Splitting my Novel, Part III – Tossing Kids from High Places

So to catch you up, I wrote a fantasy novel, it’s too long, I’m chopping it into two main stories, I’m using Siamese twins as a metaphor, you’re not supposed to say Siamese anymore. Cuz now it’s Thailand.

The first story is about an old priest trying to find an even older alcoholic so he can forgive him for killing his childhood friend (oh Lord, I suck at pitches). Anyway, the summary of that story is here: Splitting my Novel – A Tale of Two Tales

The second story is about Gaia, a young woman who loses her father and gets adopted by a mercenary miller. No, he’s not a miller for hire, he’s a proper miller, but he runs a mercenary group as a side hustle. Also, his name is Miller, because I like the challenge of being stupid confusing.

Related image
Here is an old mill I found on Pinterest

Anyway, Miller the miller sends her to the Library of Gameen to study. OK, it’s basically a college, but I call it a library to be more medieval. It’s inspired by the Great Library of Alexandria, which sounds like it was a kick-ass facility before it burned to the ground.

The Library at Alexandria (I drew this freehand from memory)

Moneyed girls in this world study at the best library. Why? So they can be more useful when the patriarchy marries them off to guildsmen and other nobles. It’s still medieval.

Gaia, our MC, is delighted. Except for the part about her father dying, this is all good news. She loves books, loves history, and is a bit of an annoying smartypants about it.

Anyway, the Library of Gameen was once housed in a bunch of gigantic towers, each large enough to fit a small city. There’s every type of craftsman, some light farming, animals, etc., all inside these huge towers, set atop thousands upon thousands of books and scrolls.

Most of the towers were lost in a war with people who hate reading but love building catapults. Naturally, a couple of these towers are ruined and abandoned, but still standing well enough to serve as the basis for a lot of rumors and ghost stories.

So of course, Gaia, our MC, ends up going for those lost, forbidden, broke down towers to find the books that she thinks will tell the real™ story, the history her College masters have conveniently edited out.

She ropes some friends into her quest, gets captured by an evil nature cult who force her to learn a bunch of dangerous spells that their religion forbids them from even looking at. It’s like if some dude on the Paleo diet kidnapped you and made you eat dinner rolls… but if like, nobody thought dinner rolls were real, and it was for world conquest.

OK, enough spoilers. It’s cool. You’ll like it. There’s a lot of climbing and falling, and a bit of flying and eating rats. And magic. Very low-key, lovely, gritty magic.

Next up, we’ll talk about how the two stories connect and how I’m chopping them.

Splitting my Novel, Part II – A Tale of Two Tales

The Patience of Darkfall focuses on two main stories which take place in my sprawling medieval world. I’ll describe the basic setup for each of them in two separate posts, and then talk about how they intersect, and what I think I have to do to split them up.

<— In case you missed the start of this series


Brother Adam:
An aged priest (~70 years old). I picture him looking like Tchéky Karyo from STARZ’s “The Missing”. Just lose the glasses, leave the baggage.

Tcheky Karyo as Julien Baptiste, from “The Missing”
(Source: New Pictures – Company Pictures & all3media International)

As a teenager, Adam persuades his best friend, Jak, to steal his family’s boat, the Rose for one last adventure beyond the western shores before joining the crown navy. They drag Jak’s sister, Neila, along, so she won’t tattle on them, and cuz Adam has a big crush on her. They get to the western shore, have a few exciting run-ins with the local fauna, and eventually discover the ruins of a spooky old manor. In that manor, there’s a door with a an even spookier painting on it, which they’re too chicken to open, so they turn around.

Gripping, right?

When they get back, Jak’s father beats him to death. BOOM! You didn’t see that coming, did you? OK maybe you did.

Years pass. Adam comes back from the navy and finally marries Neila. She dies of tumors a year later (shit luck, right?). In his grief, he tries to burn himself alive in that same boat — the one he convinced Jak to steal for that adventure that got him killed.

Following so far? Here’s a picture of a boat:

A boat

He survives the fire, gets arrested for nearly burning down half the city’s docks, spends 4 years in a cell, and gets sprung by a priest of Talfar (a monotheistic faith that’s basically standing in for Catholicism here). He, himself, takes up the priesthood because, well, crippling guilt and grief, and all that.

Anyway. That’s all in the past. For most of the book, Adam is old. He’s lived a peaceful village life, tended to his flock. He’s ready to retire and die and go to heaven to be with his dead wife, his dead friend, and of course, Talfar.


He’s still consumed with hatred for Jak’s father, and he’s not OK with spending the rest of his days carrying that hatred around. He doesn’t want to bring his grudge with him to the afterlife.

I know what you’re thinking. Batman’s parents, the Red Wedding, John Wick’s Dog, and now… Some old guy’s nagging grudge?

Whatever. I like understated things.

Anyway, one day, Adam learns that Jak’s father, and all those settlers who wandered off to the west, survived, which now means that there’s a very slight chance that the man he’s hated all these years is still alive (even though he’d be in his nineties by now). It’s enough for Adam. He packs up his gear and sets off to find the man and make peace.

That’s right — forgiveness is the new vengeance.

So that’s the setup. There’s a lot more to it. There’s a brewing holy war, an assassin sent to kill him, a cache of lost texts, a guy’s tongue falls out, oh… and it turns out Jak might not have died the way Adam remembers. Also his wife Neila might have been a changeling.

I know that’s a lot of spoilers, but you should still read the book if it’s ever published, because it’s cool and written a lot better than this blog, I promise. And there’s a dog, because every story needs more dogs. I suck at synopsessesses.

Next, we’ll delve into story 2 in this monster, talk about the ways they overlap, and talk about why Scrivener is gonna make this surgery so much easier.

Thanks for reading?


Part III – Tossing Kids from High Places