Hell is Figuring Out Chapter One

How Should it Begin

Beginning’s are everything. Sometimes all we have is a sentence to capture a reader. I get it. There are so many books to read, how do we decide which ones are worth our time? The reader need to know their time won’t be wasted…

Five days from my deadline, I’m still working the first ten pages. This isn’t a deadline, like “oh- just give me another day and we’ll squeeze the timeline to make it work.” No. This is a hard “there is no more updates allowed” deadline set by Amazon. Yesterday, I was finished and this wasn’t a problem. Today, I’m freaking out.

See, I had cut these pages.

Since draft one, I’d struggled with the opening of Stumbling. Unable to find a solution (at the time), I scrapped it to start in the middle of the opening sequence. Jumping right into action is always fun, right?

This Really Isn’t Working Out

Then, I was getting feedback of confusion.

So, I put the beginning back in. It made sense to do this. I understood the complaint. After reading my own book eleventy-billion times, I couldn’t recognize there were details the reader needed to have taken away in these deleted pages.

But, these pages hadn’t been polished like the others and it showed. I think I went through twelve edits before I handed the book off to an editor to look at. Twelve edits these first pages were ignored.

Does this look like an edit-free proof?

So, these ten pages were not as ready as the rest. These ten pages were making me re-think this whole idea to let the world have access to my work. These ten pages were making me second-guess if I really was ready… even though I’d already committed to being ready.

Did I mention I was freaking out?

Rinse, repeat then again… and again

I still worry about those first sentences, even after having hit publish. But, this is a process of learning and growing and I know that putting my work out there can only help this process.

Thanks for reading!

  • What’s the best opening line of book like to you? Quote it in the comments 🙂

Origins

The Journey of the Fool

This series has been marinating in my head for some weeks, ever since my appearance on KimmersBooks Podcast.

The question of inspiration; of where our stories rise up from and the process in which they get written, is common, but I’ve never told mine in its completion.

In this series, I hope to do just that and I hope you’ll enjoy hearing about it 🙂

Always a Reader

There was never a time I wasn’t a voracious reader. Back to Kindergarten I remember trying to get through every book that came across my path. I was still in grade school when I first read Frank Herbert’s Dune, and middle school when I delved into Jean Auel’s The Clan of the Cave Bear series.

It wasn’t until I read Christopher Pike’s The Last Vampire series that I was compelled to write my own story. Really, it was my disappointment that Sita’s story had ended and my ignorance in any similar character’s existence, that prodded me to write what I wished there was to read.

Genesis

Desiree “Dee” Galen, my main character in The Fool’s Path Series, was born a vampire-hybrid. My first hand-scratched pages brought to life a character similar to Marvel’s Blade. In fact, it was when I discovered the existence of Blade, that I first abandoned this project, disappointed that someone else had already come up with the clever spin on a vampire story (how DARE they!).

But, Desiree wanted a life, so not long later, I picked up these pages, dusted them off, crossed out most of the words, and started a bit farther from where the idea of her had begun.

Vampires remained the main theme in this second go of her story. Another version that was tossed. Much of the structure of where I wanted Dee’s journey to take her remain, but little else. “Vampires” show a cameo in the finished edition of Stumbling: Book One on The Fool’s Path, but are nothing more than a tertiary showing of something greater.

No More Vampires, Please

By the time I really got around to completing this story, I felt vampires were overused. Twilight had long reached its height, and paranormal romance and YA were climbing the ranks. I didn’t want to add to that pile.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan. Anne Rice was a favorite in her prime, and I’m a sucker for an Alpha-Male Love triangle like the rest, but it wasn’t what I wanted to write.

So, I dug up another idea that had been stewing, melding together my original character with another Fantastical-Supernatural world.

Desiree’s Design

Another major change was that Desiree went from being that character who is strong and perfect and always finds their way, to one whose a bit spazzy and has no idea what’s she doing. The potential is in her to be great, but also the possibility of great destruction. If she were to decide to fight for herself, she could rule her own world, but she’s not sure what to do, how to do it, and if she even wants to bother.

Mostly, I wanted to tell the story of a someone who just really never thought about any of it. Never considered why she did anything. Never thought about questioning what she was told to do. Never considered her decisions and actions would lead to anything. Never thought about a grander design, or even a smaller one that reflected through her day-to-day.

What would happen when something great-even in its possible awfulness-forced someone from their path? What if that thing was hidden from them, so they didn’t know what was happening. What if they weren’t a great person who natural curiosity, or adventurousness, or passion for some task would lead them towards answers?

Photo by Juan Davila on Unsplash

Sure, as with most stories, none of these concepts are unique or unknown, but from my background, and the time when I first started this story, heroes were heroic. I wanted a MC not quite hero, but neither anti-hero. I wanted someone who, literally, was falling through their predicament (hence the title of Book One: Stumbling).

More on Stumbling’s Structure

One point I can’t remember was when I decided to pull Deisree’s path through the Zodiac. However that came about, it’s where the current version resides.

Each of the main characters Dee meets are meant to represent one of the twelve constellations that make up the wheel of astrology.

Not being an expert, or even an amateur-hobbyist, in details of personalities set in astrology, it’s used loosely. Still, it made many aspects of characterization easier since I already had a blueprint of who these characters should be. This blueprint also helped manipulate the pace of Dee’s learning curve and her journey.

Astrology and Tarot

There are strong correlations between astrology and the tarot, which is where my series title came from. Card 0, the first in the Major Arcana, is The Fool. I’ve read that The Fool literal travels through the themes of the cards.

This Fool’s Path is loosely Desiree’s, as the Fool of her own story, journey through the Zodiac. The point is for her to learn as she moves along. To learn about herself, about those who created her, and about what her life should be.

No Spoilers

Maybe I’ll add the finer details once the books have all been released 😉 If I give away more, there may not be a need to read the books.

Check back for further posts in this series 🙂

  • What spawned your MC’s path?
  • What’s your favorite book?