Not so long ago I posted a fantasy short story (in various drafts), ‘The Book, the Beast, and the Burglar,’ online. A few days ago I was looking at it and realized I had been inconsistent on a detail on the demon (the ‘beast’ of the title) that plays a major role — that is, I sometimes referred to it as ‘he’ and sometimes as ‘it.’ It should have been ‘it’ throughout so I went in and fixed it.
And by the time I was done I had continued the story in my mind and kept writing. I’m about 21,000 words in now, with almost none of my usual outlining (one did develop some as I went along). It is entirely possible it will end up novella-length, rather than being a full novel, but that’s yet to be seen.
This story segues with my previously published fantasy novels. The god Xido who appears here is an important character in ‘The Eyes of the Wind,’ and is an offstage presence in ‘The Crocodile’s Son’ (being the ‘Crocodile’ of the title). Im, the young sorcerer who is the primary protagonist in this new work, also is mentioned in ‘Eyes’ and should play a role in its sequel. Those books take place nearly a thousand years after this story!
It also looks back to the Malvern/Mora novels and, particularly, to the ancient sorcerer Hurasu who appears in ‘Valley of Visions’ (and should pop up in the upcoming ‘Warrior of the Moon’). Those take place thousands of years before the tale I am writing, so it should act as a sort of bridge.
Am I satisfied with what I have written so far? Pretty much. It does take a while for much in the way of stakes to appear; the overarching plot is simply the young wizard Im looking for a place to settle in and practice his craft. But there are subplots of more interest, never fear. The working title is ‘The Ways of Wizardry.’ That may be applied to a book in which two or more novella-length tales appear. We’ll see about that.
None of this is anything I intended to be writing now. It wasn’t even on the list of possible ideas for later on. But one should not look gift inspiration in the mouth.