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What Got Cut – Excerpt from The Goddess’ Veil

Introduction

Today, I thought it would be a bit fun to share a small bit that was cut from The Bow of Hart Saga. It was meant for a sub-plot that ran parallel to the main story but in a different part of Denaria – which doesn’t even appear on the maps in the book. However, all of this sub-plot was cut to create a simpler plot that was less confusing.

However, I have so much written it seems a waste not to use it at all so I’m seriously considering the publication of this material as a novella series or a single book. Here’s a short portion of what I wrote about a character named Sramsurash who is a monk who’s done something quite rash. He’s now thinking back over what he’s done which is what this scene describes. Read on and I’ll share more of why this was cut at the end:

Excerpt

A distant, rumbling growl echoed down the length of the pass. The monk froze in his steps hardly daring to breathe. Had that sound been some animal or the passage of wind? Maybe it was a falling boulder whose crash onto road had echoed strangely in the gorge. He swallowed hard at the thought of some ravenous animal tracking him. Sramsurash hurried on while looking over his shoulder as thoughts of worse things than bears flitted through his mind. The temple kept terrible creatures and he suddenly wondered if one had been sent to track him.
Sramsurash frowned at the thought. He had been rash in his actions, having planned for nothing of a trip – no food or clothing suitable for his needs. While he had walked the hallway to the goddess’s chamber with growing trepidation his only thought had been to take the veil. In sudden conclusions after long meditation, the monk had acted. He remembered pausing outside the rooms, wearing his padded slippers so soft and quiet but his heart pounding in his ears loudly.

The monk knew he had trembled but he had still crept into the rooms. He had shuffled across the carpets hoping to avoid anything in his way but there had been nothing. The goddess had been reputed to be a light sleeper and the slightest of disturbances would have awakened her. Indeed, Sramsurash was still surprised he had actually been able to take the filmy cloth from the stand where it hung in the pale moonlight that spilled across the inner chamber where the indescribably beautiful avatara lay upon her bed.

He had been sweating profusely when he exited the goddess’s rooms and found to his surprise he held the veil dangling in his grasp in plain sight. But it was more than fear that had distracted him he now realized. He had stowed the wondrous item within his voluminous robes and slipped noiselessly down the halls to his chambers, thinking he might hide the goddess’s sole garment until he could decide what to do and thus steal power from her by rendering her incapable of appearing in public. But along the way a blinding realization had struck his mind that he must leave the temple or be discovered and slain. Had not the guards seen him go and return?

The monk had diverted himself and left by a little used door. There was no thought to destroying the veil. He had seen the veil lain over open flames and simply smother them out. Sramsurash could only assume the veil held some magical or supernatural power that, thin as it was, it could not be quickly destroyed by a simple flame.

The monk had fled until he could decide what best to do. He had traveled west in the night opposite to the direction he was supposed to be going in the next week for his lone pilgrimage. All through the night he had stumbled down the road as fear grew in his mind that he should hear the sound of pursuit from the dreadful knights of the avatara. Indeed, such was his fear that as dim dawn grew on the horizon behind him that the monk had paused along the way to consider his next actions carefully. Holding the veil he had gazed at the seemingly frail cloth. He was not used to this fear since his life as a priest had been one of ease and repetitious ritual but now he knew he must decide a precise course of action.

Sramsurash remembered now his foolishness as he stumbled down the cold mountain road. Lost in his reverie of careful thought, the monk had not heard the swift approach of horses until they were just around a bend and almost on him. He had turned to run and fallen. But the veil had fluttered down over him and covered him with its large expanse. In the scant time it took the monk to take a few shuddering breaths the horses, carrying the fearsome knights had thundered into sight and passed him where he had lain on the side of the road in plain sight with the item of his offense in just as plain sight.

This event puzzled the monk even now. He could not see how the horsemen had missed his cringing form along the ditch but they had. He had wondered at this and thought at first if it was just the near darkness. But Sramsurash now doubted this as he hugged himself in the cold and slapped himself to stay warm. Had the veil some quality of hiding such that it had saved him from the knights and certain death?

