A week ago was one of the proudest and most terrifying days of my life. I hit “publish” on my novel and knew it was out there for anyone in the world to pick up and read. The realm of Poas and the characters of Daelin, Teiris, Lone, Alishia, Bard, even grinning Kiol were so well rooted in my mind, it was nerve-wracking to let others in on that. Like telling a stranger about a weird reoccurring dream you have. I can close my eyes and walk the halls of Castle Dracon or the city of Terswood.
It was my intention for the book to be a complete one-off. Every fantasy novel these days is “book one of…” and well… I failed and Realms of Terswood is subtitled “The Chronicler’s Awakening, Book One”. The full story of The Chronicler will end up near to 1,000 pages, which was a daunting idea to manage for my first release. So trilogy it is!
This book started as disjointed video game fan fiction 25 years ago in middle and high school. I actually found some of it recently while cleaning up my Dropbox account. 15+ years ago in college, I tried polishing those stories, but it never went anywhere. I was busy enough with classes, I didn’t have the energy to write for leisure.
Fast forward to about four years ago, when I was nearing my tae kwon do black belt testing. I had quit tae kwon do for more than 17 years and now was about to achieve one of the most common goals in martial arts. I had a moment of reflection. I was meeting a goal that I had abandoned decades ago. What else had I started and dropped in my life? Oh yes, my writing!
I took the basic idea of what I had from 15 years ago and rewrote most of it, basically just keeping character names. I added maturity to the characters that early-20s me was incapable of. I shuffled events, added characters, added, added, added. It took years but I finally got the book to point that I wanted to get a professional’s opinion. I hired an editors and ended up cutting a full 50 pages (in all my adding, I added too much) and reworking major plot points to streamline the work.
Is it perfect? Will it be read for generations and analyzed in high school literature classes? Doesn’t matter. I had a goal. I put in the work, sweat, and tears. Now I have something I’m proud of. I encourage everyone to set their goals and always move toward them. Even if they take a quarter of a lifetime or more to realize. Always move forward.