So, as promised, let me give a few more details regarding this upcoming serialized-as-I-write novel set to begin next week.
The story (and planned series) is a picaresque, originally a Spanish Renaissance genre that features a protagonist of humble origins forced to make his way in a corrupt world by use of his wits. The hero generally falls foul of his own bad luck as often as he does the corrupt authority figures around him, but the humor of the stories lies in how he overcomes despite it all–though things seldom conclude with traditional happy endings.
The series as a whole (ideas for at least six books should I get that far) will be titled The Interrogation of Ilarion iz Balundan. Using a frame device that sees Ilarion, the hero, forced to talk about his youth and just how he became the criminal he is, the series will recount various stages in the hero’s development from unfortunate eleven-year-old to cocky and self-assured twenty-something master conman. It is a fantasy novel in the vein of Sword and Sorcery, and I have tried some new tricks in the world building this time to give this setting a unique spin that my others don’t have.
As for the first story (titled Ilarion and the Blind Man’s Game), the one that will definitely be serialized here and at Wattpad, a blurb might look something like this:
Ilarion iz Balundan is the greatest confidence trickster of his age, a living legend in the corrupt society of Gandras, a city in the outer reaches of the Holy Arzemian Empire.
Captured by a persistent Inquisitor and forced to talk about his childhood as part of a study on the criminal mind, Ilarion must go back nearly twenty years into his past to tell how it all began.
Born in infamy and left an orphan by the time he is eleven, Ilarion takes up service with an old blind man, who is more than a humble beggar, promising to teach the young lad all the tricks he knows to scam money out of the tight-fisted populace of Gandras.
Ilarion becomes his willing student, though he soon finds that his blind master is as corrupt as anyone in the high places of government, and the boy is forced to turn his master’s tricks against him if he is ever to be rid of the old man.
I will be publishing as I write, and as we stand today, I have over 10K words already composed. Simply put, I wish to remain about five days ahead of schedule, so I will only post on those days when I write. In other words, beginning next week, if I write some of the story on Monday, I will post a chapter on Monday. If I fail to write Tuesday, I will not post on Tuesday–despite the fact that I will have text to post.
The point is that I don’t want to get into a situation where I am forced to write and post immediately, but prefer to have at least a week to fix things that might need to change. For the foreseeable future, I will be able to post every day during the week (and, if you’re lucky, a Saturday too) because I have plenty of time to write, but we’ll see how things develop.
As for the length, I’m shooting for something a little bit short of the length of my novel Hero, which was just over 60K words. I doubt I’ll get quite that many, but 55K is a good target. That means I should hopefully be able to serialize Ilarion and the Blind Man’s Game within six weeks.
I will be making one or two changes to this website this weekend, so there may be some funny stuff happening with viewing the blog, but I’ll try to have that all ironed out quickly.
Otherwise, it remains only for me to say that, given the nature of this project, I would love for anyone who feels so inclined to post comments regarding the story as it develops. We’ll call this an open beta, if you like, as it is essentially the same thing.