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Antiquity Calais: The Next Chapter
Anyone have ideas?
I've just completed work on the first draft of Chapter 18: Escape from the 11th Dimension, but I have another project that could use some help. By way of background, several weeks ago a few highly esteemed writers in a writing group to which I belong suggested to me that as a Scifi/Fantasy novel, my book was a little on the short side. At that time, my word count was about 58,000 words. By most accounts, to gain the attention of reputable publishers, it would need to be in the neighborhood of 75,000 words. Antiquity Calais: Standing At Armageddon is the first in a series of books I have planned. Subsequent installments include Antiquity Calais: Ascending Olympus, Antiquity Calais and the Wrath of the Cryptids, and a spin off book I've conceptualized called The Sojourners' Quest for Antiquity.
Since I felt I had already told the basic story line that I wanted to accomplish in this book, the concept of filling more than 15,000 words just to make it publishable seemed daunting. As a teacher, I always tell my students it's better to say less than to fill with marshmallow fluff, and that's what I am trying to avoid.
So the idea I had was to introduce some of the elements from future installments in the series, setting the stage for those books when the time comes to start writing them.
Chapter 18 introduced the King of the gods, Zeus, and brought a new character - the perpetually inept character Mordock - to the top of Olympus Mons. When I was first writing this novel, I had already included reference to Apollo, and in particular a modern-day alien cult that followed him, known as the Apollonians.
I've also introduced a few cryptids, which are legendary beasts like Big Foot, the Loch Ness Monster and others. There's actually a whole branch of science called cryptozoology, whose practitioners study and try to find evidence of these cryptids. Mothman is one, the Honey Island Swamp Monster (closely related to Big Foot, but residing in Louisiana) is another, and I've included chapters introducing them as well.
I've even already introduced a few of the Sojourners, a group of people who will one day begin a quest to find Antiquity Calais and join his ranks in the ultimate war at the end times.
So I feel like I've already fleshed out this story line about as much as I can imagine, but I'm still about 5000 words short of the goal. That would be about 1-2 more chapters, the way I've been writing, which is certainly do-able.
Here's Where I Need Your Help
Since we live in a democracy, I thought I would seek input from y'all and see which of these areas you would like to read more about. There's nothing that would prevent me from writing more chapters. I have plenty of cryptids, notably the Jersey Devil, that I would like to include in the future book Wrath of the Cryptids. But then I could also introduce some of the lesser gods such as Demeter, Persephone or others.
Another possibility would be to shed some light on what our evil villain Leviathan Avalon is up to since he attacked Apollo and stole his chariot, to escape from the 11th Dimension.
So what do you think?
Just as I promised in the Chapter 18 hub, anyone who contributes to this exercise will be rewarded with a free electronic copy of this book when I have completed it. I'll do all the writing, and all you have to do is give me the assignment!
I have a slogan that I borrowed from Billy Crystal's awesome movie Throw Mama From The Train. Billy works as a creative writing teacher and ends each of his classes by saying, "And remember, a writer writes, always."
Keeping that in mind, I decided to press forward with writing, even though I have yet to get a response from any of the visitors to this page. In fact, I've written two more chapters (although one was necessarily exceedingly short) since I posted this page. In the first, Apollo is brought before the Council of the gods and is given a good old fashion verbal thumping from Zeus and others for having been left stranded following an attack from a mere mortal. Apollo's bruised ego aside, he points out that something far more important happened that could have profound impact on life in every universe in creation.
The next chapter shifts the scene to Point Pleasant, West Virginia, where citizens back in the 1960s claimed to see this eight-foot tall winged cryptid with glowing red eyes, named Mothman. Avalon has a score to settle with Mothman, and in order to lure him out into the open, Avalon attacks the citizens of Point Pleasant in a scene so frightening that I'm getting shivers just thinking about it!
So here's the scoop. Even after adding these two chapters, I am still at 72,000 words for the overall manuscript. I still have a goal of at least 75,000, so I've got some work to do. That means that you guys still have time to earn a free electronic copy of Antiquity Calais: Standing at Armageddon once I have completed it. All you need to do is give me your honest opinion, based upon the options I outlined above, what you would like to read about in this book. As I've said before, I'll do all the writing! All you have to do is tell me what to write, and a copy of the book is yours.