Monday, November 24, 2014

How One Became Seven

The Saga of Many

As you may recall, I began writing Kingdom Beyond the Rim in response to a challenge from one of my English classes. I had assigned them an essay, "What would you do with a magic power?"  They told me if they had to write a story, I should too. I took them up on the challenge, but soon my basic story concept kept growing until it eventually became the first draft of Kingdom. At that time, the novel was about two hundred pages long.

Over the next good number of years, I learned a lot about writing novels and stories. I sent my book off to publishers to have it rejected, I worked with an editor, I added and deleted prologues, and after about three complete rewrites, I ended up with the version of Kingdom published now.

As my characters and their story developed, I realized there was a great deal more to tell. The world of Turan had expanded, Magiskeep and the Magic had blossomed, and Jamus' destiny was far greater than I had anticipated. I needed to write more.

The next River awaited, and over the course of another year or so, I wrote The Wall Between. Once I'd finished that, I started writing White Wind.

Then, however, I was interrupted in the novel "flow" by the Halfwittenberg Door. We were a group of computer gamers who had played and loved Sierra's Quest for Glory role playing adventure games. After Sierra closed its doors our founder, Hans Halfwitten, a biology professor from northwest New Jersey, founded the Door, a message board for fans to gather to discuss our favorite games and just get to know each other.

Somewhere along the way the Door became a "share your writing board," and for the next twelve years, we did just that.  I've lost track of how many stories were shared there. We even created a Writers' Round where each author took turns contributing chapters to a single story, layering in our own characters and plot. It was a tour de force with dozens of plot twists and turns constantly challenging us to figure out how to get in and out of each others' brains to move the story along.

We had several "child boards" attached to the Door, including the Writer's Forge where I assigned writing lessons to members who wanted to practice their skills.

During those years at the Door, I wrote at least nine Magiskeep stories, some of which I will be now publishing as part of the Saga.  

Frustrated by trying to sell my novels through conventional publishers, I stopped writing for a while after the Door locked it latches for the last time. Most of the members had moved on to other things and we just didn't "talk" much anymore.

Then, the specter of self-publishing and a new computer game on the horizon sparked my writing again. First, with self-publishing options, I could publish the book myself, satisfy a thirty year dream and perhaps find a few people to read what I'd written.  Secondly, Lori and Corey Cole, the original developers of Quest for Glory had decided to develop a new computer RPG game in the same style--Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption. Their Kickstarter appeal drew thousands of dollars from the huge base of former fans. Among them was my Door buddy, David Melanson (my cover art creator). Dave ended up having some input into the game and, to my delight, that included Jamus and Whim, my characters.

Knowing that Jamus would be making a guest appearance--not quite as himself--in the new game, I decided that once again, he deserved to have the rest of his story told. I pulled out the files for White Wind and began writing again. Then, I wrote Blackwing Rising, which I thought was going to be the final book in the series.

After a bit more trial and error than I intended, I published Kingdom Beyond the Rim and just kept on writing. Its success has spurred me on. With the stories from the Door to be consolidated into their own books, I was up to six completed versions. Done, or so I thought.

Then, in my editing and rereading of Honor's Way, the second book, I realized I still had another Dragon to face.  Jamus' story was not finished after all.  And so, the seventh novel is underway. It's going a bit more slowly than I intended. My main computer crashed and was in for repair. Then, I found that one of the Door stories needs some attention, so I'm working on that.

Since then, I've found bits and pieces of some other stories related to some of the characters and events in The Wall Bewteen, that may well spark another related, but not quite Magiskeep novel.

I guess wherever a story is to be told, I am compelled to tell it.  If you drop by my blog in the next few days, you'll find a story here too. It's a Kingdom prequel, if you will. I hope you drop by to read it.

1 comment:

  1. well, two rivers down so there's a few to go, LOL