Nathaniel, as stated in another post, is just too tough to cram into 7000 words. So I’m embarking on a different type of mission — forming a hybrid of sorts between short story and novel.
Okay, this is what the initial ‘short’ story was going to be:
Nathaniel (Troubleshooter extraordinaire) is hired by a rich merchant named Bartimus Glenn. Bartimus is quite the philanthropist — he is paying good coin to have Nathaniel break into the Palace of the Crucifixion and ‘put out of his misery’ a man that the Crucifiers are in the process of ‘purifying’ (torture).
But when Nathaniel finds this man, he discovers the torture is worse than even he has experienced before. Someone has cut off the man’s hands and face, leaving him living a life of torment, while also removing the man’s identity and destroying any type of communication this victim may possess.
Nathaniel, still raw from the events of Cresek-Tawn 3 years earlier, takes it upon himself to exact a form of revenge upon the Crucifiers (thinking he may somehow ease the suffering of his own soul). After killing his way to the top, he discovers the truth — the Crucifiers FOUND him this way and have actually devoted themselves to finding the monster that did this — the Butcher of Turin.
Nathaniel realizes that Bartimus didn’t send him on a mission of mercy…he sent him on a mission of murder….
You can see that the information above is a LOT of info. Hard pressed to get that into a short story. AND there are subplots that I really wanted in there that definitely won’t fit. Plus, as I was writing the outline, I thought ‘what information doesn’t Bartimus want the world to know?’.
So then: — what did Bartimus inadvertently discover when torturing the faceless man?
How would Nathaniel discover that secret? Answer: By going into the mind of a man he doesn’t even know
Then how does he find Bartimus? By tracking down the one woman who escaped his clutches years ago (Amber) — but of course, she is scarred from the experience and does not wish to communicate.
Then onto dealing with secret itself
You can see where I’m going. What about several different chapters (chunks) of a novel? I’d have to swap them over, add a few subplots, cut out some of the good stuff
Short Story One – Discover that he has been duped into murdering someone
Short Story Two – Delve into the mind of a madman
Short Story Three – Find the one victim who has escaped the Butcher (Amber)
Short Story Four – Confrontation with the Butcher
Short Story Five –
Basically, if each short story is 7K, add another 3K for flavour (sub plots and characters) for the novel, I would need 10 short stories done in this way.
It would be tricky…but might be interesting. Each short story would be like a movie from Star Wars (each just part of a larger telling — huge time and action gaps between movies) while the novel would fill in these gaps, even things out.