It’s been 5 years since I started this website. Wow!
In one sense, I’m disappointed in myself for not writing more. For not posting more on this site and not working harder on publishable projects.
But on the other hand, I’m proud of how much I’ve grown over the past 5 years as a person and as a writer. I know it’s about the journey and not the destination (The Way of Kings reference, wink wink 😉 ), so in that regard I’m happy with what I’m working on right now.
It’s cheesy to think that everything happens for a reason, but I subscribe to that mentality quite often. For example, for years I focused on creating vast worlds to interlink them in some marvel-universe style shared setting, however, I would become overwhelmed with each new project and think, “I’m not ready to tell this story because of X.”
All this did was get me in the habit of starting a story and never finishing it. So as I practiced world-building and character creation, I never got to get better at story structure, pacing, style and “endings”. I would also listen to a ton of writing podcasts and youtube videos which helps in its own way, but without implementing what you learn from such things, it doesn’t ever stick in any meaningful way.
The best way to learn is by doing.
So I decided in late 2019 that I would focus on finishing projects that had been on my mind for years. The main goal: complete a story. So that’s what I did. In the span of 3 months, I wrote over 20,000 words and roughed out 3 short story first drafts, and plotted out 3 others. Granted, they needed a lot of work, but I felt accomplished either way.
These stories are all set on one planet called Havek and will be included in one compilation called History of Havek: Volume One. I’m currently posting the drafts on Wattpad for feedback and small dopamine hits in the form of “votes”. The shared universe thing helps with these short stories in particular because otherwise the setting is almost non-existent. I’m trying to focus more on character and theme right now, with less time spent on coming up with an expansive universe. So this way I can slip in a few world-building things and peel back the mystery setting with each story.
The three stories that I’ve mostly completed (still need revisions, coming later) are Savior of Aemysa Isle, Betrayal at Dragon’s Bog, and The Angel of War. Here are the working covers and links to those stories:
Summary: A pair of Cardinals hunt down a fugitive in the remote region of Dragon’s Bog, a charred and desolate wasteland ruled by the last remaining dragons. An aging soldier named Reginald has been recently inducted into the ranks of the Cardinals and is unfamiliar with the cutthroat nature of the Majestry’s council. Cardinal Elyza, however, was born into it and knows how to navigate the underbelly of the council’s schemes in order to keep on living. As they near their target, a dragon appears, however, it may be the least of their worries as a conspiracy unveils itself and betrayal takes root. Who will survive?
A second Empyrean War has emerged, this time due to the fall of the immortal Emperor.
Marten, a young man who’s father died in the first Empyrean War, has enlisted with the Unified Forces of Asyrema to maintain order in a disputed region near his village. His mother begged him not to go but he felt it was the only honorable choice. He must follow in his father’s footsteps, albeit to his mother’s dismay.
While fighting for his survival on the battlefield, Marten experiences a rapid sense of growth as he comes to terms with his own mortality and the world around him. Marten discovers that there is a lot he doesn’t know or understand, but must choose a side regardless of the truth when he comes face to face with the enemy.
The other three stories are still being outlined but I have tentative titles and summaries:
The Dark Light (Novella – 25k word goal) – An inventor, attempting to create a new form of light that doesn’t attract the demonic entities known as Vanquishers, stumbles upon a hidden monastery belonging to the Keepers that has already perfected his invention. He must convince them that he would like to become one of them in order to gain access to their secrets. During his time in the monastery, he becomes enamored by their way of life. He struggles to come to terms with who he is and who he wants to be. He must ultimately decide what his legacy is to become and how the world’s future will be shaped, even if it means the destruction of the innocent in the process.
The Counseling of Yen (Novelette- 20k word goal) – A veteran soldier named Yen is convicted of treason and sentenced to death for allowing a surprise attack on his unit near the battlefield. He claims his innocence but only one mysterious counselor will listen to him. Over the last few days before his sentence is carried out, his counselor reveals a hidden conspiracy plotted by the immortal Emperor and the elusive Majestry, with the soldier at the center of it all.
Crocodilian (Long Short Story? – 10 to 15k word goal) – A cartographer team looking to gain fame travels to the swampy region along the southern coast of Empyrea in order to chart out the best location for a new town-to-be. They discover that the region is already inhabited by an avid hunter–who likes to challenge himself by hunting the biggest game in the region–and seek to gain his favor so that he will escort them further into the swamp. The hunter warns of a massive crocodile that lives in the region and he’s failed several times to conquer the beast. The cartographers are not worried as they claim that nothing shall halt the progress of civilization, but the hunter knows well enough that some parts of the wild will always remain wild.
Anyways, that is what I’m working on this year. I hope to have them all complete in 2020 so I can work on revising them and possibly sending them out to editors/agents. Once they are compiled together, it’ll be enough to be considered a full novel. And since they are snippets of characters and time periods of Havek, they can be expounded upon in follow up stories.
Even if it comes out to be nothing, this is a fun experiment that has kept me writing where I was slacking before. Happy writing!