The Kosmos Biblioth

Roger E. Eichorn's Blog: Fantasy, Philosophy, and whatever else I feel like writing about

New Sample Chapters

The blog was down for about six months or so, partly because I just wasn’t producing posts (I still haven’t even finished my “Compositional History”!), but also because, to my great consternation, I ended up scrapping what I’d written and starting over again.

The goal of the opening chapters has got to be accessibility, and the way I’d started the book was simply too demanding: it virtually required that readers get through the first hundred pages in one sitting!  I think the new version is far superior — not only in terms of accessibility, but also in terms of quality.

Check out my first chapter here.

Interestingly, everything started coming together when I revisited some of the stand-out chapters from the original version of Three Roses, which was finished in 2001-02.  That version of the book (whose story corresponds with Book Six of the series as currently envisioned) as a whole was a mess, but certain parts of it were (if I do say so myself) astonishingly good.  I hadn’t read, and had hardly even thought about, any of that old-old material in over a dozen years.  Revisiting it proved to be something of a revelation.

How awesome is it when you find great writing from which you can steal with utter impunity?  After all, I’m only stealing from myself!

More on this when I finally write the final entry in my “Compositional History,” which will be soon.

On another topic, I’ve had the great good fortune to read the latest volume of Scott Bakker‘s series, The Great Ordeal.  It’s set to be released soon.  I haven’t finished it yet, but I’ve got to say:  Chapters 12 and 13 left me breathless, both of them.  They’re deep, harrowing, and thrilling, all at once.  The book is a monumental achievement, and yet I have the feeling it’s only beginning, that the real shit’s gonna go down in the next book, The Unholy Consult.

Check out the trailer for Bakker’s series.

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4 responses to “New Sample Chapters

  1. Subetei June 12, 2016 at 10:09 pm

    Do you mean you started rewriting the entire book or just the opening chapters? And you re a bastard for that last paragraph, the second apocalypse forum has turned into a ghost town because so many bought arc, it’s like I am legend over there.

    • reichorn June 13, 2016 at 12:59 am

      Well, I’ve never started entirely over again, not truly. Even the draft of the novel I finished in 2001-02 contains draft-material for Book 6 of the series. I had hoped to retain more of what I’d already written of the previous draft, but quite a bit of it still fits into the new outline. Plus, beyond a certain point the outline of the current book is virtually identical to the outline for the previous one.

      My endless rewrites have always been primarily the result of dissatisfaction with the effectiveness of the opening. For better or worse, though, changes to the opening over the past 2-3 years have led to massive changes in the shape of the novel. The drift of it all is pretty clear in hindsight, I think: greater focus, simplification — in a word, accessibility.

      Scott helped me out hugely when it came to deciding how to approach the novel this time around. He’s admitted a few times that he thinks the beginning of TDTCB is too demanding. Talking to him about what he’d do differently helped me see what I needed to do. Infuriatingly, the answer was to abandon (at least in the beginning) the approach that he himself convinced me of all those years ago — namely, to tie the story into the world in such a way that the story can be rote only if the world is rote. Instead, he advised doing what every fantasy author knows can work: make a relative outsider your main viewpoint character, so that the reader discovers the world as your character does. Now, Jerome is no Frodo or Rand al’Thor, but he’s the closest I’ve got, and I think he serves the function perfectly, especially with his somewhat revised backstory.

      Interestingly, though, it seems to me that in abandoning the approach I struggled to make work for so many years — an approach that entailed throwing readers into the ‘deep-end’ of the world from the start — I actually managed to embrace the approach in a way that actually works… Still, there’s no question that the opening is a helluva lot easier now.

  2. Mike June 17, 2016 at 9:15 am

    Hi Roger

    I was worried when your site kept asking me for a password to enter…
    Glad to hear that you have made progress on your draft, even if I’m a bit disapointed that we will have to wait to read work (really looking forward to you publishing).

    Great review of Scott’s latest.

    Regards

    Mike

    • reichorn June 19, 2016 at 9:18 pm

      Thanks, Mike. It’s definitely been a rocky road these past few years, trying to get a draft of TR off the ground. I think it’s all coming together for me now, though. Soon, my friend, soon!

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