Of Chronicles and Choices
Once more, I have returned!
Sales have crossed the 46,000 mark, well on their way to 50,000. I stand in awe of you, and the zeal with which you press my ebooks upon your unwitting friends. You are an inspiration to salesmen and advertising agents the world over.
On the writing front, I'm steadily chipping away at both City of Light and the paperback version of The Crimson Vault. The paperback is on the way, I promise you that!
As far as The Traveler's Gate Chronicles goes, the writing is the easy part. But that brings me to my topic of the day:
I have three short stories that I'm considering putting first in the Chronicles, and you may get a peek at one of them next Saturday. I can't decide, however, which of them I should put first in the collection.
I thought you might help me make up my mind.
So, which of the following stories do you think should come first?
A.) This is a story that takes place in and around Helgard, the Tower of Winter. There may be some familiar concepts and landmarks, but it's narrated by a new character, and it takes place long before House of Blades. Here are the pros and cons of putting it first.
--I set the right tone for the rest of the collection. If I start off with a familiar character as a narrator, a new reader might expect every story to be told from the perspective of someone they know, and that won't always be the case.
--It's a very different look at Travelers and Traveling than you get in the Trilogy proper.
--The connection to House of Blades and The Crimson Vault might not be immediately apparent to new readers, who do not have the benefit of this blog for their edification and betterment.
--The information you get in this story, while compelling and interesting, has no obvious relationship to the main plotline of the Traveler's Gate Trilogy. It's just a look into another corner of this universe.
--There's no Valinhall. This may actually be a good thing, since most of the stories don't deal directly with Valinhall, and we wouldn't want to start readers out on the wrong foot.
B.) A story in Denner's past, dealing with his upbringing in the Dragon Army and how he became the guy who dealt with flying creatures of all sizes.
--It starts with a somewhat familiar character, and deals with Valinhall, so the reader starts out on firm ground.
--The background is very closely related to the plotline of the Trilogy.
--Lots of swords and sword-fighting.
--I don't want people to expect the rest of the collection to have lots of familiar characters and revolve around Valinhall. For the most part, the Chronicles is about exploring the aspects of the Traveler's Gate universe that we DON'T get to see in the Trilogy.
C.) The story that motivated Valin to rebel against Damasca and form the Dragon Army. Also, why he called it "the Dragon Army."
--This story holds lots of explanations for things I haven't yet explained in the Trilogy.
--No Valinhall, just an explanation for how/why Valinhall was founded.
--Valin's a fun, interesting character.
--I still plan on doing a Valin novella at some point, which would likely reuse some of this exact same content.
--Same drawbacks as the Denner story: it features a somewhat familiar character in Valinhall.
--I haven't written this story yet. The other two I'm just putting the finishing touches on, but I still haven't begun this one. I know what happens, of course, but I haven't put pen to paper.
So I'm interested to know your thoughts. I plan on including all three of these stories in the Chronicles (the first two for sure), but I wanted to know which of these you would want to see first.
Let me know in the comments, you brave soldiers.
I'd say to follow your instinct! As long as the Helgard story is entertaining in its own right, new/old readers won't care whether or not it's connected to anything we've read so far. Though I think it would be cool if whatever happens showed up in the third book somehow.
10/27/2013 11:44:29 am
10/28/2013 06:13:40 am
10/29/2013 03:10:38 am
I was hoping to provide a functioning link to that meme, but sadly I couldn't make it work.
10/26/2013 10:08:24 am
i agree that all those stories would be great but if its to be more than valinhall you might wanna expand on normal traveling. And the territories that we have had described at all are naraka, valinhall, and two other the city of light (sorry cant remember the spelling for these last two) and Leah's main territory.
10/29/2013 03:11:02 am
Yeah, I'm leaning toward the Helgard one.
10/26/2013 01:03:10 pm
10/29/2013 03:14:42 am
I'm certainly going to follow my instincts, but sometimes those guys don't have all the information. I'd like it if they could make a free and informed decision.
10/26/2013 04:44:06 pm
I agree with Will, Will. If you don't feel comfortable throwing your fans into unfamiliar territory without an explanation, write a preface. Explain the intent of the Chronicles before delving into the stories. Follow your instincts, they have, so far, not led you astray. I would be somewhat hesitant to publish a short story you intend to later flesh out into a novella. I would hold that story back until it was what you envisioned it to be. I have a feeling that there might be another untold story that could fill the gap. Perhaps one about a certain unassuming Traveler who has access to both Helgard and Neraka.
