to proceed. And as I thought about it a new storyline began to develop. In this present time and with a lot of people becoming what is known as preppers I thought that using some of what this is about as part of the story. Still I didn’t want the story to be in this present time period. So I placed my protagonists three generations or approximately two hundred years after the apocalyptic event.

And as I continued, I did what I did with the first two novels. Where this fictitious story takes place, the lands exist. For those of you who are interested, most of what happens in this novel takes place in an area in central Oregon, USA. The area is bounded by the Ochoco and Malhuer National Forests, the town of Dayville, the John Day fossil beds, and highway 26. Here are located fossil beds, and a semi-arid desert like land. There are a few small communities scattered throughout the area, lots and lots of canyons, valleys, mountains, rolling hills, sparse vegetation, and a river that actually does run through the area, making it an excellent area to tell this story. And in this story I briefly touch on Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming.

And while the exact location of the slave auctions are never mentioned, other than being to the east, and existing on the great plains, they do play a minor role overall. Basically it’s simply east of the Rockies, and southeast of where most of the action takes place.

The story opens in that semi-arid area where a family has found refuge, and is isolated, which means safety. (And they have a past prepper to thank.) Or so they thought as their world is about to change, and it will not be for the good. Presently I’m working on the back cover blurb so I can’t post it here as of yet. And this novel isn’t available at this time. Still I’m presently on schedule for a December 2017 release for the complete trilogy.

God Bless, and have a great week! (http://www.fdbrant.com/) After the first of the year 2018 the URL will change as I’m updating my present webpage that will have increased security and possibly, sometime in the future, a cart.

Coming in December

Available soon, three new novelsThe Ones Before, Discovery, and An Ancient Fire. All part of the Discovery Trilogy, which is being discussed in this post.

Of Gods Strangers and Messengers, Science Fiction Adventure, (ISBN: 978-1-946179-12-8 Paperback, and the link to the webpage for this book: (http://www.fdbrant.com/page21.html), and Unexpected Unplanned and into the Unknown, a Post-Apocalyptic episodic novel, (ISBN: 978-1-946179-15-9 Paperback, and the link to the webpage for this book: http://www.fdbrant.com/page20.html) Both are available as paperback and in the EBook format. They were released on July 14,2017.

The Harsh Lands, (Link to webpage: http://www.fdbrant.com/page19.html) is available as a paperback (ISBN: 978-1-946179-00-5), for Kindle (ASIN: B01N69YCCW), or in the EPub format (ISBN: 978-1-946179-02-9). This novel is the complete Survival trilogy in a single book with a length of over 1150 pages.

Time of Isolation: (link to webpage:http://www.fdbrant.com/article02.html)  Paperback (ISBN: 978-1-946179-06-1) Kindle (ISBN: 978-1-946179-07-4) and Epub (ISBN: 978-1-946179-08-1) and Desperate to Survive: (Link to webpage:http://www.fdbrant.com/desperatetosurvive.html) Paperback (ISBN: 978-1-946179-09-8) Kindle (ISBN: 978-1-946179-10-4) and Epub (ISBN: 978-1-946179-11-1) are available for purchase as of April 21, 2017. These releases are second editions with the novels revised and updated. At this time A Taste of History Past, (Link to webpage: http://www.fdbrant.com/page18.html) will remain as a first edition and EBook only with this being the final book in the Survival trilogy.

The Woman in the Snow 2nd edition, (Link to webpage: http://www.fdbrant.com/article01.html). Contemporary Christian Fiction available now: Paperback (ISBN 978-1-946179-03-6) Kindle (ISBN 978-1-946179-04-3) and Epub (978-1-946179-05-0).

* * *

We interrupt this present series of posts for a special announcement: A new trilogy to be available in early December for your reading pleasure – Discovery.

When I started the present series of posts, the first two novels in this new trilogy that will become available shortly, were the first two novels I wrote and discussed. With the first, The Ones Before, written over ten years ago, and the other two following over the years. And since the month of December is only a short time away, it is time to introduce all of you to their world. This series is in the Post-Apocalyptic genre.

