From the Blueprint to the Final Draft

(The Ramblings of a Rose: post #2)

So… I announced the beginning of a blog and then… well… didn’t really follow it up with another post. But there is a reason for it. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen posts of a rising word count – taken from my fantasy novel.

Then they stopped.

Why did they stop? Well… I went back and restarted!

Here’s how the whole thing went:

  1. Begin the first draft
  2. Get 35K words in
  3. Realise that the last 15K needs to be rewritten
  4. Rewrite the last 15K
  5. Realise that the entire story has sped through too quickly
  6. Have revelation regarding the entire plot
  7. Rewrite the entire 35K

I am currently on the seventh point.

However, when I finished the 35K for the second time, I reached the end of, what I’m now going to call, the blueprint.

I know where the story goes, and I know how to get there. It’s simply a case of going back through, editing the current chapters, and dropping some new chapters in along the way. One of these new chapters introduces Indigo, one of the book’s protagonists, earlier on.

Though this novel consists of many characters and ideas I have used before (something I will go into more detail on in another post), Indigo was a new character, made purely for this book. She is an orphan child from Earth, adopted by the captain of the Malabarista – a ship that sails my fantasy world, the Innerworld. Though this novel is targeted at a slightly older audience than a Young Adult Fiction would be, I wanted to keep my protagonists relatively young. Having always been without parents, Indigo is unsure of her age – and if she is, why would the narrator be? Why would my narrator be? This is the reason why, as you’ll see, I use the line: ‘The young woman, several years into womanhood…’ This is different and more noticeable when the second protagonist is introduced with his actual age, 19.

EXTRACT START
(The start of ‘Prologue: Homeward Bound’)

Indigo waited on the quarterdeck, exposed by the cool evening air. Wind caught and played with her dark, knotted ponytail, tangled with an old headscarf. Meanwhile, impatience began to pester her thoughts as she stood outside the door to the quarter gallery: home to the captain’s cabin, the ship’s navigation room, and a small cabin-office for Ruben Chalk – the captain’s personal writer. There was the captain’s private toilettoo – strictly for the captain himself. Nobody – not even his personal writer, or his quartermaster – could use it. Only once had it been used by someone who was not the captain – though that day came long before Indigo joined the Malabarista’s crew. However, she had heard all about it: the day the Admiral’s arse was worthy of the captain’s shitter.

The Admiral:
Crews and ships that sail outside of imperial rule can find brotherhood and sanctuary with the Avant-Garde – a faction of free people created so that those working and living outside of the Innerworld’s various empires can aid one another, in trade and protection. The leader of the Avant-Garde is known as the Admiral.

Behind Indigo, the main deck was empty. The young woman, several years into womanhood, cursed as her belly rumbled. I should be down with them. She thought of her crewmates digging into the cook’s creations.

The quarter gallery door opened.

Ruben Chalk, a gnome several feet in height and a decade older than the woman, appeared. The silver light of night twinkled on his bald, pale scalp. He smiled at the familiar face: “He’s ready for you.” 

About time. Indigo stepped into the gallery. To her right-hand side was her little friend’s cabin-office and the famed private shitter; to her left, was the navigation room. In front of her, at the end of the short corridor, was the captain’s cabin. “Any idea what he wants?”

Ruben, closing the quarter gallery’s door, shrugged apologetically.

Marvellous. She strode along the corridor. “Let’s hope the cook keeps the grub warm for me.”

The gnome half-smiled; they both knew the cook would close the kitchen as soon as possible.

Indigo knocked on the cabin door. “This better be worth it.”

EXTRACT END

I assure you: Indigo finds it is worth it. In the next few blog posts, I’ll introduce you to the characters and their world further – maybe the story itself too. But for now? I shall leave it there and get ‘back to work’, for in the first blog post (‘Mr Interaction, I’m All Yours’) I said: ‘Nobody tells you just how long it takes to write a bloody book!’ They may tell you how it’s hard to make money through writing, or not to worry about the cash because you’re doing something you love and that’s what’s important in life as life is too short and really if you think about it you spend quite a lot of time at work actually so…

Anyway, what I’m trying to say is: writing a book? It can take f@&#ing forever.

Until next time,

Ben x

(Feel free to leave a comment – a prompt for a piece of flash fiction perhaps?)


Social Medias:

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YouTube: /benrosemusic
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P.S. An update on everything else:

  • I’ll be opening with a few songs at May’s ‘An Evening of Country’ (Thursday 2nd May, Chaplin’s & The Cellar Bar, Boscombe), before handing the night over to an exciting line-up of Bournemouth artists: Matt Griffiths, Mikey Ball, and Amie Knight.
  • I’m nearing the end of my second year in Creative Writing, at Arts University Bournemouth.
  • And… the four recordings I’ve been working on with Mike White are getting closer and closer… and closer.

Oh… and I finished the first draft for the first episode of my sitcom too!

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