Timeline Construction Within The Prodigal Band Trilogy

This post will not be a ‘snippet’ post, but a post about the creation of the three novels within The Prodigal Band Trilogy–the fact that this trilogy does not follow the usual timeline construct. Most trilogies have the first novel representing the beginning time period, and the time moves forward in line into the second novel and then ends the timeline within the third novel. This is how Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, as well as The Hunger Games trilogy and the Divergent trilogy are fashioned—beginning, middle, end. And many others as well…and also series novels such as J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. The Prodigal Band Trilogy certainly does not follow that scenario!

The first novel, Battle of the Band, begins (after the ‘before time’ spiritual part) in 1986 and ends in 1996. The second novel, The Prophesied Band, begins in 1982 and ends in 2000. The third novel, The Prodigal Band, begins in 1976 and ends in 2004. So that while each novel itself starts in an earlier year and ends in a later year, the time frame is not continuous from the first novel to the third novel.

Before I state why this is the case let me say that I didn’t exactly plan it this way. The second novel was supposed to take up where the first one left off. But the first one didn’t play out as originally planned either, and the first book wasn’t even supposed to spearhead a trilogy.

Then an inspiration came to me to subtitle Battle of the Band with this subheading: The Saga of the Prodigal Band Begins (as can be seen on the original book cover). In other words, the ‘Parable of the Prodigal Son’ within Luke 15 of the Biblical New Testament had to seal this burgeoning trilogy’s fate, as the first part of this parable is about how the son takes his inheritance, leaves his father, goes far off into another country and spends the fortune on ‘riotous living,’ leaving him financially and spiritually destitute. While the prodigal band isn’t financially ruined they are ‘destitute’ spiritually but discover there is a way out of this ‘poverty.’ So I had to re-do the novel with this theme in mind, which changed pretty much everything, including the time frame construction.

When beginning the second novel, The Prophesied Band (subtitled The Saga of the Prodigal Band Continues…implying this would be the second book in a likely trilogy), I had to construct a scenario whereby the band in question, Sound Unltd, would be ‘the prophesied band.’ So I began this novel (after a spiritual part in what would be the prologue in the original book) with a rock band from the same city, Walltown, as the prodigal band, and the narrator, pop culture pundit Jay Elliot seeking that particular career upon high school graduation in 1982, interviews the creator of the song—which was given to him by angels called the Tooters for the purpose of ‘announcing’ a future band of prophecy. The band of prophecy that would carry out a ‘mission of God’ as the novel ends at a trade and music festival headlined by this prodigal band.

Thus the timeframe of the first novel is wrapped within the time frame of the second novel: 1986 to 1996 falls between 1982 and 2000, correct? Further, for the final novel, it made sense to begin that one in a year prior to 1982 and end it in a latter year after 2000.

The final novel was originally going to be called ‘Band of Glory,’ as indicated on the back pages of The Prophesied Band, which was supposed to have the subheading The Saga of the Prodigal Band Concludes. But that was not to be. If it would be called ‘Band of Glory,’ it would have to end in Heaven with God, somehow. But again, inspiration had other ideas…for one thing, what would happen to the entity allied with evil, Corion? And would the band, carrying out the mission given to them, deserve to be in Heaven? Would they stick to the Plan, so to speak? And what events would cause them to choose to stick with this Plan?

The Parable of the Prodigal Son ends with the errant son returning home to his father, feasting on ‘fatted calf’ and being ‘found.’ His brother, of course, questions the sincerity and worthiness of his ‘lost’ brother—just like many Christians today question the efficacy of a wealthy rock star even coming close to accepting Christ a Savior (since they are all ‘devil worshipers,’ right?). Thus, not only did I have to author a novel as to how and why the prodigal band converted to belief on Christ and carried out their missions, but I also had to explain how and why the band was even formed in the first place, including parental and otherwise guidance: how and why were these six band members able to develop such talent and songwriting abilities in the first place? Since these boys grew up beginning in the late 70s, that is why the third novel begins in 1976, into 1980 and 1982 and 1985, with two new band members. Aspects of the first part of the parable and then the second part where the band discovers the way forward into the final ‘found’ part are focused in the first six chapters of this third novel. The ‘way home’ final part of the parable is the focus of the rest of the third novel.

So, thanks to inspiration and keeping to a script based on a biblical parable, this time frame construct of The Prodigal Band Trilogy doesn’t follow ‘the usual trilogy script.’

The next post here will take place in a couple of weeks. Next week’s focus will be on updating my blog with links to newer snippet posts here, since I have not updated the blog in months and this blog is an easy way to link to posts here without constant scrolling down the site to find them. Plus the main menu here also needs updating somewhat. Plus I need to figure out a new ‘snippet category’ to ‘snippet’ about! And more…

Cheers!