The Starchild Series began life somewhere in The Sims 2 as I created worlds and neighborhoods. It was a pressure free environment where my mind could simply tell a story for the joy of telling a story. Then I got serious and actually wrote it all down during two years of NaNoWriMo and the times between Novemebers. It took on a new life and was an entire world with its own magic system. And then life happened but the story remained in my mind and I often scratched out notes to add and worked on revisions from time to time. But the truth was, I was very engaged with my new life and so the series was more or less shelved.
The first thing I tried to do with the series when my work situation changed was to just jump in and begin on revisions. I thought, “I’ve got this! This is my story and I know exactly how everything is supposed to go, all I need to do is clean it up and it’ll be ready to go.” And if you’re laughing then you’ve worked on editing fiction before.
I’m not a cocky or overly confident writer. When I was fifteen I wrote an entire fan fiction set in the world of Law and Order. It was and is terrible but it was good practice. At sixteen I wrote what I thought was a series but wouldn’t fill a novel. There were many fairly teenaged efforts at stories that were conceptually flawed, unreadable but were excellent practice. The Starchild Series has some really stellar parts (no pun intended), a story I’m passionate about and characters I absolutely adore. I have killed quite a few darlings and in reality I’ve been editing the story since it was conceived. However, it also has a lot of problems.
After not working on it on a daily basis I discovered that I could not simply begin revising. It wasn’t that I had forgotten the story but rather that I remembered the essence of the story but had forgotten minor details and interesting asides that had helped me reach my word counts during my NaNoWriMo challenges.
In my teens I would plan out my highly involved worlds, spend enormous amounts of time writing character bios and try to plan out every detail until, inevitably, I lost track of the actual story I was trying to tell. The truth is, I still prefer the act of creating a world and living in it to creating a coherent story with a beginning, middle and end. To any other writers who also write stories that can only be appreciated by a niche audience–keep pursuing those passions, keep telling stories your way but know that it will be challenging as you try to approach your revision process.
The things I learned as I began attempting revision are these:
Next week I’ll discuss the strategy that I adopted once I accepted that editing would not be a straightforward process.
Category: Starchild, Work In Progress, WritingTags: author, camp NaNoWriMo, editing, editing motivation, fantasy novel, fantasy series, NaNoWriMo, novel revision, revision, Starchild Series, wip, Writing