Merlin’s Shadow Is Finished!

BIG NEWS !! I have, this day, finished my first draft of MERLIN’S SHADOW, which is book two in The Merlin Spiral. The novel has turned out to be all that I hoped it would be, and much more. It is a worthy sequel to MERLIN’S BLADE.

Merlin's Shadow

MERLIN’S SHADOW is about the intertwined but separate journeys of Merlin and his young sister, Ganaida.

Merlin is trying to take Arthur north where he will be safe from the traitor Vortigern, while Ganaida falls under the influence of her grandfather, the Arch-Druid.

It is a story of faith—both losing it and gaining it. Who do you trust when everything in your world falls apart?

Follow Merlin on his journey of suffering, slavery, kidnapping, and betrayal. Follow Ganaida on her fated journey toward becoming Morgana. And weep.

My goal was to keep MERLIN’S SHADOW to as close to 100,000 words as possible. Strangely, I had an error in my calculations, and so the book actually took 118,000 … almost exactly the same size as MERLIN’S BLADE. :D

Anyway, this is a big day. I will now commence catching up on more important matters for awhile. I like to have at least one month away from a manuscript before I begin to edit so that I can look at it with fresh eyes.

I also have a long “to do” list for improving the manuscript, which includes rewriting a few critical chapters in the middle. Translated, this means that I won’t be letting any test readers at it until draft #2 or #3. Sorry!

8 thoughts on “Merlin’s Shadow Is Finished!

  1. HAHA! Know that feeling with test readers. No one sees it until draft 2 or 3… isn’t that just the creed of writers? I’ve heard, though, that beta’s really help with new drafts. But I don’t know yet… you guys have never seen my first drafts. lol! ;)

    BTW, I am still working on reading through Merlin’s blade. Well, actually, my outside life is pretty much on hold right now so that I can finish school, and that includes reading books that aren’t text books. :( I don’t like it, but I’ll just have to get over it: only a week and 1/2 left in school and then summer! yay! I will finish reading then as soon as possible. So far it’s amazing. :D

    Love your family. You are all amazing!

    Nichole White

  2. Scott — Yes, it appears I’m moving closer to publication, but we’ll see!

    Nichole — Glad to hear that your school year’s almost done! How far are you through MB? Let me know what you think … if you find anything that might improve it, I will definitely be interested.

  3. When are they going to get published? (both books in this awesome spiral?)

  4. Andrew,

    Thanks for stopping by! I currently have two publishers looking at the series, and hope to have some news soon. Even so, it would still be at least a year before the book would be available. :D :D


  5. That’s wonderful!!! I’ve not finished writing too many things, but whenever I have, I get an extraordinary feeling of accomplishment and excitement. Congratulations! =) Hope I can read it someday! I like Arthurian stories . . .

    D. S. Dahnim

  6. D.S.,

    Thanks for the visit! Whenever you get to read it, I’ll be interested in your thoughts. I think the story is a new take on the Arthur, but there is enough there to make anyone familiar with the legends have a lot of “Aha!” moments.

    Mainly, I just want them to be a good, fun, thought-provoking read!


  7. OK, so some questions for you, if you have the time: What’s it like to write a new version of an old legend? What’s your process like, what does it involve? Are your books very very different from other versions I may have read? If so, do you do a lot of research? Do you get most of it from old manuscripts like The Mabinogian? Just a few things I was wondering about. Facinating. I’d love to hear about it all! =D

    D. S. Dahnim

  8. D.S.,

    It is very humbling to attempt to write something based on the Arthurian legends, considering that the literary greats have tackled it long before me.

    From T.H. White to John Steinbeck to Stephen R. Lawhead, I am dwarfed, nay, made to feel as small as an ant! And that does not mention Geoffrey of Monmouth, nor Sir Thomas Malory, nor all the other modern published authors who have covered this subject.

    But … despite all this, I think I have a new angle, and that is the trick. The strange thing is that I wasn’t looking for a new angle … I was just pondering the question of “Why would someone put a sword into a stone?” when an answer came to me that surprised even me.

    “What if the stone itself was the darkest enemy?”

    Now, there is a lot of mystery hidden in that one statement that is not fully unpacked until the 5th novel in my series, so suffice it to say that I will not elaborate beyond that one statement.

    My process, as a new author, was to first create the general plot for the series, and in more detail, for the first book. Then I wrote a single chapter out of the middle just to see if I could do it.

    Then I spent a year researching, refining my ideas and adding depth, layer, theme, and uniqueness to my approach. This meant reading the Mabinogian (at least the parts that applied) and as many other original sources as I could find. I tried to steer away from modern retellings to help avoid copying (although I had read some Lawhead ten years ago).

    Only then did I write the novel, which took another 1.5 years. Since then I’ve been editing that novel (now at draft #12), and working on the second (now beginning draft #2).


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