Illustration by A. Agastya

I recently concluded the first draft of my Fantasy novel. I didn’t know much about writing earlier. Now with the task done, I guess writing the novel was the easier part but it’s the organizing the novel, the characters and the plots that is the demon. The story was foggy when I commenced, I had to discover my way through to the end that I had imagined.

It was not clear at first and the writing was nowhere near the best I had read, so naive to think I could compete with the best. After a few pages of writing, I divined what I had written was crap, nobody, not even I would want to read it. I needed to write better, to have a more organized approach to writing the novel, not just throw plots here and there. Finally, after thinking it through and endless hours of research, I started writing the outline of the story. Each story scene was written in one or max two lines, as brief as possible.

Within a week the novel outline was ready. Next I took the approach of elaborating on these brief scenes, making them into a chapter. The vision of a novel cleared in my mind. I would first outline each individual chapter further, making sure all the commandments of storytelling were in there. Then came the elaboration of the chapter outline into the chapter itself. Slowly and steady in a years time my first draft was ready.

The first draft was like black and white charcoal illustration. It was a study, it was a process of discovery. A path to the story, path along which a civilization starts. My second draft is so much more colorful because of the first draft. I can see warm morning light filter through a curtained window falling on a protagonists face, I see the blues of the sky and crimson heat of the desert.

I don’t need to compete with the best anymore, I am just trying to do the best I can and I am satisfied with the results.

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