Wednesday, July 18, 2018

The Adventure of How My WIP Series Developed

For those that don't know, I'm in the process of creating a planned 5-Book series. There may be some side novels released at some point within the same world. This series will cover two generations.

I'm querying the first book, KONADAI, now. Book 2 is in the drafting phase.

Book 3, IMMUNITY HUNTER, was completed last year. The plan then was to publish it in a trilogy. But as writers, we know plans sometimes fail. After 130+ rejections, failed mentorship contest entries, and editors telling me the plot will never work without a full rewrite, I decided to put it aside. This blog post is about how IMMUNITY HUNTER came to be.

Back in 2007, I became obsessed with Naruto and other anime such as Inuyasha and Bleach. Before then I was watching DBZ, Gundam, and others. I was also playing Final Fantasy. Around 2008 I lost my soul to Naruto and all things anime, zombies, amateur filmmaking, and teen slasher films. It was then that my brother and I decided to write a Naruto fanfic.

There was no plot! Like most fanfic (sorry, not sorry). At some point, we changed the names and I created a magic system based on the skills each original character had. But still, there was no plot. Just teens being teens. We came up with the title BREAK. Why? Because a lot of things break in the story. Broken hearts, broken trust, broken bones. Seemed fitting.

My brother got bored and moved on to other things like skateboarding and rock bands. But I didn't. I came up with an actual plot...or idea. Around this time, Left 4 Dead was released and again, I lost my soul to this game. Now I knew what I wanted to write: Teens fighting zombies with magic!

It seemed like a good idea at the time. Whoever heard of mixing zombies with magic! Well, I didn't. So yeah. Good plan. I called them Konadai. I have no idea why. I think I was trying to come up with something that sounded Japanese? Who knows.

I discovered Daz3D and rendered the characters and some scenes. Again, these were based on Naruto characters so I improvised a bit. Some people caught on but didn't care. It's not like I was stealing the characters, right? Right. Of course not. It was MY creation. Heh... I even included a subtitle, BREAK: WELCOME TO CAARA ISLAND. Talk about cool! By the way, Caara came from Gaara...don't ask.

As I created the characters in their 3D world, I posted each chapter on and gained a nice following. People actually liked what I was writing. But I wasn't satisfied. My real goal was to turn my novel into a manga. I honestly thought I could create an American manga. Silly me. I had no idea how to write a comic script so I set out to find an artist who would actually read my prose and create panels from it. Didn't work for obvious reasons. But that didn't stop my dream of publishing my very own manga! I mean how hard could it be? Hire an artist, send it to Dark Horse, see my new manga in Barnes & Noble. Hahahaha I was so stupid!

I wrote 29 chapters (no structure or ending in sight) before my hard drive crashed. EVERYTHING I EVER CREATED WAS GONE!!!! Well, all except the 29 chapters I posted online. I downloaded what was left but my motivation disappeared with the hard drive.

A few years later, I tried again. I figured maybe I could give each main character their own section in my manga (still holding on to that dream). But I was broke and couldn't find anything to team up with for free. But I still have the novel so not all was lost...expect my motivation again. It took me 9 years to finally decide to finish the damn thing.

In 2017, it took me 3 months to change everything from 3rd person to 1st person. I ended up with SIX POVs by the time I was done. I figured I needed to end it on a cliffhanger if I was going to publish the thing. I was already over 90,000 words and I still had a lot of story to tell plus a lot more characters to introduce.

I was excited. I was going to publish my first book. HAHAHA NO! Publishing sucks and I was slapped in the face with reality! I can't publish a 6-pov novel with no plot (but but but it had a plot!) I tried everything to get this thing into the hands of an agent but each one tore me down further.

After my defeat in Pitchwars which left me on the edge of suicide, I decided it was time to give up But my writing friends wouldn't let me. They suggested I write a prequel. After bouncing some ideas around I came up with the plot and found my excitement again.

IMMUNITY HUNTER will always be my first love, but as a writer there comes a time when you have to let go. I was told by everyone to "write something else." Well, I had nothing else to write. But thanks to my writing friends, they showed me that I didn't need to abandon Caara Island, I just needed to focus on another set of characters and the story they needed to tell.

Hopefully, I'll get to share this world I created with everyone else. Maybe you'll love it as much as I do.

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