Imagine, if you can, living in the time period of our past somewhere in the early to middle 1800’s. Think about the differences in the way of life, the inability to communicate rapidly over distances, the time it would take to travel anywhere, and the lifestyle in general. Compared to now it might be a better time as far as the day-to-day pressures, and it might actually be less complicated. Still much of what we take for granted wouldn’t exist.

Now I stated that the trilogy is post-apocalyptic, and while it is true it only loosely fits. The time from the event to where the story begins is thousands of years later when we look at the first two novels, which carries the main story to conclusion. The third in this trilogy takes place approximately two hundred years after the event making that world much more chaotic, and quite dangerous.

With this stated, let’s take a look at the main protagonists of this story, (at least for the first two novels) and there are six: Jllon and his mate Nouma. He is the Head Keeper of the Past, and is responsible for record keeping, archiving, researching, and digs where they attempt to discover additional facts about the past.

Then we have the brother and sister, the only ones still remaining, they are the last of their family: Lauut and Lauma, who work family property that’s been in their family for generations. Their skills lie in the care, raising, and breeding of animals. These animals are domestic herd, and pack animals. And they are very good at this, but because of their isolation, they are on the verge of losing it all.

This leaves the final two: Fauul, and Doube. Fauul being a cartographer, and Doube a scout of high regard. Over time the two grow a strong friendship, and even though they lose contact, eventually they meet again. In fact throughout the novels they have a number of chance meetings, as well as just missing each other when they happen to be in the same place at the same time.

In this  trilogy the protagonists, or the three groups as I’ve broken them down here have never met. Each group doing exactly what is required of them and as such at the beginning none of their paths have crossed leading to three stories of their lives. And many times this is life in the real world, since we have no idea what’s ahead of any of us or whether we will even survive the present day.

In this story, at least for the first two novels, the antagonists are the lands, the weather, and at times highwaymen, gangs of thieves and murderers who mostly live in the outback, in the places where there’s no one living. They prey on travelers making it important that when one does travel the outback to do it in numbers significant enough to discourage the bad element. Travel is on foot, and if one does head for the coast watercraft are available for a fee.

The story deals with a myth that refuses to die, and thusly the title of the first book, The Ones Before. With the time that has passed the myth has remained unchanged. They are a great people who disappeared a long time in the past. So deep in the past that nothing has ever been found to prove their existence. No ruins, nothing written, no artifacts, and what has been presented as from The Ones Before was shown to be created by those who presented the material. And this is the what the present, as well as past Head Keepers of the Past faced. A myth that will not die, and absolutely no proof these people ever existed.

And because of the timing Jllon is hoping to put this myth to rest once and for all time. He has no belief in these ancient ones, but is open minded enough to accept whatever is discovered or learned about these elusive ones. And with this push to map the major trails, then there might be a chance, a slight chance that something will be learned, or discovered that will allow he and his team the opportunity to do an archeological dig, and bring closure, one way or the other, to this myth.

And this is the main theme, the arc of the story for the first two novels. Then we move onto the third and we now have a different locale, different players, and a different time period. Yet, it is still the same universe of the first two novels with only “when” being different. This novel, An Ancient Fire, would probably come closer to what one would imagine a post-apocalyptic world and novel should be. A world in chaos, with survival not guaranteed. There are too many ways to die, and if the human species isn’t careful, they may become extinct.

With the apocalyptic event in the recent past, the small remnant of mankind is trying to survive. Unfortunately the bad element within mankind could care less, and is pushing mankind closer each day to extinction. In this story we mainly follow a family who has hidden themselves in a semi-arid region that seems devoid of life other than the few animals and sparse vegetation that surrounds them. Yet from the very beginning changes are in the wind that will place all of them in danger. Danger severe enough that if discovered would mean their very lives will be forfeit. Here, we see and learn of the very beginning of traditions, and such for the first two novels.

And one last thing, this trilogy is the only one where the lands exist. No none of the cities that we are familiar with, as they’ve been destroyed in the apocalyptic event. So if one decided that they’d be interested in tracing the routes and go to the locations mentioned, then it would be possible.

