With the expressed project goal of expanding my debut novel (currently not available for sale) into a series, I spent countless hours while driving, folding laundry, and drifting off to sleep trying to come up with ways to enhance the original story and give it more of what fantasy readers love.
One thing I knew I wanted was more of the backstory of the Ancients. What are the Ancients? These are the mystical people who in habit my fantasy world. Each has the “Gift” to “Govern” something like minerals, water, or animal life. In the original book, I picked up the story where these Ancients were already the stuff of legends, lost in the past, and then there’s a re-emergence story. But I wanted to go back and share more of how they’d disappeared in the first place.
Initially, I thought I might do this through some flashback scenes at the start of each long chapter, but then it felt random and confused. So, I thought I’d write a prologue book–not long, maybe quarter-length–as a teaser. Maybe use it for giveaways to people who sign up for my newsletter. (See the pretty link? Click click!)
But somewhere on the way to start writing, I got distracted by a shiny–(squirrel!)–new cover design idea. I mean look at how cool this guy is!
The longer I stared at him, the more I knew he was the first of the villains, and I came up with the idea to write the prologue from his perspective, just to shake things up a little.
Guess what happens when you write a story from the perspective of the bad guy?
You discover his good traits, too. I mean, no one is really such a cardboard, one-dimensional baddie as the crooks in old Scooby-Doo cartoons, right?
Point being, the prequel has taken on a life of its own, and I think it’ll be a real treat. A chance to see two competing protagonist/antagonists, where the reader will get to decide which is really the good guy or bad guy? Think Thor and Loki (for MCU lovers).
Oh, and it’s definitely not going to be a quarter-length prologue. This will be a full-on novel of its own. Hopefully, I’m stocking it with enough rich characters, world-building, and magical beings to fit the bill. And for the ladies wondering why there were so many male pronouns in this article–never fear! This series has many strong female characters, good and bad! No frothy princesses needing rescues here!
Who are some of your favorite “bad guys/gals” in fantasy novels? Why do you find those characters interesting?