My inspiration for Starscape? Where to even begin?
Let’s start at the very beginning (a very good place to start!).
A few years ago, at the height of our interest in The Lord of the Rings, one of my friends (I’ll call her Emily) and I would think out long and elaborate stories concerning us having adventures in Middle-earth. It was fan-fiction, only we kept it in our heads rather than putting it to paper or screen. One day, however, when Emily was describing one of these stories to me, a spark inside me burst into flame. It was just one sentence that Emily spoke that awakened something in my imagination; I can’t remember what exactly she said anymore, but whatever it was, it evoked a feeling of mystery and beauty. A story plot took shape, and I described it to Emily, who gave me permission to use a couple of her ideas.
At first the story was nothing like what Starscape is now. The first draft was very much based on The Lord of the Rings, and little more than glorified fan-fiction – only set in an original fantasy world, Militer. I had an outline for the book, and followed it very nearly to the letter.
To be perfectly honest, when I finished the original draft, Starscape wasn’t very good.
There wasn’t a good motivating factor to drive the characters on. The characters themselves were two-dimensional and boring (I greatly disliked many of them). Things happened that neither made any sense nor enriched the story. I even introduced a whole new subplot near the end of the book that took up a lot of room and didn’t have much point. There was perhaps one chapter that was actually well-written. It was quite a mess, but I was still proud of my accomplishment. Finally, however, I realized that I really needed to tighten it up. The biggest change I made was to cut out the aforementioned pointless new subplot, but I also improved the beginning and some of the character development. Starscape became less like The Lord of the Rings.
There I left it for months. And then one day, an idea occurred to me. I’d been reading some articles on fantasy world-building and suddenly I thought, Why don’t I ditch what I’ve got and start all over again? It seemed crazy, but eventually I stopped procrastinating and wrote a first chapter… and a second… and got writer’s block. So, again, Starscape sat around for ages until I got into a let’s-accomplish-great-things mood and picked it up again.
After that, I simply couldn’t stop writing. Something drove me on. Rich descriptions, that even my critical self believed were good, poured from my mind to my keyboard. I felt akin to my story, and it was truly precious to me. I loved all my characters, even the evil ones – whom I hated for their wickedness but loved because they were mine. I cried over their sorrows and exulted over their triumphs. Story twists happened that I didn’t expect, and sometimes I just wrote, having no idea where all my words were leading me. I was sure of an adventure whenever I sat down at my computer screen.
I was finished within a few months. Looking over my little story, I changed small things here and there, but in essence I felt Starscape was perfect.
And that Starscape is just what I will present to the world in a few months. I can only hope that when you read it, you will love it as much as I do!
By the way… if you read this entire mini-novel, congratulations – and thanks buckets!