This is a massive project, as epic fantasy series tend to be. This was my first serious writing project, that ended up being so much bigger than I originally had thought. It’s been over fifteen years since I first started writing down story ideas on or papers, random post-its and in notebooks all over my room. Since then, a lot of things have changed, but the core story I wanted to tell remains the same.
Originally set to be two or three books, I currently have a plotline in place that would require five books. Of these, two have first drafts written. Though, the first book was partially written before some major plot changes, so that will require a pretty heavy rewrite.
I have actual titles in place for all five books and a few major plot points for each one. But how to get to the end is still up in the air. As I’m paranoid, I’ve chosen not to share those, so right now I use working titles as I talk about my drafts.
The working title for the first book. I finished the rough draft for this on September 4th, 2012. This was a first in many ways for me. It was the first book I started writing with the hope of publication in mind. It was the first time I had tried writing something so massive. It was my first NaNoWriMo win (in 2010), and it was the first rough draft I ever finished.
The current working title for the second book in the series. I actually started writing this before I had finished Echoes, which might sound very strange indeed. But for me, using NaNoWriMo is a way to get off the ground running with new projects. So starting this before the Echoes was finished actually worked out well.
The plot did change quite a lot as I was working on this, which is understandable, as it was written over the course of several years, including NaNoWriMo in 2011 and 2014. Not to mention countless long nights, early mornings, and visits to my favorite Starbucks. Right now it stands at 160k words, but that will definitely change once I start editing. Something tells me, the word count probably won’t be going down though.
The plot for this series is divided into three more books. I’m still working out the finer plot details, as well as building the massive world my story takes place in. I guess most people would have this in place already, before finishing two rough drafts. I am not most people. By that I mean my head just doesn’t work that way. It wanted the story told and built the world along the way.
I am currently working on building the world beyond what has currently been shaped by the two first books, and at the same time, better what was wrong the first time around. It’s a massive job, and I think I’ll still be building this world for years yet. But I’m getting a good handle on what I need for the first books, and that is all that matters right now.
Besides, can one ever truly finish worldbuilding such a massive fantasy world?