This week I started posting my latest long-form story arc – Conquest. Some months ago I mused on the idea of starting a new story where the protagonist wasn’t necessarily a good guy in the traditional sense. An arbiter of law, his job was to enforce the Emperor’s supreme will through the laws and dictates that had been set down, and to largely keep the two imperial armies from tearing each other to pieces as they brought unity to the last pockets of resistance on the continent. Brutal dictatorships often start with a heavy-handed rule of law, and I wanted to explore a world where that was the status quo, rather than the exception – what kind of moral quandaries would the main character have, enforcing laws which may go against their own personal ethics?
Though I have a very real fondness for my Covert Ops and Wasteland series, particularly as the main characters continue to develop and reveal themselves to me, the Conquest series was the first I felt could truly stand on its own, become something greater than a collection of blog posts. I had this realization when I reached over 25,000 words that this project was actually coming together into a cohesive narrative, something that could actually see publication one day.
I know modern-day publication is at once easier and much more difficult than it has ever been. These days almost anyone can self-publish through Amazon or other print-on-demand services, which at once makes the barrier to entry quite low, but also competition for readership insanely high. There are other groups such as Unbound which provide a more crowd-funded approach to publishing, but again, actually sitting down and writing a novel is the “easy” part.
Since my Conquest series is overwhelmingly based on the game Tyranny from Paradox Interactive, I’ve actually approached their media relations and PR teams with the idea of publishing a novel under their trademark and intellectual property. My hope is that I can get a solid ~250 pages or so out of my weekly journaling, then add more content to make the pieces flow more contiguously. After that, and after some heavy editing, I hope to be around 300 pages – that I think will be a very good page range for the story I’m exploring through this setting. Then comes working with the editing/creative team at Paradox to make sure it meets their standards, and off to the presses.
Sounds easy when I put it that way, doesn’t it?
I’m currently waiting on a response from the PR department about the next person in the chain I need to speak with about this idea. I know many people have written fan fiction for Paradox games, and even some very long-winded entries about Tyranny in specific, but I’m hoping that I can provide enough zeal and enthusiasm to let them know that I’m serious about 1) seeing their product reach a wider audience, and 2) getting my own words out into the world.
Please take a moment to start reading this new story arc I’ve created, and I hope you can find my words in a bookstore soon enough!