Friday, June 12, 2015

Across the Stars to Time Captives: A Writing Journey

Has it really only been two years since I published Across the Stars? It seems like longer, considering the difficult journey that was Time Captives. It has been longer since I began AtS. I began writing it when I was fourteen, which would make the year 2010.

That book was a series of firsts for me. It was my third chapter book, but it was the first to top eight chapters. It was the first not to be a mystery. It was my first story with purposeful era mixing. It was actually, now that I think about it, my first story about fighting an evil government. Funny, since that is an important theme in my writing. It became the first not to feature solely a female protagonist. It was the first time I ever truly shipped my characters. (It wasn't until a year or two ago I came across that term. For those of you unfamiliar with fangirl terms, it basically means you think they should be in a relationship.) Across the Stars was my first serious writing, and, as I'm sure you know, my first published book.

Time Captives has claimed many firsts as well. It is my first fantasy. It is my first trilogy. Actually, I've very seldom written more than one story about the same characters. When I was little, I wrote loads of stories about "the Silly Monster" and when I was nine I wrote a sequel to Margville's Aliens, a book I had written when I was eight. Other than that, everything I've written prior to Time Captives was standalone. They were going to be the first books I split into parts, but I dropped that idea. It's my first time pulling kids out of various points in history. That probably won't become regular, but anyway. It's my saddest so far, my mom cried through the end twice. It is my first story to have parts written while at Disney World. Not the last, either. It's my first book with a ridiculously large cast. (It doesn't help numbers that when I count up the cast, I even count characters who were mentioned all of once.) It's my first story that contains an actual conversion scene.

There are many similarities between the two stories. Both feature children pulled from their homes to free a people from an oppressive government. Both feature worldbuilding that is a combination of eras. Both feature strong sibling relationships. Both have been compared favorably to Narnia. But there are many differences as well. Time Captives is longer and more in depth. It has characters on the good side in much greater need of redemption. It has story concepts I've never used before. I've learned much that I was able to put into practice, at least to some extent, in Time Captives: understanding of story structure, deep character development, character point of view, the elimination of unnecessary dialog tags, I've learned to create and share storyboards on Pinterest... I've come far in other ways, too. I've gotten to know a lot more people, both online and off. I've learned a tremendous amount about book formatting and cover design.

I've also realized in this time how much I love Felix and the Watsons, and how I miss writing about them. They'll always have a special place in my writer's heart. I've realized how ready I am to write about characters who are old enough for a little romance. I've learned that writing isn't always easy, but if God wants me to write it, it'll get done and be even better than I could have imagined.

Sometimes I long for the days of Across the Stars. I long for the late nights sprawled on my bed scribbling in a little pink notebook while The Voyage of the Dawn Treader soundtrack comes softly out of my CD player. But I wouldn't really go back. Time Captives has been a long and arduous journey, but I've learned so much. The products of that journey have been hard in coming, and I finally get to share them with you.

Visit today's other stops on the blog tour at these amazing blogs:

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