I am not sure whether I like this stage of writing or not? When I have an idea that I think has some life in it I get excited and full of energy. I really want to get the first draft done. Perhaps because I do not restrict myself on that phase I enjoy the writing so much? Perhaps, but I enjoy the other work as well. The first draft is a very rough piece of work. It needs polishing, and this is done in the form of research, plot constructions, character development, and other necessary tasks that might not be actual creative writing in themselves, but certainly make the end product all the better for it.
Now I find that ‘Queen of the Mountain Kingdom’ is very close to being finished. All the real writing has been done. I am editing and polishing the text. In my mind I have a full grasp of the plot and the larger picture against which the story is going to be played. To be honest this is another test of the story’s credibility. If I am still enjoying reading the manuscript for the umpteenth time then there must be something good about it, right? The fact is that I am enjoying it very much. As well as picking up the many typographical errors that invariably seem to creep into each and every line, despite many reviews, there are ideas, original and new, developing organically. Most of these are not particularly great or influential or absolutely necessary to the tale, but they all add depth in my opinion.
I think that it is worth repeating it again; the best fantasy tales are told within a believable world. I have read a few books where the author seems to have decided that they need nothing more than a little set dressing against which to tell their tale. Such a lack of depth leads to a book that also lacks gravitas. That is fine if the author intended to offer something whimsical or humorous, but if they are trying to be serious then, as a reader, I find that it fails.
There is no doubt that creating a logical and believable fantasy world has added significantly to the amount of time that I have taken to write this book. As a novel it is approximately 150,000 words long, but that is not the most words that I have written. ‘Eugenica’ has that record. ‘Queen of the Mountain Kingdom’ does have a large amount of background work, however. In fact, some of it is still not finished. I have drawn a couple of maps, all in a very rough style. They work for me as the writer, allowing me to place events and locations properly, but I would not show them to prospective readers. They need to be redrawn in a far more artistic style. I would like to do that but at the moment I am totally dedicated to getting this book finished. It is so close to being realised but, that said, I cannot yet say for definite when I will actually be finished.