Tuesday, May 22, 2012
The Ki'shto'ba Series Has Now Evolved into Six Volumes!
After feeling the weight of a book that is 196,000 words long, I decided that shorter is definitely preferable! So I've divided the initial three volumes of the Ki'shto'ba Trilogy into six. As I said in the last post, the story is episodic and can be easily split up. Here's my list of titles (either fixed or tentative), with word counts:
Volume I: The War of the Stolen Mother (147,500 words after extracting the list of names, some of which I will re-insert)
This volume is too organic in structure to break up, so it will remain the longest. But it's only 17,000 words longer than the first volume of "Termite Queen" (about 80 pages longer, I would say), so that's not so bad. I have the cover drawing that I displayed in a previous post.
Volume II: The Adventures of Ki'shto'ba Monster-Slayer (111,000 words)
During the course of the quest to reach the sea, Ki'shto'ba acquires many new surnames and Monster Slayer (No'dai Oin'zei) is one of them. In this volume Ki'shto'ba is forced to kill four such creatures, so the new title was pretty easy to come up with. I also have a drawing showing the attack that's comparable to Hercules' fight with the Stymphalian birds; I think I can turn that into a satisfactory cover.
Volume III: The Tale of the Valley of Thorns (about 100,000 words)
I'll refrain from commenting on this one -- I don't want to play the spoiler. I have only one drawing that might work for a cover, and it's not one I'm particularly happy with, so I may have to devise something new.
Volume IV: Beneath the Mountain of Heavy Fear (tentative title; 113,000 words)
Again, no spoilers allowed, but it involves an adventure that every epic hero is requred to undertake! I have a great cover for this one. It will need only a little adjustment.
Volume V: The Quest for the Golden Fungus: The Companions Reach the Sea (tentative subtitle; 77,000 words)
The original Volume V would have been 171,500 words and while I could have left it in one piece, I thought it would be better to make two out of it, while keeping the basic title intact, since it really is one exciting sequence. This volume will include all the matter preliminary to the actual Quest. I have two different drawings that might be adaptable for this one.
Volume VI: The Quest for the Golden Fungus: Revenge of the Dead Enemy (pretty sure about this subtitle; 95,000 words)
This volume narrates the Quest itself, up to an inescapable conclusion that leaves a huge fringe of loose ends. I have two different drawings that would work for this one, too. In fact, it's going to be hard to choose between them.
[Volume VII: The Buried Ship at the End of the World]
Bracketed because it's not written yet! This would tie up all that fringe. The series title on this would be "The Labors of Ki'shto'ba Huge-Head, the Sequel."
I think the reader will find that each volume ends in a way that creates an eagerness to get on to the next one -- best thing for a series! I can't wait to get started on preparing "Stolen Mother" for publication! I need to revise it one more time -- maybe I can actually shorten it a little. And I'll have to make adjustments for the fact that more than three volumes are now involved. In the meantime everybody should read "The Termite Queen" in order to set up the premise for "Labors."
In the near future, I'll talk about the fictional form in which I couched the books. I also want to work on the maps and post at least the first one here. I want to talk about the different Shshi peoples and languages (there's more than one!) And I may discuss some of the characters, as far as I can without -- yes, you know what I'm going to say -- playing the spoiler!