A Change of Pace

I’ve been struggling to write for nearly a year now. When I released my young adult novel in the autumn of 2017 (under my real name), I had a plan that I would spend 2018 writing the fourth Redemption of Erâth novel, and 2019 could focus on my second attempt at YA.

Sadly, this isn’t how things have turned out. I spent most of 2018 trying to start writing (with very little success), whilst also attempting to market and sell my YA novel. This did not work. I’ve spent most of 2019 trying to get going on the second YA novel … which also didn’t work.

In the midst of all of this, I’ve become increasingly negligent of my blog, and The Redemption of Erâth has dropped off the face of the earth. There have been a lot of ups and downs (mostly downs) over the past two years, but nothing I haven’t been able to weather before. No – this time, I think I’ve really just become complacent, and found it easier to do the things that keep me going day by day, without finding room for the things that make those days worth living.

That thing is writing. The feeling of accomplishment, of success, when writing the final lines of a novel … there is nothing comparable. It’s a deluge of heady satisfaction, and it doesn’t matter if another soul in the world ever reads it. Just knowing that something exists in the world that did not before is a reward worth a thousand kingdoms.

So what can I do? The first thing I know I can’t do is make a promise. Promises lead to broken hearts, and I’d not have that for anything. But I can try. I can continue to try, day by day, and if I write a word or not, I know that the next day will come, and with it new energies and new ideas that might be able to revive me.

So for now, I will put a pause on my YA work, and see what the world of Erâth has to hold for me, for Brandyé, Elven, and all the others. I am going to try diving back in to the fourth book in the Redemption of Erâth series, and see if my mind can fathom the next steps there better than it can in the real world.

I will do my best to post regular updates and thoughts, but as before – no promises. I do look forward, though, to the idea of regaining this community, discovering new people, and writing new worlds.

Here’s to the next 12 months!

Illustrations for The Redemption of Erâth

I’m going to keep this one short and simple: for Christmas, my son took it upon himself to illustrate some of the key scenes and things from my fantasy series, The Redemption of Erâth. I have to admit, I’m pretty impressed with how they came out, and as per his request, wanted to share them with you all!

So, without further ado, enjoy these scenes from The Redemption of Erâth, brought to life!

What’s Next for The Redemption of Erâth?

So now that the third book in the Redemption of Erâth series is finished, edited and published, it’s time to start thinking about where to take the series from here. (Well, not really – it’s been planned out for a long time; I just need to write the rest of it.)

You see, way back in 2011 I originally outlined a series of seven novels, without thinking too hard about where I was going to go with them all. I had a rough idea of the main characters, and a pencil-thin sketch of the ending, but really it was the frame of an outline; just the bare bones with which to get started. I don’t think I even really considered whether I would even reach the end of the series, or finish telling the tale.

Well, now I’m three books and 400,000 words into it, and things are – more or less – going strong. The great thing about writing is that even when things are planned, there are still surprises. I didn’t know Sonora was going to die in the first book until about a chapter before it actually happened. I didn’t know that Brandyé was going to join the army of Erârün in Exile. And I had absolutely no idea that Elven would (spoiler for book three!) become a king.

So what’s in store for book four? I took some time the other day to begin mapping out the path of Brandyé and Elven in the fourth installment, tentatively called The Fall of Thaeìn. I start by splitting the book into five sections of five chapters each (as has become the standard layout for Redemption of Erâth books), and then giving each part and chapter a name. These names act as as placeholders to remind me of what I intend to happen in each chapter and section of the book.

Then, based on a rough determination of how long each chapter should be (around 4,000 words per chapter for book four), I split the chapters into rough scenes – usually about 1,000 words per scene. I might do this for one or two chapters at once, but not for the whole book – because, of course, things may change as I write. The overall direction usually stays the same, but the details – even important ones, such as who lives and dies – could vary from moment to moment as I fill in the plot with actual written, flowing sentences.

This is what I have so far:

Part I: The Threads of War

Chapter 1: The Southern Villages
Chapter 2: The Battle of Südsby
Chapter 3: The Forms of Death
Chapter 4: A Séance
Chapter 5: The Return to the Cosari

Part II: Alliances

Chapter 6: Khana’s Tale
Chapter 7: The Challenge for Cosar
Chapter 8: From Sea to Mountain
Chapter 9: The Defense of the Hochträe
Chapter 10: The Sky Fleets

Part III: The Siege of Vira Weitor

Chapter 11: A City Beset
Chapter 12: The Siege Begins
Chapter 13: The Waning Year
Chapter 14: The Appearance of Danâr
Chapter 15: Flight from the Black City

Part IV: Betrayal

Chapter 16: The Illuèn’s Last Stronghold
Chapter 17: The Ashes of Defeat
Chapter 18: Decisions
Chapter 19: The Meeting Under the Wall
Chapter 20: A Broken Friendship

Part V: Retreat to the North

Chapter 21: The Lonely Road
Chapter 22: The Armies of the North
Chapter 23: Passing the Bridge of Aélûr
Chapter 24: The Fortress of Hindarìn
Chapter 25: The Last Trace of Peace

I’ve written (so far) about 1,000 words of the first chapter. I have to say, it’s refreshing to be back at the creative wheel, to be spinning yarns and telling tales and putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard). I have no doubt that this new story will take me places I can’t yet imagine, but I’m looking forward to the journey: and I’ll be sure to share it with you as we go!