I haven't kept a blog in over a decade, and I wonder now why I felt a need to return to one. Probably because the excitement I feel from working on Downpour (working title) keeps bubbling over, and having a place where I can ramble into the aether feels right.
Looking back at my life, I consider myself a prize idiot for not seeing what was right in front of me the whole time. My first love was reading fantasy books, I regularly obsessed over stories, and my spare time was spent creating worlds, drawing maps and concocting tales in my own head. It was somewhere around my teenage years, at the onset of the millenium, where I became more aware of how deeply uncool it was to like fantasy and science fiction. Sadly, I fell into that all too common trap of 'trying to fit in', rather than trying to find my own path, and threw myself into new hobbies and pursuits that increased my chances of finding a tribe.
During one's twenties there is a pervading fear that turning thirty spells the beginning of the end. For those of you that might be younger, nothing could be further from the truth. It is only since entering my thirties that I began to reconnect with who I was as a child, and came to re-experience the things I truly loved for the first time. I began to read more, and a wider variety of genres. I crafted worlds once more, starting with making a place for my friends to play Dungeons & Dragons in. But in the deep, dark recesses I crafted, like Aulë himself, a story in the form of a middle grade adventure book, in the vein of the ones that I had fallen in love with as a child. In the moment of creation a quiet, secret dream was born: could I be an author? However, there was one flaw. The book was awful. Horrendous. Crass amateurism. So into the trunk it went. Later, I got a short story published in a local writers group anthology, but I couldn't see a way forwards.
The dream died, or so I thought, there. But another fragment of story had been bouncing around my mind for years, and it plagued me. What about a world where it never stopped raining? That raised a question: why? Because it's cool! Okay, but that's a setting, not a story. What if the bad guys were water mages who make sure it always rains so that they never run out of magic? Interesting... but still not a story. What if I took Order 66, then fast forwarded a thousand years later, so the original events where mythos. The Sith rule. Nobody remembers the Jedi. Also the sith are like water benders from Avatar. I'm loving the worldbuilding, but still no actual plot to write about. Okay: someone with what he believes to be a 'curse' is trying to survive (a la Witcher universe), but accidentally gets drawn into a chain of events that brings him face to face with his worst mistake.
Obviously that's not the entirety of the plot, but I want to keep this spoiler free. It was certainly the seed that made me sit down and actually put pen to paper. Yes, I mean that literally. I hand write my initial draft in this book, before rewriting to Scrivener.
So the idea bounced around, fermenting, but then I discovered Writing Excuses. It is the single best resource for aspiring novelists I've found, and it gave me a new lease of life to fix the broken ideas into a workable novel. That is where Downpour changed from a thing I played with, to a project I believe in.
"In a world of perpetual rain one teen does everything he can to hide, whilst another strives to be seen. Love and loyalty collide in a world where only power matters, and everything you are can be washed away in an instant."
I'm 33% of the way through the alpha version now, and on track to be finished by the end of August.
I'll be looking for beta readers around October 2023, and I'm hoping to begin submitting it sometime around the start of 2024.