The other day I had the pleasure of pulling from my “drawer” an old scrap of writing and inserted it into Merlin’s Shadow.
It was a dear scrap, this one, and contained an interaction with three fisherman named Ynktor, Henkter, and Crothak. They had originally appeared in my prologue of Merlin’s Blade, but the cutting machine left them high and dry without a boat, per se.
Well, they are back. And not only back, but the writing fits better here in the second book. Part of the discussion that occurs is about the Picts, which I have reconstructed to call the Prythager in the Celtic tongue.
This dialogue fits much better here, because a Pictish tribe will play a very important role in Merlin’s Shadow, and so the foreshadowing is much more powerful.
I’ll be researching the Picts in more detail in the upcoming months, so expect a post or two about these fascinating Scottish tribes.
Anyway, if you are a writer, always hold onto your scraps. Cut it out, but paste it into another document named “Saved For The Future.doc”, or something like that. You never know when it might come in handy!
I am now 15% finished with the first draft of Merlin’s Shadow, and am currently targeting 90,000 words. This gives me some imaginative room near the end.
Also, I have made the difficult decision to eliminate my original name for Merlin. He was known as Lynaeyus for the first half of Book 1, but this had two problems:
- No one seems to be able to pronounce Lynaeyus
- Everyone wondered when Merlin would appear, not knowing he was standing before them.
Now he will be known as Merlin from the very first page, and since everyone knows how to pronounce this name, I think it will work just fine.
Yes, I lose the symbolism of giving him a new name when he changes from being the blind some of a village blacksmith to become the adviser to Uther, High King of the Britons—but that is okay.
The moment to grab the reader is from the very beginning, and so it is important for them to know that this story really is about Merlin.