That first draft took the form of a manuscript in which the three stories were arranged to be followed simultaneously:  Canto One of the first would be followed by Canto One of the second, then Canto One of the third.  The manuscript was so large that I had to bind it into four volumes, and in this form, I gave it to my wife and some friends (most of whose names are noted in the acknowledgments in the present printed books), whose responses were warm and advice admirable.

Now the really tough work began when the work had to be looked at closely and edited.  First, after much discussion, particularly with my editor, Carolyn Zapf, it became clear that the arrangement was not practical.  The work was then organized so that each hero had his own separate volume.