I must confess, the pleasure of world-building is indescribable. Creating entire universes from thin air brings joy to my soul. Purpose. It drives me into the moment, grounds me to my body, mind, and soul.
I’ve begun another revision pass to book 1, Blade of Dragons, after the updates to some of the character arcs. The manuscript is, otherwise, polished for a beta manuscript and should be ready for publication soon.
Polishing the Series Now or Later?
That said, I may hold off on releasing Blade of Dragons until later. Using a strategy that Michael J Sullivan recommends, I would polish the rest of the series first, allowing world-building and plot interconnection to weave the stories together. Due to Ethereal Seals’ heavy world-building, my intuition wants me to lean this way.
When finished, this will enable me to use book 1 as a promo story, setting up sales for the rest of the series. The downside is it will take considerable time before any of the stories get released. For me, that isn’t a huge issue, for I view writing as a therapeutic and spiritual exercise.
The Merits of Creative Writing
After 2020—the horrendous year everyone wants to forget—I’ve come to value my writing more on its merits. It grounded me amidst the chaos, kept me occupied during lockdown, and gave me inspiration. Excitement for life. Looking back on 2020, I see only achievements, what I have accomplished.
Work on Book 2: Heart of Dragons
Heart of Dragons has been surprising considering the changes in the character arcs. Fortunately, the story-character progression is a lot more intuitive and organized than it was in book 1. In Blade of Dragons, I had little choice, as certain scenes had to play out for the reader.
Book 2 feels more wholesome, and its progress is strengthening book 1. Heart of Dragons expands on the world-building expressed in Blade of Dragons, and this created a massive science fantasy universe, one that had me wondering if I’m in over my head. That’s one of the joys of world-building, ha?
Regardless, the alpha manuscript from years prior is reading better. I have no doubt this will be a series with a dedicated niche of readers when I’m finished.
Book 3: Soul of Dragons
The rough manuscript from years ago hasn’t aged well, and I have yet to examine it in detail. Still, it has a treasure trove of excellent ideas I intend to draw from. With changes to the first two books, Soul of Dragons will take some drastic turns. I am excited to work on it once the first two books are set.
Book 4: Empress of Dragons
Book 4 is still in an abstract state, but I have a loose idea on how to outline it. It’s possible I will expand on it and build a fifth book: War of Dragons, if the Divine Spirit guides me that way. I do have some ideas in mind, new continents and planets for the protagonists to explore, plot twists, and so forth. These will tie into the story introduced in book 1.
The Ethereal Seals universe is vast, and I may produce series that take place in different parts of the cosmos. These books will make references to Pepper Slyhart’s story on Atlas, among other things. In the meanwhile, there’s Tempest of the Dragon and Muffins and Magic, two standalone stories that came to me during the last few NaNoWriMO contests.
I’ll get to them eventually!
Tempest of the Dragon
Kyosenko, a samurai outcast in Japan, discovers his destiny with a girl named Mina, a cursed Black Serpent in disguise. He vows to protect the ensorcelled girl with his life, venturing with her across ancient Japan—to a place where Mina may find salvation. But there is another threat, an organization that wishes to capture Mina and abuse her arcane powers.
The Kaji Clan.
Set in ancient Japan (or China, if I decide to change it) the story and world-building is a lot simpler than Ethereal Seals. It was a breeze to write during NaNo and I enjoy the characters and story I’ve come up with for it.
Muffins and Magic
This story is a contemporary fantasy with humor intermixed. I don’t have a logline or description of it yet, but the protagonist is a baker with magical powers. He defeats challenges and enemies with his delicious cooking skills, winning their hearts. Unlike Blade of Dragons or Tempest of the Dragon, most of the conflict in Muffins and Magic is half-hearted, geared towards a casual audience.
Right now, I’m making good progress on my newest book, Stormbringer, by Isbabel Cooper. It has enjoyable world-building, characters, and plot. Even some steamy romance. I plan to do a book review when I finish, and read more of her books, as I need further exposure to the fantasy-romance niche. Unfortunately, I can’t write any fantasy stories without some romance subplot. It’s a curse.
In other news, I’ve been going to the gym and meditating more. I may pick up sketching again at some point too.
From this point, I want to shift the purpose of my blog a little. I’m aiming for more of an intuitive and creative experience—not just for me, but for you too, dear reader. I’ve also considered vlogging and podcasting, but not anytime soon, if I do decide to do them.
Instead of forcing the muse to write mechanically, I’ll allow it to work through me. No one should pretend to be something they’re not, nor conform to a system. As cosmic witness, this will undoubtedly produce blogging content of a more beautiful, if esoteric, nature. That said, I cannot predict when the muse will emerge, or for how long. I ask for your patience, dear reader. Thank you.
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Aspectä rey’lief, fair reader, thanks for reading.
—Ed R. White