M.A.B. here. I’ve been thinking about it for a while – thinking about the fact that I really want to share the process I go through – the ups and downs, the thoughts and ideas, the things I get excited about, the things that don’t work.
For a while, my sister and I considered putting together a Patreon page. We looked into how to do it, we started creating ideas for tiers, and then…we kept putting it off. Finally, we sat down and talked about what we’re doing, why we’re doing it, and how we wanted it to be.
The fact is, that for us, this isn’t about money. We don’t want to make it about money either. Yes, of course we’d like to make a living doing this, but that is a side effect of the gift we want to share with the world, and not a goal in and of itself.
So…we’ve decided that we will be utilizing our website more – and sharing the process right here.
To catch you up:
In 2010, I began working on the idea for a novel series where wolves were an integral part of the story, and some of the main characters. Over a two year period of time, this went from a triliogy idea, to a potentially endless series – on another world – the world of Ahzhirit.
I began to create the world of Ahzhirit, and build some characters, and a time-line and etc. I was doing this while I was dealing with many serious issues in my family, and so the whole thing took several years to develop.
In October of 2016, I had a 100 page encyclopedia of the world, and a very good idea of how the 4.5 billion year time-line was going. I began writing a novel for the series, as I wrote a rough draft, I shared it, and all my ideas, with my sister.
By December I scrapped most of the story, and started over. I was telling my sister about all my thoughts and feelings as I went along, and asking for her thoughts, and a second edition of the novel came about.
In February, 2017, I scrapped most of that as well.
By this time, my sister was becoming more and more interested in what I was doing, and I asked if she would do some poetry and artwork for the novel. She said yes, she would LOVE to. I was so grateful!
I kept at the novel, getting her help and feedback, and finally I had something I thought was worthy of sending to readers, and in July, we sent it out for beta-testing.
There were lots of rewrites to do.
Now, my sister was fully hooked, and she began “frosting” the novel, adding in a great deal more than a little idea here and there. She was helping to give details, flesh things out, adding her own touch of magic to the whole thing.
We were feeling really good about the novel, but instead of sending back to the readers – we decided that we really needed to understand the world much better, and make sure that all that we were writing would be on track for future novels.
So, in October of 2017 we began work on the encyclopedia. A month later the encyclopedia was 200 pages long, we had much greater detail in our time-line, and we had begun a dictionary, a book of Darjadd (which are a variety of species that are a special type of creature to inhabit the world of Ahzhirit), and plans for an Ahzhiritite science book, a book on behavior, and more than twenty tales, and at least seven novels, of which the novel I had already written was slated to be the fifth.
This had become an epic undertaking, and we were so in love with all that we wanted to accomplish that we knew it didn’t matter how grand the scheme, we were going to go for it!
To take the readers on the best journey, we decided that they would have to start at the beginning. Three tales were essential to the beginning, and so they were written first, and in January of 2018 I started the first novel, while Cis began her work on the first tale.
We got the first tale to the beta-readers at the end of February, got our feedback, wrote three different versions, sent it out again, did a few more fixes, and then Cis began the artwork.
The artwork for the first tale was a lot of “space” and so Cis thought she would do pourart, a style she hadn’t ever done before.
As of today, May 12th, she has done over 70 paintings in the process of learning and working to get the ones she wants for the story.
I completed a rough draft of the first novel, then, as I always do, went back to add layer after layer. I generally add about 3 layers (going through the entire story from beginning to end), and then print up the whole thing. Once printed, I use my lovely red-pen and read the entire thing again, adding, subtracting, and marking up all the places that I want to change.
Once that was completed, I began to read the entire thing to my sister, so that she can add in her feedback of “that needs more detail,” “I think you should move that do a different location,” and all kinds of important bits.
This novel has the extremely challenging bit of taking place nearly 100 thousand years ago, when the people of Ahzhirit are pretty new, and primitive. This means they don’t know a lot of things, and I have to be careful about descriptions, measurements, and other things that simply wouldn’t exist yet.
I will go through it again, when done reading it to my sister, to add in all the updates we decided.
That’s where we are right now.
I will share more soon. Have a happy day,