Next week it will be back to the present series of the presentation of the novels I’ve written, in the order written. God Bless and have a great week! (http://www.fdbrant.com/) After the first of the year 2018 my URL will be changing as I will have a new webpage.

 

Discovery

Available now, two new novels: Of Gods Strangers and Messengers, Science Fiction Adventure (And the link to the webpage for this book: (http://www.fdbrant.com/page21.html), and Unexpected Unplanned and into the Unknown, a Post-Apocalyptic episodic novel, (And the link to the webpage for this book: http://www.fdbrant.com/page20.html) Both are available as paperback and in the EBook format. They were released on July 14,2017.

The Harsh Lands, (Link to webpage: http://www.fdbrant.com/page19.html) is available as a paperback (ISBN: 978-1-946179-00-5), for Kindle (ASIN: B01N69YCCW), or in the EPub format (ISBN: 978-1-946179-02-9). This novel is the complete Survival trilogy in a single book with a length of over 1150 pages.

Time of Isolation: (link to webpage:http://www.fdbrant.com/article02.html)  Paperback (ISBN: 978-1-946179-06-1) Kindle (ISBN: 978-1-946179-07-4) and Epub (ISBN: 978-1-946179-08-1) and Desperate to Survive: (Link to webpage:http://www.fdbrant.com/desperatetosurvive.html) Paperback (ISBN: 978-1-946179-09-8) Kindle (ISBN: 978-1-946179-10-4) and Epub (ISBN: 978-1-946179-11-1) are available for purchase as of April 21, 2017. These releases are second editions with the novels revised and updated. At this time A Taste of History Past, (Link to webpage: http://www.fdbrant.com/page18.html) will remain as a first edition and EBook only with this being the final book in the Survival trilogy.

The Woman in the Snow 2nd edition, (Link to webpage: http://www.fdbrant.com/article01.html). Contemporary Christian Fiction available now: Paperback (ISBN 978-1-946179-03-6) Kindle (ISBN 978-1-946179-04-3) and Epub (978-1-946179-05-0).

* * *

If you caught last week’s post you know that I’m presenting the novels I’ve written in the order I’ve written them. And this one is book two in the Discovery Trilogy. Restating what I said last week, and since this is the second, I had just come back to writing. And until I wrote The Ones Before, I had never tackled a full length novel. Looking back it had been years, and I mean years since I had tried my hand at writing, and I found that almost the whole industry had changed.

There was much that I got wrong, and as in anything worth pursuing, I continue to learn and improve. And while this novel is over one hundred sixty five thousand words, (approximately 500 pages) making it long for what publishers want, it continues to tell the story of a future world thousands of years after an apocalyptic event. And what this novel did and it’s the only time I’ve faced this, is to force me to go back to book one, The Ones Before, and rewrite portions of it – again. This had to happen to make the two novels consistent and work together since it obviously deals with the same story.

To be truthful, this second novel was a much better written first draft than the first one. Still I’ve had to do heavy editing and revisions to it also. Originally the story was to be a single novel, but, as in my other trilogy, it became two, and then eventually three. And where book one was originally to end, this happened instead in book two – Not that book one doesn’t reach closure because it does.

All three novels take place in a post apocalyptic world where only the “when” is different. Books one and two take place thousands of years after the event while book three is approximately two hundred years or three generations since the destruction. In many ways book three shows the beginnings of trends and traditions that are part of the societies and the world of the first two books. And book three presents the remnant of the ones who became known as The Ones Before.

Once again this story is a result of a recurring dream, one that left me with images that I wanted to bring to life. And this story, these novels began it all for me. Because once these first two were complete, (not necessarily ready for primetime) I found I had a desire to continue. As I stated last week, I set a goal, at the time of writing these novels, of writing eight. Was it realistic? I didn’t know, but knew, after checking those milestones, I could always adjust that figure if it became necessary. So I pushed off into the unknown.

