Announcing a New Project – Everyone’s Child!

Announcing a New Project – Everyone’s Child!

Early in 2022, I finished writing my Eternity’s Empire series. I started it in 2014, shortly before we returned to Canada from England. It was meant to be a transitionary series. Something to fill the space while I learned enough about self-publishing to tackle more serious projects. It was a testing series, meant to teach me how to manage better branding, marketing and a proper release schedule.

I’ve written extensively about my experience with Eternity’s Empire, so I won’t repeat myself. But by the time I finished writing Eternity’s Empire, it served other purposes.

When I write my larger series (Celestial Serenade and Aruvalia Chronicles for example), I spend a lot of time meticulously planning the series’ biggest moments. Those series have a lot of moving pieces to keep track of, which requires a lot of precision and care to manage.

In other words, those series require a lot of extra brain work.

I don’t mind devoting time to outlining and world building. I started because constantly writing by the seat of my pants didn’t allow me to keep track of as many things as I needed to. This was when I developed my hybrid model of plantsing.

But working to plan can add a lot of extra pressure to a project. And there are times it drains some of the life and passion out of a project. In many ways, Eternity’s Empire became my solution to the problem of bigger, more complicated series. It was something small and fun I could sit down and work on with minimal planning. It gave me a chance to write for fun, without a ton of extra details to keep track of. And it kept me fresh.

So when I finished it, I needed to replace it.

A Stream Dedicated Project

I started streaming on a whim in November of 2021. So many people showed up to share my work blocks, I continued streaming all the way through 2022.

I realized quickly it was difficult to share details about what I was doing in a preserverable form. The third trilogy in the Aruvalia Chronicles was in progress at the time (books 7-9). Everything felt like a spoiler. I wanted a way to discuss what I was doing in detail without having to worry about spoiling years of work.

I started outlining Everyone’s Child in August. It seemed like a prime opportunity to share a more detailed look at my writing process. Since the project was new and barely developed, it would be easy to stream most of the process without having to hide the words. This would also mean all of the VoDs could be uploaded to Youtube afterward.

How fun, I thought, to preserve the entire process of a story’s creation from conception to final edits.

Thus Everyone’s Child became my second major stream project. (Second to my 22 Stories in 2022 project, which involved writing 22 shorts for this blog over the course of the year.)

Planning, writing and editing an entire novel on stream turned out to be an interesting experience. It certainly added a whole new level to the project.

Why Everyone’s Child?

Everyone’s Child is a high fantasy epic that takes place in a secondary world (completely made up). It has a tangential relationship with the multiverse in which all of my novels take place. But no connection is strong enough to require extra careful planning.

The story follows the daughter of Everyone’s Mother, the ancient creator goddess who disappeared thousands of years ago. Prophecy states that Elayith, the goddess’s child, will one day complete a holy journey that will change the face of the world. The catch? No one quite knows how the world will change, and whether it will be for better or worse.

Two factions watch from the shadows as Elayith undertakes her journey. Each hopes to interfere in their own way. The first is the powerful council of mages who controls all mage craft in the modern world. They fear a return to the old ways of divine magic and wish to maintain their dominance. The second is the Watchers, a group of rogue mages who hope to lead the world to a specific destiny of their choosing. A divine quest they believe grants them the right to interfere with any and all individuals.

I first started this project back in college. It hit roughly 11,000 words before I got stuck. I kept a handful of notes about the end of the first book and a few chapter titles I hoped to incorporate.

I chose this project to replace Eternity’s Empire’s work time because it’s a relatively short series (6 books). The plot is fairly self-contained. And Eternity’s Empire was a more sci-fi oriented story, so I thought it would be fun to work on and release something more fantasy oriented.

How It Came Together

The first major challenge I faced working on Everyone’s Child was scheduling. I only stream 3 times a week – I don’t have the energy to stream more. This meant I had to break up my usual block scheduling to fit all my EC work slots on stream. I ran into a lot of times where other projects became more complicated or bulky because I had to work on them at unanticipated or inconvenient times.

But it was worthwhile to stream the majority of the project. People seemed interested and engaged in the world building and outlining process. Members of my chat also offered fun details to include in the world and names for its various people and places. Some of these suggestions I took, and some I left out because they simply didn’t fit.

I wrote the entire first draft on stream after walking my chat through the outlining and world building process. Each of these sessions has subsequently been uploaded to Youtube in case anyone is ever interested in watching them back. I allowed the words I was typing to be visible for the first 75% of the first draft, but hid the last 25% in order to keep the ending a surprise. (I feared it would be less interesting to potential future readers if they could simply look up the ending in a youtube video.)

Though I don’t think I’ll ever go back and re-watch these writing sessions myself, it does feel cool to know the entire process is preserved. If someone wanted to, they could watch basically the entire crafting process to the end of the first draft and trace the development of their favorite elements. I can’t say the same about any of my other projects.

Every Project Has Snags

I hit my first major snag in the project when it came time to edit. By then, it was December. We were planning our first long-distance vacation for the end of the year. So I had a hard deadline for finishing. And because of the deadlines for all my other projects, I could no longer arrange my schedule so that all work on Everyone’s Child took place on stream. I made the difficult decision to stream key editing sessions, but continue working on the project off stream to finish on time.

I also learned quite quickly that my quick production schedule for writing this novel, did not suit the level of editing it needed. Because this project receives minimal planning, it often needs a lot more time and effort during the editing stage. Everything I don’t take the time to organize ahead of time still needs to be addressed, after all, and I haven’t pre-accounted for any of it the way I do in my outlined projects.

I would never allow the quality of a project to suffer. So while my dream of documenting the entire production process of a book fell by the wayside, I think it was for the best. The edits for Everyone’s Child Book 1 proved to be highly intense. They drained a lot of my brain power. Sometimes I worried the project was too rushed, and it didn’t feel real enough. I wondered if I should scrap the whole thing and start over several times.

But I stuck with everything. During my first work week in January, I finished edits for the first book and I feel pretty confident I can turn it into a fun and interesting series.

As of the writing of this blog, I’ve already outlined the second book and begun digging into the first draft. I’ve changed my production schedule so that it doesn’t feel quite so lightning in speed, and I’ve done a lot of it off stream. But I’m highly enjoying Everyone’s Child, and I’m excited to start sharing it with the world.

I hope to have the first book in everyone’s hands by August of 2023!

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