My first novel ended up as a series of three books. I did a lot of world-building for it, including some work on language, time/calendar, geometry, and learning some physics (math is not my thing). The lore is deep. Not all of it appears in the story, but it’s there in the background. You can read about a lot of the world-building in this blog post.
The story chronicles a warrior named Ashura who is forced from her home and family in the Queendom of Hoqra when she is claimed by a master of a powerful military organization called The Order of Shifqu. It’s a story of loss, love, and finding one’s way home.
The original three books were helped along by a bunch of amazing teenagers at Aldersgate UMC in Fort Wayne. As I wrote new chapters, they accosted me and demanded to read them. I even got threatening letters slipped under my office door when I wasn’t writing fast enough. My personal favorite was the one that said: “Hi Milly, I am an alien from the land called Persephone. I will eat your species if you don’t give me the rest of your book… no rush though, make it good.”
I am currently reworking the outline for the entire series in preparation for a clean rewrite. I love the concept of the story, and wanted to tell it right. I had done revision upon revision but, in order to tell the story well, I needed to start over and reimagine how the story progresses.
On top of that, I’m a better writer than I was in 2003 when I started writing down my initial ideas for this world and what happens in it. I did a rewrite in 2014, changing from 3rd person to 1st person, and uncountable revisions afterward. But it felt like I was applying patches to holes here, there, and everywhere. The original and 2014 reworks were both written by the seat of my pants. I didn’t know how to plan or outline back then (a process I’m still learning but one which I now highly value), which left me unsatisfied somewhere deep down in my gut.
A story worth telling deserves to be told well. A story worth writing deserves to be well written. The last line of that letter quoted above “no rush though, make it good,” is what I’m keeping in mind. I want to make it great. That’s why I’m starting from scratch.
At the moment, it looks like there will be six books in the series. I’ll update the number with more certainty when the outline is done.