I’ve been working on a novel on and off over the last few years, which I’m currently refining prior to self-publishing. ‘Fortune’s Thief’ is a low-fantasy action-adventure set in a world very similar to earth, or a place that could be earth thousands of years ago, before written records began.
I’ve never been a huge fan of high fantasy. If a story’s characters are elves and were-bears and they’re throwing magic missiles on page 2, I tend to quickly find another book. However, the work of authors like Robert E Howard and Susan Cooper have always appealed to me. I love the ambiguity that exists in the worlds of low fantasy, where a thin line is trod between what is magic and what is real. I’ve always been inspired by the concept that the mysterious happenings that may be taken as supernatural by the characters – or readers – could actually be explained by rational means, but the reader is left to make the decision him- or herself.
While I’ve had a few stories published in the last couple of years, this is the first time I’ve actually completed something of this length (not counting a trilogy of fanfiction stories I penned in the dim and distant past). I’ve learned in the last few years that here are many pitfalls when writing a full-length book, and I think I’ve fallen into just about all of them.
I had some really helpful feedback from two amazing friends who also write, and they helped me to see the issues that I’d managed to either overlook or convince myself didn’t exist. I’m currently rewriting large chunks of text, which is both quite painful and endlessly rewarding, so thank you both!
My current challenges to get the book finished are:
- Character consistency (my three key characters are currently a little bipolar)
- Characterisation (reputation vs how they actually behave)
- World-building (apparently I have some great hinted-at background and very little detail on the world and its setting)
So wish me luck!
If anyone out there has had similar issues with refining their novels, and has any tidbits of information on how they approached and overcame them, please do feel free to share!