Progress on Looking for Dei keeps marching along! In an effort to launch the reader into the good stuff right away, I’ve shortened the prologue to just a couple of pages. I now sprinkle the backstory of the prophecy and world-building throughout the book.
As I sit here, drinking my coffee and typing away on a Saturday morning, I think of the conversation I recently had with a brilliant editor, Julie Scheina of http://www.juliescheina.com.
What I learned from Julie: A common mistake fantasy authors make is too much initial world-building. She commented on how some folks will drop pages of an invented language right at the beginning of the book, stalling the action and boring their readers. Early writing must be smooth and fast-paced to capture attention. The words rang true, as I had made that mistake, myself. When I completed the first version of Looking for Dei’s prologue last summer, it was twenty-five pages long. And I was proud!
While I’d love to keep writing and writing, one has to end a story somewhere and Looking for Dei is now approaching 100,000 words. In case you’re curious, early estimates put that at just under 300 pages in a 5.5” x 8.5” format, which is comfortable to read. Cramming those words into a smaller form, such as mass-market paperback size of 4” x 7” would balloon the page count up over 500!
I’m also dipping my toe into the audiobook world. I hope to launch the novel in ebook, print, and audiobook all at the same time. To that end, I’ve been listening to narrators. Some of my favorites include Jim Dale (Harry Potter) and Nick Podehl (Kingkiller Chronicles). If you have a favorite narrator, let me know so that I can check them out!