In the spirit of full disclosure, this post (and the next one) talks about me writing three books, but not necessarily how one should go about it. You see, I didn’t start with aspirations of being a writer. Truth be told, I’m still on the fence about it, although it seems rather unavoidable now. Before I return to that first winter writing spree, we’ll take a slightly longer trip in the DMC DeLorean.

Let’s head back to the year 2008 and 2009. The golden years of LARP; improvised theatre, if you will. Or, at least, my golden years. I and a group of would-become friends wrote a two-year plot for a LARP organisation – five hundred players in self-made costumes and eight separate events in an outdoors setting, all gathered beneath one enormous story umbrella. Years later, in the early days of plotting out the three books, I realised just how similar both experiences were.

Since those LARP days, I’d developed a habit of taking notes of ideas and concepts that pop into my head. When I seated myself behind the laptop on that first November evening in 2019, I gathered them round to sit at my table, and we talked. During the following weeks, those ideas and concepts turned into short, descriptive scenes, and each evening I ordered them into a rapidly growing rough draft. I still recognise that one original idea at the heart of many a chapter, forever ensnared by the words that blossomed from it.

The writing continued in the months that followed. I’m not sure for how long, but I believe I called it quits around April 2020. Six months after I started, I had a story map for two books, I had chapters and scenes, but most of it still had to be written. In all honesty, it seemed too much work to complete before my enthusiasm would inevitably fade. Fortunately, I picked it up again near the end of the same year – unable to leave the project be.

I haven’t stopped working on the novels since, spending most evenings and weekends behind the desk. I talked of beginnings in the previous post. By June 2021, fourteen months later, I had a rough draft of book one and two. The first was complete, the second still missing its middle section, but it was the ending that mattered. I handed over the two novels to a good friend of mine, my very first reader. Nowadays, I’m slightly embarrassed by what I gave him, but he enjoyed reading them and provided me with useful critique, and perhaps more important, motivation to continue. In early January 2022, two years into the project, I had my three novels; the first significant milestone of many still to come.

Sumela monastery, Turkey

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