Believe it or not, the novel Fountable was originally designed as a trilogy about a character named Tervan Andrisn, just as the present edition exists.
Only in the earliest versions the age of the main character was different: he was generally in his mid-thirties. And there were about twenty varying versions of the first volume.
I started the story in 1970 when I was walking around Los Angeles. Looking around at the taller buildings to get my bearings, I saw a very wide structure across the street. My eyes drifted up to the top where a name was etched in the concrete face: FOUNTABLE. I thought for a moment and could not remember any such building.
After turning on a side street and walking a short distance, I looked back and saw the word on the building was actually “EQUITABLE”, being the headquarters of that insurance company.
Arriving back at my apartment, the word was still on my mind and I opened a dictionary to see what it meant. As there was no such word, I took it by halves: FOUNT = original source + ABLE = power.
And the idea was born.
The first draft went about 15,000 words before I lost interest. The next two were even shorter.
About five years later, I picked up the idea again and outlined all three volumes in the set. The writing on volume one went into the eighteenth chapter before the story seemed to peter out again.
And I had gotten that far in the tale before he even met the Imperial princess or began a relationship with her. Overthrowing the Empire was actually plotted to fall into volume two of that trilogy.
In the present incarnation of the story, Tervan is only about nineteen years of age and he meets the princess by chapter five.
And he is able to bring the Empire down around the midway point of the first volume.
I think it is a better story than any of the versions I had started in the past and the last previous one of those was dated 1995. In 2007, with my old writing files all packed away in storage, the story came back to me once again. And, without access to any earlier outlines, I started writing a completely (well, almost) different story.
In its present form, I think the story is better, the characters more likable, and the tone quite a bit different than previous attempts. Probably the main difference in the current iteration of Tervan is his complete dislike of politics. All earlier Tervans seemed to like wallowing knee deep in the stuff.
It makes for a better story to make it about his relationship with his bride, his friends, and those he meets along the way.
Let me know what you think about the story as it goes along.