This journey began at the end of 2006, and I consider 2007 to be the actual time of writing that first novel. And here we are ten years later. So the obvious question is did I make that goal, or did I have to adjust it? And the truth here is yes, (yes what?) I had to adjust it. I had to adjust it higher and changed the goal to ten, which I’ll make and surpass also. And as I stated last week, I found that it takes me a year to produce a novel. This includes the writing, editing, revisions, and rewrites. Yet even then they aren’t necessarily ready for publication as there’s many additional steps that must be taken before any of them will see the light of day and are available.

So book one, within the storyline, ends with success. Yet the ones we are following have a second destination, a second site, and have plans to head there once they wrap up the project where they presently are located – which happens to be the desert. Now I stated that with this series if one wanted they could follow every character and the lands where they live, travel, and work, as I used real lands. No none of the cities, towns, and such exist in the story, but every piece of land is there.

In this novel we continue to follow the six protagonists and their lives. They are a brother and sister, a scout, a cartographer, the Head Keeper of the past, and his wife. And there is a point in the story where all of them finally come together and meet for the first time. Until then they remain separate. Well generally, as obviously the brother and sister are together as well as the Head Keeper of the Past and his wife. And the scout and the cartographer are friends. Still it is an accidental discovery that makes the wheels begin to turn that will bring all of them together and in the end lead to these important discoveries, and the influences these discoveries will make on their known world.

And with Discovery the story actually wraps up. So at the completion of this one they, the novels, went to the shelves where they have remained these past ten years. Again, at the time of writing I didn’t think anything about editing, or the whole process necessary to make the novels and stories work. I thought, wrongly, when one writes nothing else needs to be done.  In fact I felt so strongly and positively about this one that I submitted it to a contest. Of course it failed miserably – no editing and such, no story.

Still, in the end, I love my characters, their lives, and the world where they live. And we really do get up close and personal with these characters, and everything about them. And speaking of their world I think that most of us would find it difficult to live in that world. We love our modern conveniences, our medical advancements, transportation, and such. In this world none of that exists. The world would be closer to the early to middle 1800’s, than the world of the 21st century. Populations are small, as we continue to recover from the event that almost wiped the human race off the planet. And nothing, absolutely nothing from our time seems to have survived. We have started over.

Have a great week, and God Bless! (http://www.fdbrant.com/)

 

 

The Ones Before

Available now, two new novels: Of Gods Strangers and Messengers, Science Fiction Adventure (And the link to the webpage for this book: (http://www.fdbrant.com/page21.html), and Unexpected Unplanned and into the Unknown, a Post-Apocalyptic episodic novel, (And the link to the webpage for this book: http://www.fdbrant.com/page20.html) Both are available as paperback and in the EBook format. They were released on July 14,2017.

The Harsh Lands, (Link to webpage: http://www.fdbrant.com/page19.html) is available as a paperback (ISBN: 978-1-946179-00-5), for Kindle (ASIN: B01N69YCCW), or in the EPub format (ISBN: 978-1-946179-02-9). This novel is the complete Survival trilogy in a single book with a length of over 1150 pages.

Time of Isolation: (link to webpage:http://www.fdbrant.com/article02.html)  Paperback (ISBN: 978-1-946179-06-1) Kindle (ISBN: 978-1-946179-07-4) and Epub (ISBN: 978-1-946179-08-1) and Desperate to Survive: (Link to webpage:http://www.fdbrant.com/desperatetosurvive.html) Paperback (ISBN: 978-1-946179-09-8) Kindle (ISBN: 978-1-946179-10-4) and Epub (ISBN: 978-1-946179-11-1) are available for purchase as of April 21, 2017. These releases are second editions with the novels revised and updated. At this time A Taste of History Past, (Link to webpage: http://www.fdbrant.com/page18.html) will remain as a first edition and EBook only with this being the final book in the Survival trilogy.

The Woman in the Snow 2nd edition, (Link to webpage: http://www.fdbrant.com/article01.html). Contemporary Christian Fiction available now: Paperback (ISBN 978-1-946179-03-6) Kindle (ISBN 978-1-946179-04-3) and Epub (978-1-946179-05-0).

