A New Start

So, I wrote the first page of a new series today. I thought I’d post that little tidbit, since it was a big deal for me. I’m nowhere close to ready to actually write the series, but I’ve been planning and conceiving and envisioning so much lately, I just needed to write.

I have no idea if the first book of this series will actually start with this page or this scene, but it felt good to be writing again. I’ll probably keep working on this chapter while I keep world-building and story-building, and we’ll see where it goes from here.

As for discussing the new series here, I’ve pretty much decided that until it is under contract and I have definite news to share, I’ll be pretty vague. Right now I’ll just say that it has a much larger scope than BOTB. I’ve realized that most fantasy stories, even really big ones, have essentially “single continent” scope. People may come from over the sea in this story or that, but mostly the action takes place on a single landmass, even if there are multiple cultures, countries, climates and more. Perhaps this is so fantasy book readers can have a single map that easily fits onto a two page spread at the start of the book. LOTR, Wheel of Time, the Prydain Chronicles, most of Narnia (save “Voyage” of course), etc, all basically fit this model. BOTB too. This new series is global, and it is a big globe! It’s almost overwhelming at times, but it is also really exciting to think of the possibilities for varied backdrops and contexts and storylines. We’ll see how it goes.

25 thoughts on “A New Start

  • Thank you for this post! I know you can’t say much…but…

    Do you anticipate this new series to be more words/pages than BOTB since it is a “much larger scope?”

    I LOVE long stories!

    Can’t wait until April,
    Greg

  • Hey, LB
    Your concept sounds great. I pray your next fantasy series will be epic in scope and impact. Curious about one thing. You said it feels good to be writing again. Have you had a lay off? Or is the editing bogging you down.

    Do you ever feel like you’ve forgotten how fun it is to create? I get that way sometimes.

  • First of all, let me say to Greg that this could easily be longer than BOTB, but I wasn’t referring to length of story when I mentioned scope. I meant that the story would be more wide-ranging & global. The analogy is that most fantasy stories utilize a world that seems to be continental in size, say like North America, and this new story will utilize a world that is more global – lots of full-sized continents, islands, etc… So the scope issue is more like how vast the backdrop is for the story than how long it will take to tell it.

    Second of all, to Wayne, thanks for dropping by again. I wrote some on a project that’s been hanging around in my brain in late summer early fall, but I put it back on the shelf when I started thinking about pitching a new fantasy series, and so late fall up to just this week, it has all been planning and world-building and conceptualizing – so it feels like its been a long time since I actually wrote a chapter. This week I completed an intro chapter for the first book of this new series, and that was quite rewarding. I don’t know if the story will change so much I can’t use it, but it was fun to do.

    As for creating, it is something that comes in waves. Early on in world-building/storyline developing, I find that my creative energy is almost manic. Things change so quickly and so dramatically, it is hard for me to keep up with. Things eventually slow, the story & world take basic shape, and I write the series. Creating isn’t over, but from then on out, it has more of a refining aspect, as I might create wrinkles or characters not at first conceived, rather than whole new story threads or world dynamics.

  • Perchance this is extremely random!

    But! Reading one of your replies here about all the world building etc that you’ve been doing for this new series (congratulations on starting it!), made me wonder how exactly you keep all this stuff straight!?

    Do you typically keep a document of character information etc?

    I’ll have to admit whenever I’ve written something (and perhaps this is why it never turns out THAT great) I find myself so caught up in the story that I end up living it and not really knowing what happens next…or even what this certain area of country the characters are in LOOKS like until I actually write it in the story…

    Anyway, I guess I was trying to feel you out to see if you tend to do the whole outline background stuff

  • The process for “world-building” in the series I’m working on now has functioned a little differently, no doubt because I’d been through it before with BOTB. Still, it is complicated and some system of organizing one’s thoughts is probably necessary. I do have documents, a plethora of them, and as the story shifts I have to keep up with them or start over as they become “out of date” when things shift in my mind. Eventually I get to a point where I have a “foundation” from which to work and I just have to unleash the writing to begin telling the story and see where it goes.

  • I see, I see, that makes perfect sense. The foundation part is always good…I think my foundation usually consists of how the story will end…the rest is a mystery…and that’s where all the excitement of writing comes to me, what a wonderful gift God gave us…the ability to tell stories.

  • Exciting! I hope it will be as great or greater than the Binding of the Blade series! It will be intriguing how you use a broader scope, but I’ll probably read the books over and over until the pages fall out :) just kidding…I’ll take care of it or them when it or they come out.

  • One quick question. Will this new series be set as if it were in the middle ages? What I mean by that is they use swords, bows, and ride horses instead of shooting lasers or driving hover cars.

  • I’m not sure about the exact meaning of this question. The obvious answer is yes, in that in any fictional world, even fantastic ones, there are always points of comparison. Assuming you mean something more specific than that, but not knowing what it is, I’ll leave it there.

  • Sounds cool. So have you actually started writing yet? Or are you still trying to figure out how your new world works? Oh yeah, I had a question about publishing: Do you try to find someone who’s willing to publish your work before you start, so that you don’t do all that work for nothing, or do you just hope you can find someone when you’re done?

  • In general, finding someone to publish you before you start is really hard to do, at least with fiction. Publishers want to know you have more than a good idea. They want to know that you can write a novel.

    In nonfiction, though, often a good idea with a few sample chapters is enough, especially if you have credentials of some sort suggesting that you know what you’re talking about in the field you’re writing in.

  • I’ve been writing since (after BOTB) there doesn’t seem to be any good Christian literature out anymore and I have one quick question on world-building.
    Do you personally draw out a map for yourself? If so, did the published map reflect that, or was it just another picture that you don’t completely recognize (like the covers)?

  • I did draw my own map, and while the one used in the books was stylalized so that some of the proportions were different then the one I drew, it is pretty faithful to Kirthanin as I conceived it.

  • No real news right now, anxious fan. An acquisitions person at the press who published “The Binding of the Blade” has more or less said that they’re not interested, though I don’t think it was an absolute “no.” However, another acquisitions editor at another press seems interested in having a look. So, who knows?

  • Puddleglum’s comment set my mind back to the story. Forgot one thing in message 3, Mr. Graham,

    Comment 5,
    Saegan and Bryar!?!? Why them? Oh please not them!? Why, for crying out ink (or is it pixels)!!!?!?!? The two most level-headed, calmest, most rational characters, at the last minute saying, “Hey, you’re cute.” !?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? That annoyed me to no end. Not everyone has to fall in love. One question I had about your thoughts on marriage and all that: WHERE ARE THE PARENTS?!?! Sorry I put in so many ‘?’s and ‘!’s.

    ES

  • Well, in the first story they’re young, but ‘of age,’ and in the world of Kirthanin, they’re old enough to make their own decisions about marriage. What’s more, remember that by AMHM, Saegan and Bryar are 17 years older than when you first met them, so they’re well into adulthood…

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