After many trials, Shadows of Autumn is nearing completion. As I began the story, I wanted it to be a part of something bigger, part 1 of 4, in a standalone epic. That has not transpired. ‘Part 1’ eventually neared 60k words before I could even see the ending, and now with the last chapters on the way out, it’s closer to 80k. It couldn’t serve its original purpose without severe edits, so I’ve opted out of the epic idea. Instead, Shadows of Autumn became a kind of exercise, into writing a brand of fantasy fiction I’d never really dabbled in, and drawing upon a culture I had no experience with.
In that regard, it’s become a success, and I’ve found more ways in which to learn, develop and grow. I need to work on pacing and tension above all else, but most importantly, I’ve learned the value of planning. This was the first attempt I’d made at planning out a story, and it’s made my work so much stronger. I couldn’t be happier.
I’d considered it a novella, but at 80k, it’s well into novel length, and now I can seriously begin to consider moving forwards, towards representation and beyond. It’s an exciting time for me, riddled with anticipation and anxiety. Not since completing Long May Men Have Voices, have I finished anything quite so substantial. I’ve written shorts that ended up wandering around on their own until they decided to end, I’ve written a bunch of flash fiction, but nothing like this. Shadows of Autumn has, I feel, substance, and it gives me ways to move forwards.
I’m beginning to consider financing options. Editors are sooooo not cheap. If you read this, and at some point see something regarding a crowdfunding campaign for a little novel called Shadows of Autumn, please do stop in and have a look.
Here’s the full colour map I’ve recently finished painting. Just in case you wanted a teaser. I’m happy with this, too. Apparently it looks professional, but the inner critic in me is dubious.