That’s exactly what I did back in 2010 after finishing The Jongurian Mission. That was my first novel, or at least my first serious attempt at one. To write it I did 2,000 words each morning, every morning, for about 4 to 5 months. After that I had about 150,000 words and a lot of pages.
After editing that up and then putting it on the computer (I didn’t learn about Amazon KDP until 2013) I simply started on the next book, Trouble in Jonguria.
That meant doing another 2,000 words each morning, but this time it was a lot easier. See, I had a lot of that world-building, character development, and plot progression in place. Now all I had to do was continue the story.
Let me tell you…it was a lot easier! And the book was twice as good.
Why? Well, I’d improved as a writer (150,000 words will do that to you) and I’d also increased the pace. Everything was action and suspense now, and these characters were moving through dark forests, looking over their shoulder, expecting an attack every minute. And they were right.
One of the best scenes from this book is the fight by the lake. Here we have the old warlord Leizu, a couple of his men, and Grandon Fray, the deposed and exiled former king of Adjuria. They’ve found the opposing rebel stronghold, and there’s about thirty men in four houses.
They decide to attack and under cover of darkness. First flaming arrows are used to light up the abandoned houses in the small village by the lake. Next men are dispatched as they run from the flaming buildings. Once those inside have gotten wise about what’s going on it’s a full-on attack, cat-and-mouse-style.
That whole sequence takes up a good 50 to 75 pages of the book. It’s suspense, thrills, and bloody action. It’s violent, that’s what it is, and it’s what fantasy fans want.
That’s why I wrote this book – to give fantasy fans what they want. Steven Erikson wasn’t doing that with his Malazan Book of the Fallen series, but George R.R. Martin was with his Song of Ice and Fire series. Both served as inspiration for me, the latter on what to do, the former on what not to do.
And just like clockwork, I got done with my book and set it onto the computer hard drive. It sat there for two years before I put it on Amazon, and since then it’s sold more than 240 copies. Why don’t you buy one and see what all the fuss is about?
For thrilling and violent epic fantasy, buy Trouble in Jonguria today!
“There are men out there in the forest not more than a hundred yards from us,” he said quietly once they’d sat up. “Get your things together quickly,” he finished before disappearing into the darkness of the early morning from which he’d come.
Ko looked at both Wen and Sui, and although it was still too dark for him to make out the expressions on their faces, he knew that they must be just as shocked as he. Noiselessly the three men gathered the few things they had and put them into their packs, then threw open the tent flap and stepped outside. There was barely more than a faint glow from the sun rising somewhere far to the east of them and Ko wondered how the other men had even spotted anyone this early. Ji was standing a few yards from their tent, and Ko and Wen walked up to him. He held his finger over his mouth in a gesture of silence, and both men obliged. A moment later they heard a faint rustling then saw Trey, Jal, and Iago walk from around their tent and come toward them, Sa not far behind.
Iago was the first to get to them. “What’s going on?” he asked in a voice barely above a whisper.
“There are some men somewhere around us,” Wen answered him in the same hushed tone. “Ji says they’re no more than a hundred yards from us.”
Ko saw a brief flicker of surprise mixed with fear in the Adjurian’s eyes, but it was quickly replaced by the hard resolve that he’d come to expect from the man.
“Blood before breakfast,” Iago replied, and his face wrinkled from his smile.
Ko said nothing, but Wen returned the smile. They could barely see a few yards in front of them; the last thing that Ko wanted was to have to fight. But there was little choice he had in the matter; if men were truly out there in the darkness they were no doubt looking for them. He wasn’t sure how it was even possible that anyone could have followed their trail through the forest, but it must’ve happened. The chances of Yang’s men stumbling upon them by mistake in the immensity that was the Bailochia Forest seemed far too remote to be a mere accident. Once again his thoughts went back to Bei and the secrets that he felt the man had been keeping from them.
Ji and Sa stepped out in front of the group of six and began walking toward where the third tent was set up ten yards away. Sa motioned over his shoulder for them to follow, and Wen took the lead, stepping slowly and carefully so as to make as little sound as possible. The rest followed his example and they were soon standing next to the ten horses that were silently standing where the third tent had been the night before. Somehow one of the men must have found the time to take it down before alerting the others as to their predicament, and Ko felt a momentary flush of anger at the delay in informing them of the very real threat to their lives.
“Where are the others?” Ko whispered when he got up near Ji.
“They’re out in the woods getting as close as they can to the men, getting their numbers and whatever else they can learn,” Ji replied.
Ko glanced over at Wen. His thoughts went back to their talk of the night before and how they both felt that something wasn’t quite right about the situation they found themselves in.
There was a slight rustle from the bushes to their left and before Ko had much time to react he saw Wen whip his sword from the sheath at his belt. He held the strangely curved blade tightly in his right hand, his eyes intent upon the darkness from which the sound came.
A moment later they saw Roun silently emerge from the shadows, his bow in his hand, an arrow at the ready. He walked right up to Ji and Sa and began talking.
“It’s a small party, only six men,” he said, and both men nodded.
“Where’s Jisselle?” Sa asked.
“She’s trailing them,” Roun replied. “They’re moving west of us at a slow pace, probably more from the darkness than any attempt to find us.”
“You don’t think they could’ve found our trail?” Ko quietly asked the man.
Roun glanced over at him for the first time since they’d left Bei the day before.
“I doubt it,” he said. “It’s nearly impossible to follow a trail in this forest.”
“But it can be done,” Wen said.
Roun looked coldly at the older Jongurian. “Yes, it can,” he said with a hard look.
“I don’t see what those men would be doing traveling through the forest at such an early hour if they hadn’t found our trail,” Wen said to Roun. “I don’t like the feel of this.”
Roun was about to respond, angrily Ko thought by the look on his face, but he didn’t have the chance. From far to their left came the sound of someone crashing noisily through the thick underbrush and coming toward them at a fast pace. Ko found that his sword had somehow become clutched tightly in his right hand, an action he hadn’t been aware of. Years of training and a profession that led to steely nerves had served him well once again. Out of the corner of his eye he saw that Iago also had pulled a sword out, while Trey and Jal just looked on with fear and apprehension at the approaching noise.
The sounds lasted no more than a few moments before Jisselle burst out of the darkness and came to a fast stop in front of them, spooking the horses as she did so. She was out of breath and her sword and bow were in her hands.
“They’re right behind me,” she managed to say through gasps, and nodded back in the direction from which she’d come.
A moment later they heard more crashing through the trees and underbrush, this time much louder.
“Quick, spread out,” Wen said loudly. There was no need to speak quietly any longer; they’d been found.