* * *

In the weeks ahead I’ll be presenting each of the novels I’ve written. This is the first. I plan on going into a bit of background on each, what my thoughts were at the time, and the direction the novel was originally to take and where it actually ended. And during this process I’ll present them in the order written. And with the first I’ll be providing an introduction to this overall series of posts.

One would think that for example, trilogies are written as a set, one after another until complete. And I suspect for many writers it is this way. Still, with the two trilogies I’ve written neither were. In both cases the first two were written followed by other novels before returning to complete the series. Again, both of these trilogies are open for additional novels. Whether that happens is an unknown.

In truth, after retiring and then beginning this career as a writer I’m finding that after fifty plus years of working that I’m burning out. Yes, in comparison to the hours I spent working my original career, this is a leisurely journey. Still like any job, it requires time, and while I don’t punch a clock any more, I still must be disciplined, spend each day concentrating on the writing, editing, and things like this blog.

This probably requires more discipline, concentration, and dedication than anything I’ve done. And while it would be nice to see some financial gain for the time, effort, and finances spent, and it hasn’t been cheap, there’s a good chance in the end that there will be no such reward. Leaving my reward to be the actual completion of a number of novels, all that I self-published. I know that many have started such a journey never to finish.

I can say I’ve learned a lot, and know that as far as this industry I’ve barely begun. So much has changed since the time when I first tried my hand at writing. In fact the whole industry is different, and now so much of what must be done has to be done by the writer. It’s no longer write the novel, submit it, and if one is fortunate enough to have it chosen by one of the publishing houses, then from there they’d take over and do everything necessary to get it out to the world. And if you’re a writer you know of what I speak.

And when you consider that there are over a million new publications each year then for an unknown to become known is close to impossible. Statistics say that nine out of ten writers fail. And to be honest this might be even higher. So when I began this journey in earnest these facts were something I was unaware of. Maybe it’s a good thing since it meant that I wouldn’t be discouraged right out of the gate.

Still some of the ignorance remained with me through those first couple of years where I learned how long it takes to bring forth a new work. For me, from beginning to end, and here I’m not referring to actually publishing, it takes about a year to do all the serious work. That means writing the novel followed by serious editing. While it is less than ideal I must do my own editing. For this I have no choice. Financially, hiring an editor, is beyond my means.

Editing, by far, is the most difficult and important part of the process. For me I have a method, as I’m sure most writers do. And for me I go through a novel – first page to last – a minimum of three times. Still with the ones I’m presently editing I can say I’ve been completely through them at least twelve times. Why the difference? It’s simple really. These early novels have required the most revisions, rewrites, and edits. And this is why they have yet to be published. While over time my writing has improved to a point where it requires less rewriting and editing, which I have to admit is really nice, it still must be done. And this novel, as I’ve stated, is the first I ever wrote.

Book length is also important. In the genre I mostly write the word count expected is around one hundred thousand. Yet when I wrote these first two I was unaware of such things as word count. I thought page count was the thing. So both are long, with this one being over one hundred thirty four thousand words, and the second at over one hundred and sixty five thousand. With three hundred to three hundred and fifty words to a page it gives you an idea to the length. And what I’ve learned is that each page you add costs additional money. And by being a small publisher, using Ingram as my producer, and distributor, and by being a publisher of short runs it is expensive, (Now known as POD, or Print on Demand). And because of this the paperbacks produced for sale in the retail market aren’t cheap. If you look up the price of any of my novels you’d naturally think, they must be really good or the publisher thinks they will sell well or the writer has such an ego that he believes that they deserve such a price. As I’ve stated I’m that publisher and writer, and in the end I really only earn, in most markets, less than a dollar per paperback book sold – thusly this is the reality and cost of doing business. And with this it’s time to head into the novel:

The Ones Before came about because of my interest in the past, and in the field of archaeology. In a sense the movie Planet of the Apes where the protagonist discovers, at the end of the movie, that he is on earth sometime far into the future has stayed with me. I still see the images of the Statue of Liberty as a ruin clearly identifying the fact that his world is gone forever.

