A Thousand Scars – The Beginning

A bit off the beaten path, this time. I haven’t really written any personal blog posts like this for a good while! Maybe this will inject some personality back into my work.

First off, massive thanks to everyone who has read my stuff. I have a mad mind and I just like talking about things. It’s probably something in the water. Second, with the upcoming release of my first published novel so close (no release date yet, but once confirmed I will be sharing the hell out of it!), I thought I would take some time and write this post to talk a bit more about myself, the challenges into writing the story, and what lies ahead. I hope it will be a fun experience for us all! This will probably be part of a series, releasing them as The Thousand Scars release draws ever nearer.

The Writing Muse 

I’m 27 years old, going on 28. I’m starting to get old! (As my girlfriend loves pointing out, I am younger at least then some buildings) and for most of my life have loved reading and writing fiction; it’s a great feeling being able to craft your own world and tales with a stroke of a finger on the keyboard or a pen. Onto this. Back when I was maybe 10 or 11, I was creating a fantasy world around which eventually became the crux of the novel I am writing. I also wrote a story called Attack of the Silver Serpent, which I found in my room while I was tidying it. Here is a picture down below of the monstrosity.

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Michael…that is a green serpent. I cringe reading it now, but it was a fun little thing I wrote when I was ten. Back to the world. It took a very long time before it took shape, “borrowing” writing books in my English class to type up the battles and lore. Unfortunately, it seems I have misplaced a lot of this, but I hope that some of it will be salvaged! Think Time Commanders with loads of information about the armies and battles. Most of it was not brought forward into my fantasy world of today, but some elements remain.

The Catalyst 

I graduated in 2011 with a degree in History, and quickly ran into the “I’ve graduated. What the hell do I do now?” dilemma. I admit, I took my degree out of interest rather than a business plan, but I do not regret doing it. I always followed my gut instinct on doing things I wanted to do, rather than conform to a life of work and death. Of course, work is vital, but humans should enjoy their life, not just spent the entirety of it training to work to pay bills then fade. I never wanted that.

Next came the slew of health problems. Irritable Bowel Syndrome is messy and really took it out of me during the 2011-12 period, and barely a day went by where I wasn’t in agony from stomach pains. Coupled with a very difficult year in 2012 with problems at home and my continued struggle in finding a job culminated in a nasty bout of depression, which I am not afraid to hide. It was a hellish year, but thankfully I was able to get help.

Dealing with the diagnosis…was not easy. I felt I was letting everyone down, and I had to deal with a few unhelpful people who tried the “people have it worse than you” card. No shit!

It was proving to be a strenuous and hard period in my life. In this mess and while I was starting to recover from the dark period, I watched the first season of Game of Thrones, and frankly it blew my mind. (although now Season 7 has happened, it’s really dropped in quality. Which is a shame).

With the help of useful friends, I secured the first copy of A Song of Ice and Fire and begun reading. Reading George. R.R. Martin’s work changed me for the better. Furthermore, it got me thinking of my fantasy world and won red if I could make it a reality. By this point, I had not touched the world in nearly a decade, but I had already had some experience with writing long fiction, but that was mainly fan-fiction. (Very poorly made fanfiction, I might add, but it was popular at least) In the middle of another failed rewrite of that fanfiction, I realised I could use that knowledge and lessons learnt to work on my own novel.

I thought: “If people could do it, I can too!” And I began my journey then. Call it a rebirth, but it was the start of a long, enjoyable and frustrating journey.

Closing Comments: 

This reaches the end of Part One. Might not have been in as much detail as I would like, but a lot of it involves delving into the awkward times of my life, and I prefer looking forward as much as possible.

Part Two will come next week, and I will discuss the ever-growing tendrils of progress as I continued to write Counterbalance, along with some talk into what it originally was. There is so much change. I will finish with one of my favorite fantasy quotes:

Elend Venture, A Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson: 

“Today, men, I ask you your lives.”

“I ask of you your lives and your courage. I ask of your faith, your honor– your strength, and your compassion. For today I lead you to die. I will not ask you to welcome this event. I will not insult you by calling it well, or just, or even glorious. But I will say this….

…..”Each moment you fight is a gift to those in this cavern. Each second we fight is a second longer that thousands of people can draw breath. Each stroke of the sword, each koloss felled, each breath earned is another victory! It is a person protected for a moment longer, a life extended, an enemy frustrated!”

“In the end, they shall kill us. But first, they shall fear us!”

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