When our current world sucks, why not make a new one?
Not the main driving force behind this project, but an amusing, and harrowing, sentiment nonetheless. Some of you may remember my first ever novel The Plight of Steel, which was published in 2019.
Not to say it was bad, though it wasn’t–by my current standards, of course–very good either.
My goals and ideas when the book was first written were rather half-baked, and my inspirations were not fully formed. What I realize I was trying to do was create a complex fantasy world alike in many aspects to the work of Tolkien, or Martin, or any other you can think of. But Tolkien started with the world and mythology–the books were a side-project based on that mythology. I, in my youth and inexperience, wasn’t going about it the right way.
Why does that matter? Well, The Plight of Steel was a series with only one book in it. I had to continue it, as I’d planned, but the amount of plot-hole filling, retconning, and rewriting I’d have to do on it was monstrous–had I decided to do the sequel. An attempt was made to do just that, but the foundations I’d built the story on were flimsy and easily toppled.
I was like one of those birds that collects shiny things for its nest. Every cool idea made its way into the novel, regardless of whether it made sense in the context of the story. That’s an amateur writing mistake that anyone can make, but–as per usual–my ambition had shackled me to a series of books at the starting line. It would be wholly different had I done a novella, or standalone.
So what’s the plan, then?
Have a look at the Evermore Compendium–a fantasy worldbuilding project built out of the ashes of the Plight of Steel. When I used to say the Plight of Steel was my ongoing passion project, I didn’t mean it. Now I do.
It will have the scale of something Tolkien-esque, with mythology, completely unique fantasy races (no dragons or elves) and an abundance of maps and extra content.
As of writing this post, I’ve created three languages from scratch, all of which can be used to write dialogue in the novels I’ll eventually make. One thing about the Plight of Steel I could never forgive myself for was writing literal gibberish when a character uses a fake language. The elves were speaking random nothingness. Now, however, dialogue can be translated–should one feel so inclined.
This project will be an exercise in something I pride myself on: worldbuilding and imagination. It will be completely unique fantasy, based in a pseudo-medieval setting, of course, but free of any familiarity. It’s a world you’ve never read before, and that makes me excited.
I’m writing what amounts to the Silmarillion as of this post–the history and mythology behind the world. Everything is being labored over to ensure the realm of Vazra (which translates to ‘land’) is as complete and believable as possible. Some characters and concepts will be carried over from The Plight of Steel, such as the Vendyros family and the three magical gifts. Those are unique ideas that I’ve already adapted and changed to fit the new stuff.
So for those of you who bought and enjoyed the Plight of Steel three years ago, I hope you will be pleased with this new direction. It will be a completely new story, so don’t worry about overlap, but still connected to what you encountered in the novel in a couple ways.
Oh, and I’m leaving the Plight of Steel up on Amazon as a kind of relic for literary spelunkers.