Behind The Monk’s Curse: Chapter Five

Behind the Scenes, The Monk's Curse - Prologue

In my opinion, this has to be one of the most exciting chapters in the entire novel. Of course the Prologue was exciting. As was perhaps Chapter Two – that is, in my opinion. But, like those two chapters, Chapter Five remains a firm favourite of mine, as the author.

Of course my opinion is skewed. But, unlike Chapters Three and Four, this stands with the chapters I mentioned above as one of the key chapters in the novel. As usual, I cannot say much without giving a spoiler. And, I did promise last week that the 31st of May would herald a comprehensive historical companion to The Monk’s Curse. Firstly, I shall keep my first promise – to not spoil much. Unfortunately, I cannot keep my second. Attempting to write a book encompassing all of my research is proving to be tedious. It is filled with historical detail. In any case, it will not release at the end of this month. Perhaps the end of next…

But as historical detail is important to that guide, so it is to this novel. And the detail begins to take shape in this chapter. That is what makes it so exciting. Spurred by discontent and doubt, the protagonist is led to a shocking discovery which will only lead to more shocking historical discoveries. I did promise monasteries and the like in the blurb. This comes close to that promise, but not quite. I also love this chapter because it links back to another of my favourites – the Prologue.

But, let me leave it there. To sum it all up, this chapter propels the novel in the direction it is to take more than any previous chapters. This novel introduces what will come to be the impetus for many important discoveries. This is where the history begins.

My only hope now is that I may deliver a historical companion to all of this, if not for my satisfaction, the hopefully for the readers of The Monk’s Curse.

Behind The Monk’s Curse: Chapter Four

Behind the Scenes, The Monk's Curse - Prologue

Today marks the fourth week since my original post promising weekly additions to this blog, mapping out the behind the scenes of each chapter of The Monk’s Curse.

But first, I would like to announce an exciting venture. Writing these posts mean that they have to be strictly spoiler free. This does not make for a very interesting journey. Of course my research is mentioned as the story slowly gets fleshed out in these posts, but there is so much that is held back. To remedy this I shall be releasing a companion guide to The Monk’s Curse on the 31st of May. This guide will focus on the real history that inspired The Monk’s Curse – a novel which has heavy historical detail and background. This guide will be available on Amazon and on Prolific Works, for free.

Now, with that done, and without further ado, behind chapter four!

Unlike Chapter Three, this chapter is quite a lengthy one.

As a chapter, it is the first real delve into the head of the protagonist as he reels in shock, dismay, fear, and confusion after the events and revelations of chapters one and three. This reveals a state of mind that will come to the fore in following parts of the novel. It is also a state of mind that is particularly to note in its similarity to the state of mind of another character later in the book. Most importantly, this state of mind is what sets things in motion as the protagonist is plunged into a search for his truth.

This state is exacerbated by a conversation that the protagonist overhears. Revealing crucial information, it only deepens his desire to search for the truth. And, met with the opportunity in the next chapter, he jumps at it. This leads him to find information that ties back directly to the Prologue.

So, as with the previous chapters, this one sets the scene. It sets the scene for the unravelling of what is to become an intricate tapestry of history – a history that will be explored in the book to release on the 31st.

Until next week.

Behind The Monk’s Curse: Chapter One

Behind the Scenes, The Monk's Curse - Prologue

As promised in my post last week I will be writing a post every week about the research and planning behind each chapter of The Monk’s Curse which is to be released imminently. This week, I shall be discussing Chapter One. Now, this is going to be a bit difficult I think, to discuss the chapter without giving much spoiler content. But, I shall try my best. So, without further delay…

…behind Chapter One

Chapter One was the chapter that required the least amount of research or effort to write. In fact, it is totally devoid of the content that will come to characterise the rest of the novel. It has no history. It has no travel. All it has is the vital elements that place my novel in its genre. I shall not speak to these elements.

Rather, I will discuss the writing process of Chapter One.

Writing Chapter One

Interestingly enough, I discussed this briefly, and without explicitly mentioning Chapter One, on Goodreads and on a few tweets of mine.

The process of writing this chapter came quite easily for, at the time, I still did not have any idea of what the novel would entail. To put it simply, I am a seat of the pants writer. This means that I do not plan my writing. I simply sit down and write.

Of course, with the amount of detail behind The Monk’s Curse, I had to plan a bit. But, in the beginning, I had not planned. It simply began as a boy being taken somewhere. In my mind I envisioned that he was being taken to a special school or facility. I even played around with the idea of making it all a fantasy somehow.

Thinking about it, I quickly abandoned this idea. As I thought about it more and more, the chapter came to be a preface of much violence and historical intrigue to come. In fact, at the time, the prologue I had written was envisioned as a totally separate novel. But eventually, realising how much the idea in my head regarding this first chapter and its following chapters related to the prologue, I began to see that the prologue would be a perfect preface to The Monk’s Curse.

And thus, in merging this first chapter and the prologue, The Monk’s Curse was born. That is when the process of writing changed from seat of the pants to intense planning. I used Randy Ingermanson’s infamous Snowflake method which took a story from a single sentence idea to a full mapping out of each chapter.

But, as always, I was led by my characters and not by my plans. And so, the rest of the novel became much like Chapter One. Unplanned, but exciting.

And that is the brief story behind Chapter One. Not an exciting one, that is, until it is read…