2015 WORD COUNT = 7106 words
I’ve been talking about my big project, my episodic fantasy series, for a little while now. Each fortnight I’ll be sticking a new episode up on the blog and hopefully people will enjoy, return, and get involved via comments so that the story grows and grows.
The first episode is already up (here) with episode two making its appearance this Friday. The posts viewing figures seem okay and show that some people have dipped into the world I’m creating. I’ve also had some positive comments from friends and family.
It’s very early days but so far I’m happy.
WHAT’S IN A NAME?
However, there has been one tiny little hiccup.
For some reason I neglected to do something that I have done with almost all my big writing projects; Googled the title. I guess I’ve gotten into the habit with short stories and flash fiction where it’s not so much of a problem. But for novels, trilogies and series it’s a good idea to see if that title you’ve grown to love from your projects birth to completion has already been taken.
So, three days after I posted the first episode, I suddenly remembered to check.
It took a little while to get my breath back and accept the disappointment. FALLEN SWORDS not only already existed as something that dominated its Google search but it was also extremely close to what my project was.
FALLEN SWORDS is an online fantasy RPG. If it had been something science fiction or historical then I might have pushed on and kept the title. But a fantasy story with the same name as a fantasy video game would probably just make people think I was writing fan-fiction.
Add to this the fact that, if you searched for my stories, all you would get was pages of links to the game and my project would be buried.
So, it was time for a rebrand.
LOOKING FOR A REPLACEMENT
I knew I wanted two words and that they needed the ring of epic fantasy. With the help of a work colleague I composed a list using words like ‘Fabled’, ‘Fire’, ‘Blades’, ‘Shadows’ and even ‘Scion’. I paired words up, mixed them around, and slowly started to trim away those that didn’t give me a feeling for what I was writing.
After that I used the tried and tested solution for list selection; I put it to a vote.
Big thanks to those people who took an interest and helped with this. It was pretty unanimous and the result is (spoiler) at the top of this post.
Special mentions to a couple of titles that got close; FABLED SWORDS and FRACTURED RISING.
But the one that stood out most was . . . FRACTURED DAWN.
Of course, that evening I had to go through all digital matter and rename a few save files, update some spreadsheets and rebrand the blog. But I think it’s all worth it (and the OCD side of me wouldn’t let it go).
So, episode 1 is out there now and it feels kinda great. Up until now I’ve only really posted flash fiction on this blog so it was nice to put something out there that’s bigger, a little more in depth. I think I just needed to force myself to release something of mine into the wild, to get it out in front of eyes. Now I can be more relaxed and just update the story each fortnight.
I have that first draft I wrote back in November and that’s what I’m currently working from. It’s a very skeletal story in that form but it’s allowing me to expand on the story, characters and world as I continue to think about it on a daily basis (it’s probably what’s on my mind when I have a spaced out look upon my face).
On rereading the draft and preparing the next episode I was having trouble with some villainous motivation and the way in which the main character gets from A to B. Instead of bending the draft or padding out his journey, I’ve created a whole new scene that helps in three separate ways.
First it ends on another cliff-hanger which I think each of these episodes will need going forward. It’s nothing epic, just a moment that makes the reader wish that had the next episode to hand.
Secondly, the new scene gets the main character from A to B without just walking it. The original version was a couple of paragraphs of just walking and thinking. I couldn’t stretch this to a chapter but I didn’t want him reaching his first destination as early as episode 2. Now I’ve managed to move him without moving him (all will become clear).
And finally, and this will make more sense in a couple of episodes time, it introduces a motive for something that happens further down the line, motive that wasn’t there before. One of the things I’m dealing with from the original draft is foreshadowing, which I’ll talk about more in a future post. What it boils down to is that, while writing that first draft back during NaNoWriMo 2014, there was no time to go back. So when an idea popped into my head, when something was suddenly introduced, there is that mental marker of “I’ll have to set that up earlier”.
Of course I had no solid plan and assumed (correctly) that, when the time came, something would present itself and tell me why I randomly created new characters on the spot and what they are doing in the story.
I’m still busy working on episode 2 at the moment (I’m still taking it one episode at a time until I find my feet) but it will be ready for Friday. I hope you’re looking forward to reading it as much as I’m enjoying writing it. Please, please feel free to comment on the story so far, start discussions amongst yourselves (is it wrong to assume that there are enough people reading it to warrant a discussion?) and spread the word.
Before I go just a quick round up of my other writing news.
I’m loving Micro Bookends at the moment. If you’ve been following my weekly entries then you’ll know I’m currently trapped writing the adventures of Chris & Mike. While it started as a one off joke I’m really enjoying the extra challenge it gives me. I already have a word limit as well as first and last words to deal with so why not add the extra dimension of keeping the same characters going no matter what the prompts.
On a side note, I’m hearing whispers of ‘Chris and Mike vs’ fans beginning to make themselves known. Watch out world; Chris and Mike may be the next big thing.
Meanwhile, over at Flash! Friday I managed to add another accolade to my cabinet. While I didn’t win, I did manage to get one Honourable mention as well as First Runner-up. It’s my first time getting both my entries in the top flight and I’m extremely proud of both pieces.
And with that it’s back to the grindstone. As always, thank you all for following my process.
See you in seven.