10/29/2013 03:15:36 am
I'm glad you're hesitant. If you published a short story that I was going to flesh out into a novella, I'd be upset.
11/5/2013 08:48:36 pm
Oh, your feeling on the matter would be of absolutely no consequence I assure you. :)
10/27/2013 12:21:31 am
Will, Brian's right. If you want to do a story with valinhall, put a preface. I feel like it should have at least some relevents to the books, I want b but that is just my personl opinion a or b would do. I think don't do c because if u want to make it a novella then make it that as opposed to publishing an identical copy woth more explanation later
10/28/2013 07:29:47 am
I agree, they all will probably be good, but I like the idea in b the best
10/29/2013 03:16:35 am
Well, a novella would be five or six times the length of a short story, so it would include much more new information than old. I'm still on the fence about it, though.
10/27/2013 01:17:39 am
Although I am most excited about Denner's story, if the Chronicles are to be about more than just Valihall, then the Helgard story should be first.
10/29/2013 03:17:34 am
Thanks, Julie! I agree; I feel most comfortable with the Helgard story leading, and these comments have mostly just cemented my opinion.
10/27/2013 10:54:05 am
1. As far as which story should come first, i say you go with your gut. Personally all three sound good to me, i don't really care which comes first or not.
10/29/2013 03:19:23 am
See, the problem is that I'm still on the fence about how much Kathrin to put in Book 3. So I don't want to write a Kathrin short story and then repeat a lot of that information in CoL, but at the same time, if I end up cutting her, then I'll have to do a short story...
10/27/2013 01:09:45 pm
:) My opinion! But, of course.
10/29/2013 03:21:38 am
Yeah, that's what I wondered. The purpose of the Chronicles is to give background to the people who want it, so I'm showing off the unexplored aspects of the world more than anything. But at the same time, I don't want people who enjoyed the other two books and didn't necessarily want more background to be disappointed...
10/28/2013 06:19:42 am
A all the way :)
10/29/2013 03:22:55 am
I would love to match your rhyme,
10/28/2013 08:09:07 am
A, then B, and then another C. Valin absolutely is the story I most want to read, but I want to hold out for the novella. Anticipation for the novella will be whetted by the Valinless chronicles. Plus the idea of essentially double buying irks me:)
10/29/2013 03:24:21 am
Yeah, I may have misrepresented myself there. If I wrote the Valin short story, it would almost certainly include some scenes from the novella. However, I'd polish them up for the novella, and the novella would be 5-6 times the length. It wouldn't just be the short story with a bit of fluff in it.
10/28/2013 08:51:39 am
I think the story of Denner 's past would be brilliant. It would hold some firm ground for all readers of your works, and would offer a different, but not too different, perspective on the trilogy.
10/29/2013 03:18:09 am
Rest assured, that story's coming. I'm just questioning whether or not I should lead with it.
10/29/2013 09:08:55 am
It would by my choice to lead with. It is familiar enough for your fans that have read your books, and it is a great draw to your books from those not familiar with your work. All three ideas are brilliant.
10/28/2013 10:01:04 am
I'd vote for A or B - Of course, I'm biased bc. I had voted for a Denner story in the ideas forum last time around.
10/29/2013 03:13:46 am
First: the reason why I'm including a Denner story this time is because you guys seemed interested in it on the ideas thread. I had already wanted to write the story, so...
10/28/2013 12:27:58 pm
First of all the background story of Denner is a great idea. I'd really like to know more about Kathrin though. I think you might have said something about having more on her in city of light. I just think it would be cool to know some more beforehand. Just saying... But really, HoB and the Crimson Vault were great stories and any of these ideas would be great. Just give me something to read!
10/29/2013 03:12:01 am
Your demands are acceptable. Prepare to be assimilated.
10/28/2013 02:32:33 pm
I recommend B first. However, I fear this is one of those questions with no wrong answer.
10/29/2013 03:11:35 am
Fear? Situations without a wrong answer are the best situations!
10/30/2013 05:41:51 am
I personally prefer these type of collections of short stories to be in chronological order. I'll read it no matter the order. :)
11/1/2013 01:13:00 am
This particular collection won't be in chronological order (unless, through some weird chance, it just works out that way), but I know what you mean. I'd like to write a series in the future that goes through a chronological progression.
11/1/2013 09:05:39 am
i like B
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