Commentary

As you can tell, this is a very rough draft and needs a lot of work which is one reason it was cut – as a sub-plot it made the rest of the series cumbersome. I also wrote this before I start using deep point-of-view that is used in my current series novels so the style is rougher. There’s a lot of telling and almost no conversation until much later on in the scene. I’ve learned much better about developing the beginning of a book than I knew back in 2011-14 when I was working on this (don’t form an opinion about The Bow of Hart Saga based on this – it more of a sample of what got cut, why and how I’m going to use it in the future once it’s re-developed).

However, there are more problems that have to be corrected. This bit of remembering by Sramsurash should be show as its own scene to open the book and introduce the character and his motivations. Additionally, the setting of the far western empire of Gantura should also be better established – something which I did not have time to do. There are a number of other issues with it being a sub-plot such as tying it together with the main plot of The Bow of Hart Saga – these two stories just did not have enough overlap to make them mesh well. I concluded that it was best to pull this out and work on it another time which I’ll likely begin pretty soon after completing some other novel rough drafts.

Conclusion

Thanks for stopping by to read the excerpt today. Please excuse both the lack of artwork and how rough the work is but I hope it shows why I cut it from my series and on direction I’ll be going in the near future. Feel free to leave your questions and thoughts in the comments section and I’ll reply as soon as I can (I’m traveling today so it may take some time).

Also, please remember I’ve just released the digital boxed set of The Bow of Hart Saga on Amazon just this week – have a look at it!

About the Author

The Bow of Destiny’s Main Character

Today is a continuation last week’s series about The Bow of Destiny. Today, it’s all about the main character and what makes the book go. But first, here’s the book trailer:

Athson is the main character of The Bow of Hart and a rather complex one at that. He suffers from fits over the violent memories surrounding the sack of his home Depenburgh that left him an orphan. These events were precipitated by an attack of trolls who are commanded by Corgren, a wizard in service to Magdronu, a dragon seeking for prime control of the world of Denaria.

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AthsonAfter elves discovered Athson wandering in the Auguron Forest they took him in only to realize later that he suffered the aforementioned fits as well as hallucinations about a Mountain Hound he called Spark. But over the years, these affects have been muted with the help of an elven medicine named Soul-ease.

But Athson also holds a few other secrets that he won’t reveal so easily and this leads him into trouble. As a grown man, he’s become a ranger among the elves and is sent with his mentor, Gweld, into the largely unpopulated western Auguron region. It’s here that events conspire to drag Athson unwillingly into a quest.

Along the way, Athson gains several new friends and companions – some he likes and some he doesn’t. Often, Athson also struggles with what’s real and not since he losses – or forgets – his medicine several times. Other events leave Athson confused and grieving while he struggles to find the Bow of Hart. But along the way, Athson finds his secrets are hard to keep hidden. Additionally, he’ll find himself facing hidden information and danger from Corgren, Magdronu and trolls all of which will test his resolve and grasp on reality.

Book blurb:

Haunted by his past. Hunted in the present. Uncertain what is real.

Athson has seen things that aren’t there and suffered fits since being tragically orphaned as a child at the hands of trolls and Corgren the wizard. When a strange will mentioning a mysterious bow comes into his possession, he’s not sure it’s real. But the trolls that soon pursue him are all too real and dangerous. And what’s worse, these raiders serve Corgren and his master, the hidden dragon, Magdronu, who are responsible for the destruction of his childhood home. Athson is drawn into a quest for the concealed Bow of Hart by the mystic Withling, Hastra, but Athson isn’t always sure what’s real and who his enemies are. With Corgren and Magdronu involved, Athson must face not only frequent danger but his grasp on reality and the reasons behind his tragic past.

TBOD SF ContestCover

The Bow of Destiny has been selected as a semi-finalist in the Authorsdb 2015 Cover Contest (finalist selections are still pending). As such, I’ve left the book at it’s sales price of $2.99 to celebrate!

Reviews

Read samples from Amazon or Goodreads and find out why other people are saying things like this about the book:

“Overall, this has become one of my favorite fantasy books and I’m looking forward to the rest of the series.”

