June 14, 2012

new project of awesome

This is a follow up to Monday’s post, in which I announce my decision to put The Guild Conspiracy on hold to work on something else. I was a bit vague on the details of that new project, but only because I didn’t want the post to run any longer than it had to. And now, I have an entire post to devote to it!

So, like I said before, this new project is an old one. It’s the book I was working on before starting The Clockwork Giant, a book I had spent fifteen months on before finally deciding to put it aside. I think I’ve mentioned it a few times over the course of having this blog. I’m not sure whether or not I’ve ever gone into extensive detail about it, and I really don’t want to click through old posts to find out.

Basically, I started this story in my final semester of college, as part of my senior project. I wrote about 2000 words a week around other classwork, editing for the school’s literary journal, and of course, my healthy video game addiction. I think I finished ten chapters of the first draft by the time I graduated, and then, by July, I finished it in an inky haze of word frenzy. I didn’t plot. I had no real plan at all really. I just wrote, and if it sounded cool, I threw it in. When I finished, I honestly had no idea what to do next. I’d never finished a novel before, only short stories and essays, and I had no concept of editing my own work. All through college, I had depended on my classroom critique circles to help me make my stories better. All I had to do was follow their suggestions and voila!—a final draft. I tried anyway. And failed miserably. So so miserably. But undeterred, I tried again and again and again until I thought I had edited it to perfection. I still had no concept of editing. I didn’t understand anything beyond editing on a sentence-by-sentence level. So the crappy story that I wrote, the meandering plot, the wishy-washy characters—they all stayed the same. The writing itself was good, but the story was sorely lacking. I tried to rewrite it, but after fifteen months of not getting anywhere with it, I decided it was time to let it sit in a drawer. Good decision, that.

When I originally came up with the idea for the book, I was greatly inspired by Diana Wynne Jones. I wanted to create a fun, whimsical world full of magic and interesting people. And I wanted to set it in a sort of Persian setting since I’ve always loved Ancient Persia. Even now, I believe the idea that I had was good. I just failed at putting it to paper. I got distracted. I let other things inspire me and detract from my original idea. Persian influence somehow shifted to Hindu influence, and Norse ideas somehow got thrown into the mix. I lost Persia, and while I had something new, it wasn’t better. I kept trying to force a story where there wasn’t one, making characters do things because characters are supposed to do things in a story. I was a very novice writer. If there’s a stage below novice, that was me.

The book had one good quality: the title. I still love the title. The Wizard’s Heart. It worked on multiple levels, both as a romance with a wizard and the search for a magical stone called the Wizard’s Heart. Unfortunately, I’m not so sure that the title will survive. I hope that it does, but that remains to be seen. I have to write the book first.

So, a little bit about The Wizard’s Heart... I haven’t written a mock pitch yet, but I’m still very much in the pre-planning stages—gathering inspiration, jotting notes, and brainstorming plot ideas. However, I do have a pretty solid plot arc—the major beats of the main plot, the big events in each act. It’s the little things I’ve yet to figure out.

cool picture right?
It’s about Shadiya and her quest to save her father’s life. That’s the core of it. Along the way, Shadiya meets the strange foreigner Asad, the witch who he is bound to, a ruthless gang, and a small dog who needs her protection. There may or may not be a little bit of romance between her and Asad. I haven’t decided yet. But there is definitely magic. Shadiya is a healer, and Asad has a magic of his own. It’s very much a quest story, with a journey from A to B in order to find this Wizard’s Heart. Their goals conflict with each other, which I think will make for a pretty great dynamic between them. Both of them are after the Wizard’s Heart in order to save someone’s life, but only one of them can be saved, not both. However, they need each other in order to find this magical stone.

Like I said, still in the planning stages, so my thoughts are still rather unorganized. Once I’ve plotted, I should be able to create a mock pitch that isn’t so jumbled. I’ve yet to name any of the other characters or the places, but I’ll be working on that today. In the meantime, if you’re interested, I created a Pinterest inspiration board for this project, which you can find here.

Anyway, I’m glad that I’m finally able to go back to this story. It’s been my passion for so long; I really want to make it work this time. Are you working on anything new?


  1. Not working on anything new, but still trying to push myself to clean up my NaNo story. Huge learning curve about writing, editing, story, plotting, planning or pantsing, and so on.

    I even love the times that I get frustrated because I just can't figure out what's going on because I know that it's helping me out in the long run. :)

    1. oh it is. every little obstacle you face is another lesson learned. it would be nice if we could go into this writing thing knowing all the secrets, but the hard truth is that we'll always be learning something. good luck with finishing your NaNo up! :)

  2. I'm currently doing Camp NaNo for July and I've got another idea all laid out for August. It takes some willpower to ignore that idea until I'm done with the current one. I wrote it out, though, so I won't forget.