Beginning (Almost) From Scratch

Hey everyone! I hope you’re all well.

In my last post, I talked quite a bit about some of the early mistakes I made as a writer, as well as the lessons I learned after making them. One of the things I touched on was the early days of my current project, my book series The Indigo Chronicles.

The Indigo Chronicles have gone through several incarnations since 2000. In fact, I didn’t even realize I was writing a series at first. I just kept coming up with more and more ideas for adventures my characters could go on, and before I knew it, I’d written three books starring them. Early titles for the series included the highly original The Adventure Series, as well as Artifacts (that was around the time when I thought the books would contain lots of history and archaeology) and Discovery Cove (which I changed to The Indigo Chronicles in 2005 after I learned that there is an adventure park in Florida by that same name).

In 2005, I had a sudden burst of inspiration involving The Indigo Chronicles. Over the course of a few weeks, I came up with dozens of ideas for books in the series. I scribbled them all down as fast as I could, as even more ideas for a handful of those books began flooding my mind. The problem was, those ideas were for books that were twenty- and thirty books into the series. At the time, I’d already written the first seven books in the series, as well as book ten. But I wrote the books that were later in the series anyway, because I tend to go wherever inspiration takes me.

I was proud of the way the books came out. I still am, in fact. But in the back of my mind, I knew that something was wrong. As time went on, and I began reworking the earlier books in the series, I realized that I would eventually have to completely rewrite them. There were so many things I hadn’t taken into account, such as continuity and character development. Not to mention, I had no endgame for the series. I had no idea where it was headed. What if, after rewriting the earlier books in the series and continuing on from there, my characters and plot were in a completely different place than what I’d written in the later books? I resigned myself to the fact that skipping around the series, writing whichever book I was drawn to at that time, was not a smart idea.

Around 2008 or 2009, I started mapping out my entire series, from plot to characters and everything in-between. It was an exhausting task, but also incredibly exciting. I began coming up with new possibilities, and new ideas, and after a few more years of plotting and outlining, came up with the series’ eventual endgame. Sprinkled throughout the series were ideas from my original incarnation of the series (such as character milestones and turning points), but tweaked so that they made sense in reference to the other stories in the series.

I’m currently in the middle of yet another rewrite of the early books in the series (more on that and the challenges I ran into on my most recent rewrites in a later post), and while while rewriting can feel tedious and difficult when you’re doing it, the end result (at least for me) is usually worth it, and beginning (almost) from scratch was one of the best things I could have ever done.

Until next time,

Brandon

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