First of all, I will mention that I will not post anything about the plot of my story, details about my characters, or anything else that could create a copyright infringement. Plus, I don’t want anyone stealing my ideas. That would be unpleasant. I will say that it’s Young Adult Fiction. Genres are Medieval Era, Magic, Romance (a little), Action, and Fantasy.
When I mentioned I was writing a book, that was not the whole truth – I’m actually in the middle of writing a series of them, and I collectively refer to them as “my book” or “my story,” since, after all, aren’t book series just one big story, with a connecting plot line, split up between published pieces?
I first got the idea for my story in sixth grade, from, surprisingly, a Creative-type Minecraft world I’d made. I built a castle around a natural-spawned village, then labeled the rooms of the royal family with names. I did this to some of the other houses in the village, forming vague character outlines.
I expanded it as time went on, adding farms and fields and slews of new characters. Eventually, I found myself playing through this plotless construction video game like it was a book – I made up little conflicts and pretended to be those characters I made, and walked them through the adventures.
And one day, I decided I wanted to get this world down on paper.
Even though I had the setting, characters and basic inspiration down, I quickly realized I had no idea what I wanted the plot to be like. I simply set my pencil tip down and started writing. And writing. And writing, letting information buffer me around like a leaf in the wind.
This was when I began editing for the first time. I noticed very early on that lots of things about my book needed changing. I’d made them however I wanted in the Minecraft world, but now that I wanted to actually someday publish the story as an actual book, I had to clean it up. A lot. I mean, medieval commoners just didn’t buy cell phones at their local market.
Names of villages and kingdoms were changed. I also reshaped and remolded almost every single character. Some were elevated to be Part Of The Main Character’s Group Of Friends, some were knocked down to Minor Character status, and some were discarded altogether. I changed hair colors and ethnicities a bit and adjusted backstories.
I made these changes as I wrote, so if one was to read the first, handwritten draft of the first book cover-to-battered cover, there would be major inconsistencies. It didn’t bother me at all. All I focused on was the most recent version of my world, and often, it changed constantly.
I finished book one in seventh grade. I lent the two notebooks I wrote it in to my closest friends and had them beta-read them. The feedback I got was basic, but I was very excited. At that point, I had already sketched out a vague outline for the entire series (back then, five books long) so I had a much better idea of where the entire story was going. And after a several-month grace period, I started writing book two.
I worked on that and finished it the next year, in eighth grade. At the same time, I began typing book one on the computer, making a digital and easily editable backup, should anything happen to my precious notebooks.
I hardly made any changes during this time. It was purely a time of forging ahead.
End of middle school into freshman year of high school was the dawn of a new age in regards to my writing. I got really into young adult fiction, so I was reading about other authors’ medieval worlds – how they set up their societies, magical or not, and how different characters interacted. In doing so, I realized a lot about my own writing.
I started this book in middle school, when I was reading middle school fiction. But that wasn’t my target audience anymore. I wanted to write about teenagers, and as I looked back at books one, two and the beginnings of three, I realized my voice seemed very young. Another major session of changes began.
I fleshed out the medieval society by increasing the focus on the class separation and peasant life. I pushed each of the kingdoms in the region towards a different real-life culture (French, Irish, Scandinavian, etc.). I gave each of my main characters a more specific personality so I could more creatively write from their perspective.
This is how my story is now. I’m nowhere near done, and I’ll no doubt continue to make changes, but it’s a start.
Currently, I edit. I cut scenes, add scenes, change dialogue, make the overall feeling less happy-go-lucky and more like the darker and more intense novels I love to read. It’s coming along. I feel very good about it.