Work in Progress: The Two Staves

Occasionally over the years I have found it in myself to work on some fiction, but depression seems to make sticking with it extraordinarily hard, and I was never prolific to begin with.  My goal is to finally finish reworking a story that’s stuck with me tenaciously for more than a couple of decades, a novel I’ve renamed The Two Staves.  I’ve gone back and forth on whether to keep the prologue in the finished novel, having gotten conflicting feedback on the benefits and drawbacks, though for a time I had it posted here.  For now, though, what I have is a poem from the beginning of the novel.  It’s just a tiny little taste, but I hope you like it.  I plan to post more here as actual chapters take shape.

What act is this that man hath wrought
In fiery breath the dragon’s pain
While weeping rain the dark sky mourns
Til naught but tears and blood remain

What act can heal the wyvern’s sting
Or tally such a battle’s cost
That banishes the magic gift
The dragon’s reign is lost

What right hath king to such a reign
For even king wears mortal flesh
His reign of magic unrevealed
Until the dragon’s life is spent

— from “Ethuelin’s Battle” in The Books of Doraan

  1. #1 by Rilla Z on February 25, 2013 - 1:49 PM

    I did not really get into this prologue until after the break. In fact, I left the post mid-dragon and rider flight because nothing was happening. Then I returned to see how long the prologue was and decided to try again. I’m glad I did. It is my opinion that “When it ended, only Corolun remained.” should be your first line. I kinda wish it was from Corolun’s perspective, seeing someone come to his rescue and what he perceives about your main character. (I’m guessing Irthaul remains your protagonist.) And now I want to know about Corolun’s son and what made Corolun kill one of only three wizards!


    • #2 by Joseph M Kurtenbach on February 25, 2013 - 5:44 PM

      Awesome! Thank you, thank you for the feedback. I am going to have to give serious thought to reworking this — for one thing, I like your suggestion for a new first line. I’ve gotten quite variable feedback on the prologue, anywhere from readers who essentially hate all prologues, to those who like it and would keep it as is. However, Irthaul is not the protagonist for the rest of the story. The prologue is indeed prologueish in that it takes place 40 years before the rest of the story. Irthaul and Corolun are historical figures, to lesser and greater degrees, in the rest of the story. Their introduction in the prologue is meant to show both a pertinent historical event as it happens, as well as give the reader more flavor about the Knights and wyverns that play secondary roles later in the story. Of course, my success in pulling this all off is a matter of debate and no doubt can be improved upon.

      I am giving some thought to posting more of the novel here. I’ve got about a third of the book near what I think is final draft. Maybe putting up a few chapters wouldn’t be a bad thing. Maybe it would garner me a casual reader or two.


  2. #3 by Rilla Z on February 27, 2013 - 2:24 PM

    I’m kinda disappointed that there isn’t a story about Irthaul outright. It sounds like you have one of those epic, Frankenstein’s monster-type sagas to tell. I have one of those, too. (I’m only admitting to having one. Shhhh.)

    Go for it! It might spur you on to get it written.


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