Reflecting on my writing progress concerning Grimoire is a mixed bag; in many ways I would hope to be far further along. But I also have made far more progress in the last week than in the last month before. In fact, part one (consisting of the first three chapters) is ready for beta readers; which I am currently seeking.
I will be publishing it on Wattpad later today, so be on the lookout!
That was what this morning was, the final touches, listening to the chapter get played backed so the grammar is just right. At least, I hope.
But that’s not all, this week has brought a lot of positive change, although through baby steps – I’ve begun the arduous task of learning my home keys and touch-typing, a necessary evil to write faster. I’ve also been diving deep into my narrative process, learning a ton and coming out I feel more knowledgeable.
Unfortunately, this means going back to the drawing board and fleshing out more of the book; the good news is it was needed, part were weak – when the character’s motivation was in question.
Aurora is a Devil. Already a controversial protagonist for some. But as show like Lucifer have shown us or films like a Clockwork Orange illustrate. Anyone can be a good protagonist as long as their arc is compelling. So, what her arc? Well if I can’t explain it to myself then that’s a problem. I know what Aurora is going ot go through, that’s that plot. The series of events.
But what is her story? And underneath that her theme?
I really needed to get into the meat and potatoes of it – that can be tricky. If you’re a new and struggling writer and your character feels a little two- or one-dimensional think about their story. And more importantly their arc. If you haven’t taken the time to explore your character’s arc, you need to. Because that’s the story.
Why do I like Star Wars? Because behind the laser blasts and lightsabers, there’s a great story with solid themes. One that can be explored and talk about for years. Luke Skywalker goes from farm boy to Jedi Knight, and Rebellion hero. That doesn’t happen overnight – more importantly it’s not easy. There’s is struggle that’s what your character needs. That’s why your reader wants more from your story.
If Frodo just had to walk to the end of the Shire to throw the ring into a pit or whatever no one would read it. It’s the journey, we the reader want to go on it with your character. As a writer, I want you to go that journey with them. Whether an external conflict or and internal one your character’s story is one of some kind of struggle.
There are tons of teacher, blogs and resources that are far far better at explaining this than me so take a look, but here’s a video that really breaks down how easy it is to create that through line for your characters. Because there are arc types in storytelling that we follow.
But I will let a much better storyteller explain;
Once you know this shape you can start looking at your characters arc, and building your story. Or as the poet Jagger once said, “You can always have what you want; but if you try sometimes you find you get what you need.”
So I’ve been looking at my characters and really breaking down who there are and what they need more importantly so their stories can unfold with the right pace and direction.
I say all this because something that I feel is important to share with other new writers, as it can be difficult to navigate – or really be honest with the quality of your work. I don’t think of my writing as being delayed, but I do have to plan a far better structure, so my writing is more informed. I have tools to help with that now, again I can share later and even give readers sneak peeks to what happens to my characters.
But in this time, there has been some great milestones! I recently crossed the 1000 follower line eon Twitter. Something I never thought would happen. Now, this could just be small potatoes for some, but for me it helps keep me driven. Not in a vain, ‘I’m hot shit coming through way’. No. It’s difficult to put your creative work out there sometimes, for me especially since I’m trying to actually make something of it. Being able to connect with that many people because of a shared passion for storytelling, or better yet because they want or read or hear my stories reaffirms my love for the craft.
If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?
If a story is written but no one reads it, does it exist?
It makes me happy to think that people can read about the exploits and adventures of my characters. It makes me want to write more. Which is why I’m taking the time to do it right.
“A delayed game is eventually good; a bad game is always bad.” A Shigeru Miyamoto once said, it applies to all form of creativity and art. And while it’s also true that you can overwork a project, there is striking the right balance that makes it right. The original Star Wars trilogy (theatrical version if you lucky enough to have a copy) still hold up – it’s almost better because of its flaws. George Lucas wasn’t held back by the limitations of technology, he was push forward, problem solving ways to tell his story with the skills and abilities of the time.
Anyways to get back on track – Grimoire is coming along. Today after posting chapter 2, I will be outlining with far more structure. By doing so editing should move at a far faster rate. This will allow me to get the book done fast, or at least be able to release the beta version rapid fire via wattpad before it gets edited and goes on sale.
I’m also working on some new art and am now planning something to thank everyone for 1000 followers. So outside of doing so free art, maybe a giveaway? Let me know in comments.
Okay so there’s a bit of insight as to what’s next but I’m wanting to lay it out a bit more, since I tend to work on multiple things, and I want to make some hard commitments. The first three chapters are ready for wattpad (revision of the prologue, followed by two totally new chapters), I will release them over the weekend, chapter 2 today, and chapter 3 probably Sunday. Chapter 4 is planned, 5 is written but not edited. Chapter six has remained a thorn in my side, but I hope I’m finally breaking through it. Chapter 7 is partially written – about a page, nothing exciting. So ‘Part two’ is already coming together. I would be very happy to have it written by the end of October. Better yet ready to come out over Halloween!
As for the rest of the book, that’s where the outlining comes in.
Once you’ve had a chance to really meet the characters, I hope to be able to go into far more, but right now there’s still no context for them, and that’s on me, but later today you can start to meet them. Head on over to the wattpage and take a look!
In addition, I’ve begun tinkering with my Klondike story, it’s first chapter can be found on wattpad as well – link below. It’s a rough draft, but if you are a fan of Jack London, Klondike, Gold Rush or honestly westerns you might want to give it a try. There’s more to the story of James McQueen to come! If I find myself struggling to write Grimoire, then I will be making up my word count here – haha
I’ll leave you with the rough draft of the original cover for part two of Grimoire. Originally, I was going to feature Aurora again but decided instead to have Matthias on the cover front and center. Who is he? Well you’ll have to read that – and wait for the final cover.