A History of Artesia Let’s give it a try… I need to finish this book. Sometimes, it feels like the finishing line is inching ever closer, and at other times it feels further away than it has ever been. Slowly, I keep typing, in the knowledge that one day, after having typed enough, I will have finished. I have been kept fairly busy, and am a slow writer in any case, so I can’t commit to deadlines (and I’ve tried before, failing spectacularly each time). I don’t really feel in any rush to finish this novel anyway. However, I’ve been keeping an eye on this forum for a while now, and I enjoy reading how the projects of others have gradually developed, so I decided to create an account. I can commit to these progress updates, and hopefully they will give me a sense of duty, and help me get into the routine of writing. I have a fantasy ancient world (consider approx. 0 AD). It is a non-magical or “low” fantasy, simply like a historical fiction with the licence to write my own history and my own geography! The story focuses on two main characters representing the continent’s major powers, and there is plenty of action, and plenty of espionage. I already have a detailed map, and a good idea of the countries and cultures that populate it. It’s my first serious attempt at something like this, and I know they say you should start small, maybe a few “practice” standalones. But I have been starting to gather thoughts on continuing the series, and the scope is big. Very big. 10 books big. I have an idea for another unconnected parallel novel taking place elsewhere on the continent, at the same time. Dreams for now, but I love this world I’ve created and I’m aware that if I ever wanted to see it finished, I need to get started!! I’ve done a first draft, and now I’m at the rewriting stage. It’s taken over two years for it to get to this stage, and I’m actually quite content with what I’ve achieved so far. I feel that the story has developed and improved immeasurably from when I first started, and I enjoy writing about each and every character I’ve created. Now I have to get it from the scrambled mess it is into a readable state. The rough plan is this: 1st Draft – The Story Draft – Get everything down on paper. Weighed in at 199k: 16 chapters split in to three acts. 2nd Draft – The Rewrite – The problem with having written so slowly is that the story has had time to evolve. So as well as rewriting the bad stuff, the entire first act for one of my main characters has since become obsolete and needed rewriting. Much of Act Three will also need rewriting (this is the stage I am at now). Also, I need to make a timeline, as well as a very detailed synopsis of every single thing that happens, and all the plot details, since some of the conspiracies are difficult to follow trying to write them. Reading a draft will likely help with this. 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12 // 13 / 14 / 15 / 16 / 17 / 18 / 19 /20 / 21 / 22 / 23 / 24 / 25 / 26 / 27 // 28 / 29 / 30 / 31 / 32 / 33 / 34 / 35 / 36 / 37 / 38 / 39 / 40 // Epilogue 3rd Draft – Further Re-write – Now that the story is mostly pinned down, it’s time to go back to the beginning and see what needs changing. In progress 4th Draft – 3rd draft has major issues, I feel. Made the decision to go down from having two POV characters to just one, to give the story more direction, as the goals of both main characters weren't aligning as well as I hoped. I'm hoping it gives the story more clarity and better focus. I need to write out one of the main characters, which will require major re-working, as well as needing to have some exposition that would otherwise be included in his chapters, and try to find a way to work it into my FMC without it being infodump-y. This should halve the word count to about 130k once I'm through, which will be much more workable. Act I:- 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 Act II:- 9 / 10 / 11 / 12 / 13 / 14 / 15 / 16 / 17 / 18 / 19 Act III:- /20 / 21 / 22 / 23 / 24 / 25 / 26 / 27 / 28 / 29 / Epilogue The Big Read-through After a three-month break, see what state the novel is in (still quite rough unfortunately...) In progress 5th Draft - Yet more re-writing here. Working through alpha-reader notes and suggestions, as well as my own notes from the read-through to (hopefully) make what will be the final major changes to my novel so I can go onto the line-editing. 6th Draft – The Continuity Draft – I plan to go through a systematic checklist to ensure the novel is continuous and follows through a logical sequence of events. Where: All the locations, distances, territorial claims of various lords. Who: Names and historical figures. When: Seasons, lengths of certain events (from timeline). What: Historical events, weather, temperature, the moon, terrain, etc. Why: Are character motivations consistent? Is the plot coherent? 6th, 7th, 8th… Final Draft – Continual editing: spelling, grammar, punctuation. Trimming worthless words, sentences and paragraphs. These will be the final stages, as I feel there’s no point in editing a scene that I know won’t make the final draft anyway. It would be nice to get the word count down, but I feel as though, plot-wise, there isn’t much wasted space, and the plot is more complicated as it developed than when I first started (when the aim was for a 120k novel). I’m currently in the process of typing up new scenes for Chapter 12 and 13 for my MMC (there are now 18 chapters in total). My FMC I am slightly behind on: about Chapter 9, however her chapters don't need that much work. The next target is to get to finishing Chapter 13 for both characters, as after this stage, there are large overhauls to be made to the final stages of the book. So here’s to my glacier, ‘A History of Artesia’ – slow, but inevitable (I hope!) progress. I hope everybody continues to move forward along with me, and I look forward to seeing you at the finish line someday.