– C. P. Bialois

“an excellent read…wittingly told…I love the style”

– E. J. Nate via email response

“I thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated the opportunity to step into the magical and special world that you have created. It is a solid and well-crafted work that you should be so thrilled with.”

  • Katie King via email response

To find out more about The Bow of Destiny, click over to one of these online retailers:

Amazon

IMG_4154-EditAbout the Author

P. H. Solomon lives in the greater Birmingham, AL area where he strongly dislikes yard work and sanding the deck rail. However, he performs these duties to maintain a nice home for his loved ones as well as the family’s German Shepherds. In his spare time, P. H. rides herd as a Computer Whisperer on large computers called servers (harmonica not required). Additionally, he enjoys reading, running, most sports and fantasy football. Having a degree in Anthropology, he also has a wide array of more “serious” interests in addition to working regularly to hone his writing. The Bow of Destiny is his first novel-length title with more soon to come.

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5 Signs You’ve Gone Too Far With Your Fantasy Novel

Today, I share 5 signs you may have gone too far with your current fantasy novel.

Fiction writing requires a bit of immersion into you story. Fantasy requires an author put on a squirrel suit and jump in for a deeper excursion to truly get the experience necessary for bringing readers along for an entertaining ride. Here are 5 ways to know you’ve gone too far but I can’t tell you how to get back – that’s your own problem… However, I can offer a few suggestions that might help you re-gain perspective:

  1. One of your characters actually threatens you. Fantasy worlds are by their very nature dangerous, places that are unstable in any number of ways. That doesn’t even cover the places your characters travel and visit right through any number of dangerous scenes and settings. The nerves or your characters can easily get frayed and they may turn on you with whatever weapon they have at hand (and fantasy characters often have a weapon at hand). If you are in a bar or tavern, offer them a drink. If that fails, my advice is back away slowly, maybe with an apology for crowding them, and just shift to another scene. Maybe things will be a little less tense in another scene or the character will be too busy to notice you.
  2. You go drinking with your characters, have such a great time you wake up dressed like one of them and find you’ve been given a prized item that’s integral to the story. No, you can’t keep that gift so find a way to politely give it back and try not to go that deep with your characters again. It just gets awkward for you, the characters and the people around you in real life. Honestly, that’s getting a little off-balance.
  3. You go running and feel like you’re in that scene where there’s a devastating retreat. Take a deep breath, it’s ok, that’s just in the book. This is just exercise and there is no one chasing you with a battle-ax to grind. It’s just running. But it is good to keep in shape just in case you do need to retreat, right?
  4. You start speaking one of the languages used in your book. This is getting pretty serious since no one around you understands what you are saying. If you really keep going that deeply into the book, no one will be able to read it in that language. You might try getting out of your writing sphere and re-join the real world, try talking to someone about something trivial. Maybe watch some day-time TV – maybe.
  5. Maniacal laughter erupts from your lips as you near the end and kill a few beloved characters. Just back away from the computer, go do something else. It’s just a book. Deep breath. No, don’t go play that video game. Go to the museum or something. Just remember, you are not the villain here.

Notice: This is all tongue and cheek except my character threatening me since one of them is based on my dogs. However, my dogs just like to bark and growl for the fun of it so the first one really doesn’t count that much.

About the Author

I’m P. H. Solomon and I live in the greater Birmingham, AL area. I strongly dislike yard work and sanding the deck rail. However, I perform such duties to maintain a nice home for my loved ones as well as the family’s German Shepherds. In my spare time, I ride herd as a Computer Whisperer on large computers called servers (harmonica not required). Additionally, I enjoy reading, running, most sports and fantasy football. Having a degree in Anthropology, I also have a wide array of more “serious” interests in addition to working regularly to hone my writing. My third book of The Bow of Hart Saga fantasy series, The White Arrow, will be released October 2017. I’m also a contriubtor to Story Empire and a member of Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA).

This blog is about my writing, other authors, writing-related topics and my chosen genre – speculative fiction (science fiction and fantasy to be specific). Join me regularly as I highlight other writers and share my journey as an author. See my Contact page for more information.