Another influence for this series, for it is a trilogy, came from a favorite author. His stories always take place in real places. Not necessarily towns, cities, and such, but the lands. So I determined that I’d do the same with this one. So the wild lands, the places spoken of in this novel are real. And if one wanted to retrace the route of the people in this story one can. Although I have to say that those lands in the novel are lacking the cities and towns that exist now. So if one did follow the paths then they would have to imagine the lands without these cities and such.

And with all that I’ve written, in the ten to eleven years of writing, this series is the only one that follows the lands as they exist. Still, as I began this novel, I thought “first person” is the way to write it. After getting to the point where chapter four might have been, (there are eighteen chapters in this novel) I realized that this wasn’t going to work. So I started over and changed the perspective to “third person”. Oh just a small fact here; when I write novels they are all presented as “third person”, yet generally with my short stories I write in the “first person” POV

I say chapter four, but when I wrote this one I had no chapter breaks, nothing at all. So this became another issue as I had to go back and figure out where the chapter breaks should be. And these issues were only the beginnings of problems with this first novel. Issues such as a broken timeline. And others became obvious as I wrote, then came back later (much later) to clean it up. All my novels I now write have those chapter breaks in them as I go along. I can sense, as I write, where the natural break falls.

Did I say, clean it up? Well, that only happened later once I had added chapter breaks and such. I mean when I wrote my first novels the idea of editing didn’t enter my mind at all. I thought – write it, and be done with it. Well, that was another hard lesson. It has been stated that anybody can write, but only writers can edit. So the truth is one doesn’t have a story or a complete novel until the revisions, rewriting and editing is done.

Story – where’d the story come from? This, like the other trilogy I wrote, came from a fragment of a dream. This one, again like the other was a recurring dream. And it intrigued me enough to want to write a story. So when I began this I thought that I must have some type of goal to reach beyond this one novel. So I thought to set my goal rather high. I told myself that I’d write eight novels. Was that a real reachable goal? At the time I made it I really didn’t know.

In this story my original idea was to have one main character who is married and deals with the past. In fact I identified his position as “Head Keeper of the Past”. The other four characters that play an important part in the story were originally to be there as minor characters, ones who would pass on what they had so that the main character would then go forth and solve the mystery that’s before him. But, those other characters demanded more time, and a deeper role in the story, (really?). So instead of one main character I ended up with six. Each and every one critical to the telling of this story.

In fact, other than the prologue where the Head Keeper of the Past is writing, we don’t see him until much later in the novel. Instead we begin with a team that’s mapping major trails. From there we move on to the sister and brother who are trying to survive on family property that has been in their family for generations. And then it is from there we are finally introduced to the Head Keeper of the Past.

In a sense these novels are about discovering one’s past. In the story, The Ones Before are myth. Yet it is a myth that refuses to die, even though nothing has ever been discovered showing they were ever real, had existed, or had lived. Still many past Head Keepers of the Past have tried to solve this mystery only to fail. And this is the overriding theme. The story can be considered post apocalyptic in nature, but only generally. As the event is thousands of years in the past – at least for the first two novels.

Another aspect here in the beginning of my writing lay in the fact that I thought to eliminate conflict. After all, we have enough in our lives, why would I want to include it in a novel? Was I successful? No, not at all. It was later that I learned that conflict is what drives the story. And I learned there are many levels to conflict. From those decisions we make to go one way or the other, to outright war and destruction.

Is this novel available? No not yet. Soon, as I’m having covers designed for the complete trilogy in November of 2017, and hope to have them available by the Christmas season of this year. I have to admit that I love my characters and their interactions with each other and the world they live. And in this novel you truly do learn of their world, their society, and where they are technologically. And I find personally, seeing, reading, and finding a complete living world makes the reading so much more pleasurable.

So I hope that this look inside the process, and the introduction to my path as a writer piques your interest enough that you will want to at least read the back cover of the novel. It, as well as the other two, will be available as both a paperback and in the EBook format. Have a great week and God Bless! (http://www.fdbrant.com/)

%d bloggers like this: