I’ve been playing about with various incarnations of Animus for a while now, and have changed both the narrator and the start-point of the story several times. Every time I think I’ve cracked it, and then I realise that either there’s a better way to do it or this new version doesn’t cover an important element or the previous version was just plain better. It’s not unusual for me to have a couple of casts at the start of a project before finding the right one, but Animus is now breaking my personal best on that score. I’ve managed to narrow it down to three options and would now like to outsource opinion. If you’re interested, please take a look at the options below and let me know what you think.
OPTION 1: Sabine – A slave girl who comes to dictate the course of a war through emotional manipulation of her master, the warlord Leukus.
OPTION 2: Leukus – The warlord who pushes his friend and king, Hematus, into a conflict that will ultimately destroy the nation.
OPTION 3: Tatiana – A skilled mind-reader who, after the war, has taken Leukus captive and wants to learn why he did what he did, whilst her own people try to recover from the conflict.
The challenge is that Animus is both a sequel and an explanation. The initial idea – as shown in Sabine and Leukus’ versions – is to tell the war in Spiritus from the other side. Why the Court of Blood started a war in the first place, and what it meant to them when they lost. The third idea – Tatiana’s version – is to try and get some of that, whilst at the same time showing what the aftermath of the war was for the victors (thus setting up the new world order that is the setting for the final book, Corpus). Is that option trying to do too much, or is it important to have the juxtaposition of before and after? Is it more interesting to have the same historical events from a new perspective, or does that not give enough new story to the reader?
Bearing in mind that these are all rough drafts, which of the three opening snippets would make you interested in reading the rest of the story? Would any of them?