1. transyl
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    transyl New Member

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    Matt's Progress Journal

    Discussion in 'Progress Journals' started by transyl, Jul 16, 2015.

    This WIP novel started almost exactly at the beginning of 2015. It was sort of a New Year's Resolution. For a long time I've had ideas but I'd let my self-doubt get in the way. This time I just wrote in spite of that and kept writing.

    Title: The Promised Land

    Synopsis: Eve, a woman that forever felt limited in her regular life, spent her time playing MMOs. But she finds out that an MMO called "The Promised Land" is far more than just a game. It's a real world consisting of magic, gods, unusual creatures, and potential danger for Eve as well as Earth itself.

    There are other characters like Eve's brother-in-law who ends up becoming her apprentice in The Promised Land. As well as a succubus that Eve unexpectedly forms a romantic relationship with. I also love the idea of having deities as these powerful beings who rule The Promised Land like kings and queens. And yet they have very human flaws and problems.

    I'm 20+ chapters in but bare in mind it's all pretty rough. I go back and forth a lot trying to decide what I want to do with the story and characters. That means quite a few pages, half chapters, and full chapters, that I've ended up putting aside and may not end up using. But I always save everything just in case.

    What I think I might do is use a POV character format similar to Game Of Thrones. That would allow me to flesh out the villains and other significant characters more. I've already done this somewhat so it's what I'm drawn to doing. On the other hand, it would probably make the project vastly more complicated.

    My hope is to make a fairly unique, fleshed out world with meaningful story lines that could carry into a series of novels. I doubt I'll be finished with this first book anytime soon because I'm very wet around the ears as a writer.

    But the main thing is that I've wrote more than I ever thought I could. And regardless of how rudimentary my talents may be, I like some of what I've written, and I've become invested in realizing this story. So over time I think I can improve and if nothing else, create a story that is worthwhile to me.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2016
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  2. transyl
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    transyl New Member

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    The earliest I tried to write a POV chapter was the third chapter. I had this flash back planned out to introduce a new character. I liked it but decided against the direction that chapter took. Then I tried again for the eighth chapter. So it's really been something my mind has been considering early on. The themes and scope of the world really lends itself to the POV format. I've already technically written in POV for three main characters.

    Something I wanted to share is that I'm really learning and figuring things out as I go. Every writer is different. Some might map out everything and stick to that plan. The plans I create are mostly in my head and I'm rarely able to stick to them. I write and sometimes it's like the story shows me where to go rather than me leading it.

    One chapter I'm pretty fond of I hadn't the foggiest idea of what to do with it when I started. I just forced myself to keep going until the idea came to me. From that point on it was one of the easiest chapters to write.

    Part of why I wanted to share this is because I hit roadblocks constantly. A lot of you probably experience that too. But if you keep going you'll eventually get past it. Even if it means you write a few chapters, decide they don't work, and then go in a different direction.

    For me, so much of writing is doing "test runs" of ideas. Giving a concept a chance and seeing if it ends up blossoming.

    At first it can be brutal when you decide not to use a chapter or have to do a major edit. It can feel physically painful. What I do though is save every draft just in case. Because maybe later I'll find a way to use it. Eventually you write enough and have more confidence in the story to where it stops hurting so much to do significant edits or not currently using a chapter you've written.

    The last thing I did was take half of chapter twenty, which was kind of two short flash back chapters stuck together, and added about 60% to it and did some minor editing. Now I think it could serve as a pretty good prologue. That may or may not sound a bit crazy but I feel good about it. I've been struggling the last few chapters so it's the most "right" something has felt for a little while.

    My point is that everyone has their own process. I don't know how atypical mine is compared to everyone else. But what matters is that it works for you. Also, we all have moments of doubt and insecurity. The best advice I know to give is to keep writing. If you do then eventually you'll write something you like.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2016
  3. transyl
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    transyl New Member

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    So far the "new" version of my story has three POV chapters. This will eventually tie into what I have written before.

    Prologue - Introduces what one might call the villain family. The brothers Dante Devine and Victor Divine, along with the girlfriend of Victor, named Kylie Brighter. It shows how they come to be at odds with the gods of The Promised Land and join Ouroboros.

    Ramza - Gives a glimpse into the sinister woman who is orchestrating everything as she begins the initiation of Dante, Victor, and Kylie into Ouroboros. It also suggests that Ramza is not human, through Ramza's feelings of mortals as something separate from herself, but it doesn't state what she is. (Hint: She does not belong to the mortals or to the gods.)

    Ondina - The idea for this came about because Ramza wants Dante to kill someone to start him on the Ouroboros path. So I wanted to mix it up by having the POV be the "creature" Dante is forced to kill at the end of the chapter.

    Ondina is a young mermaid of seventeen. She wakes up in her small lonely cave, gets some breakfast by stabbing a fish and eating it, and goes about her perfected art of spying on the goddess queen Mercury. Which she does by singing just loud enough that the fish stay around and hide her presence. Ondina has a lot of aspirations and dreams which she'll never experience because she dies.

    This new opening for the story is a fair bit darker. Particularly once it gets to Ondina being killed. But one of the major themes in my story is the significance of an individual life. Which is part of why I didn't want Dante to just kill some nobody that the reader has no concept of. That would cause the action to have less meaning. Afterwards, when Dante can't handle murder, he convinces Ramza to allow him to recruit for Ouroboros instead.

    I may or may not bring Ondina back. This is a story with a heavy focus on magic and I have an idea for her resurrection that could work well. However I'm not sure what I'd do with her later on.

    My current idea is for the next three chapters to be more hopeful. To sort of set in motion the "good guys". This will likely involve Dante recruiting Eve. Who goes on to be his close friend and one of the main heroes. Rowan, the succubus who later becomes Eve's girlfriend, may make an appearance here too.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2016
  4. transyl
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    transyl New Member

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    Chapter 4 was a challenge. I had two false starts, where I wrote a bit and it wasn't working, before I found a groove. Then finally I had to do an edit to change somethings that I kind of liked but took the story in too different a direction.

    The Bes POV chapter sets up Bes and his family, with Bes having a drink at a bar in his hometown of Setesh, where his son Felix is the barkeep. It references the Age Of War where many deities died. Including Set who was a friend of Bes. They slayed the serpent Apep together in my version of the story. Bes named his city after Set.

    There is a lot of Egyptian mythology references in this chapter. Like Bes calling his wife "Neferu-Ra". That means The Beauty of Ra. I can't help but be extremely fascinated by the beliefs and concepts of Ancient Egypt.

    Their idea of magic actually fits pretty well into what I've been doing. They believe magic worked by activating the "power of the soul".
     

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