Below is the first section of the initial final draft of The Herald’s Dark Progress – which is to say, the version of that section that went out to agents (those that requested it; don’t send if they don’t request) when I originally embarked on my quest to seek publication. As you might imagine, it had much humbler beginnings (a portion of which you can find here), and has since undergone significant changes (including, obviously, the title!) based on the feedback I got during the querying and editing processes that followed. The finished (for now) version is now a very different product.*
And yet, all this time and all those changes later, I still think it makes for the ideal jumping off point to discuss my writing. After all, this sample represents the opening of what I deemed a complete draft prior to interacting with professionals in the publishing industry; it is an ideal inflection point to illustrate where my craft stood at the end of one stage of my development as a writer – and how it then continued to evolve when I moved on to the next.
As a result, I have included the full 16,000 words of the section here (and, as an added bonus, the 1,500 words of the prologue!) to serve as a reference for my posts – and of course, also to pique your interest in my work. (Hey, you can’t say I didn’t warn you about the cold, hard, incredibly cynical reason we writers blog!) Please bear in mind that this is NOT the final product; as such there are differences and, by definition, spoilers from the “canonical” work. It is primarily intended for those of you who are interested in my process.
If you happen to be one of those people, I hope you find it interesting!
*To give you an idea of just how much this section has changed over time, at the point that I called this version of the manuscript “complete”, it stood at 152K words; currently, it is almost 40K words longer, with about the same again in changes to the existing text – and that’s not counting the effect of entire sections that I moved to places within the narrative.