How is the Aruvalia Chronicles Progressing?

How is the Aruvalia Chronicles Progressing?

Somehow, a year and a half has managed to pass since I wrote an update on this project. Oops!

From the start, the Aruvalia Chronicles was intended to be a 15 book (5 trilogy) epic. The story has been hanging about my head since 2011. But I didn’t start writing it until 2019 (right around the time we moved into our current house). It’s been a wild and exciting ride, but the end is finally in sight!

Someone came into one of my streams recently and asked ‘have you considered writing something else?’ when I told them I was on the 12th book of the series. It made me laugh. I’ve always known my stories were long (and that might ultimately shoot me in the foot). But I write stories that I love. And I’m dedicated to seeing them through to the end. No matter how long that might take.

Somewhat ironically, the Aruvalia Chronicles also sit at the hub of the multiverse in which all my stories take place. Many spokes radiate from these events to form the core of the overarching story. So it’s safe to say I’m going to be recording Domerin and company’s antics for a long time. But I can’t really complain since I’ve loved every minute of it so far.

Here’s where each stage of the project currently stands and what you can expect in the near future!

1st Trilogy: Once Upon a Dream

Last time I wrote one of these updates, the first 3 Aruvalia Chronicles books had just come back from my beta readers.

As probably the most complicated story I’ve ever written, there were a couple things I missed during my edits that really needed to be included in the story. Lucky for me, my betas spotted the weak points and brought them to my attention. After a lot of discussion and consideration, I made a few tweaks and even added an extra scene. My betas seemed to think this would solve the issues, and so did I.

But the main problem with having someone take a second look at a story is they already know what to expect. So the impact of the changes is somewhat lessened. As a result, I needed to get fresh eyes on the story. So this is the first series to actually go through 2 rounds of beta reading.

The response from my second betas has been very positive, however. And I’m extremely excited to move ahead with publication. The first book of the Aruvalia ChroniclesEyes of a Stranger – should be in your hands sometime in February of 2024!

2nd Trilogy: The Beast’s Wicked Gleam

I was editing this trilogy during the last update. I’m not going to lie, it was one hell of a hard job. But this book has since passed through its first round of beta readers, and the feedback is overall positive.

It’s funny, my betas never focus on any of the things I worry about. I’m venturing into a lot of new territory with the characters and relationships of this book (no spoilers), and there were several portions of the book I expected to be off-putting or ill received by some of my betas. But actually everyone has been positively thrilled with the way the story is presented. There were issues, of course. No draft is ever perfect. But my beta readers encouraged me to focus on things that had totally slipped my notice without batting an eye at the things I worried would be problematic.

What’s even more exciting is that it seems like people are picking up on the subtle little clues I’ve been seeding into the series without getting frustrated by the fact that it’s a long-term story with a lot of main characters that all need time for character development. What else could a writer hope to hear?

I’ve once again tweaked the manuscript and added a few lost pieces. So this trilogy will be heading through a second round of beta reading just as soon as my dedicated second round betas have a chance to peek at it. It’ll be a little while before these three books see publication. But that should give me time to sort out any remaining kinks.

3rd Trilogy: Visions Unlike they Seem

I was writing this trilogy when I started streaming my writing sessions on Twitch every week. So going back to edit these books provided an odd sense of déjà vu. I recalled exactly what conversations took place during the penning of each scene that was written on stream.

There were lots of other little quirks involved in editing this trilogy as well. One of the books includes a major illness. That part of the story had been planned for a long time. But I just so happened to write it in the final days of Covid lockdown, which made it feel a little surreal.

This is also the midpoint of the Aruvalia Chronicles series, which means that it’s longer and more complicated than all the other installments. And last, but certainly not least, this was one of the biggest trainwrecks I created for myself in a long time. Book 8 was missing an entire subplot. And Book 9 felt like a series of small barely related episodes instead of an overarching plot. This is the first trilogy to include time jumps between books, which added to the complexity. So edits were far from easy.

It took a lot of brain power and more than a little cussing to get everything in this trilogy working the way I wanted it to. But I’m pleased to report that it’s finally ready to be seen by my first round of beta readers. I’m sure they’re going to find issues. And I’m bracing for dealing with those. But I’m also thrilled to have turned this disaster into what is hopefully an enjoyable installment of the series. It was no small accomplishment, considering how many changes there were to juggle.

4th Trilogy: Beyond the Moon’s Beams

It’s hard to believe but, the last time I wrote one of these updates, this book was still just a nebulous series of ideas jotted into my day planner without a solid form or plan. Now the first draft is complete. Though it’s going to need a lot of adjustments before anyone else gets to see it.

I finished writing the final installment of this trilogy (Book 12) in February of this year. And I spent March – July editing Visions Unlike they Seem. In some ways, the writing of this book is still fresh in my mind. And in others it feels like it’s been a decade since I thought about it.

In some ways, this trilogy was much easier to manage than the previous Aruvalia Chronicles installments because it comes after the midpoint of the series. So most of the major events have already been set up. And payoff is so deliciously delightful to write. But that doesn’t mean these books weren’t challenging in their own way.

This is a generational story. It takes several decades to reach its final conclusion. So some of the main characters have started having children at this point. That means there are more major characters who need character development and more story arcs to keep track of. Book 12 also contains the climax of one of the series’ biggest plots, which meant it had to be truly epic.

I left myself a lot of notes in the wake of writing this monster. But I haven’t started thinking about edits yet. This book needs a little more time to stew in its own juices before I start sorting it out. I’ll probably start edits sometime early next year.

5th Trilogy: Frozen Within a Scream

When I first start working on a project, I rarely conceive of the moment I’ll actually finish. I know from the start I’m going to spend years working on these projects. I need to be able to focus on whichever portion I’m writing without getting caught up in the snail pace of progress. But I also spend so much time and energy on these characters, I can’t be sad about the end when I’ve just started.

I outlined the final 3 books in the Aruvalia Chronicles in March but, as of September, I’ve just started writing them. My original goal was to finish the series by the end of the year, but I’ll probably need at least January of 2024 to finish the final book.

Still, it’s exciting to pen plot details I’ve been setting up for years. These books aren’t 100% payoff. There are still a few details to craft. But there’s a lot of gratification in these pages, and it feels nice to finally put the end results of my efforts into words.

I’m still in the honeymoon stage of this trilogy. I haven’t been working on it long enough to hate anything I’ve written. I’m sure by the time I reach the end, I’ll be wondering what I was thinking and have a list of red notes a mile long. Like all projects, it will be bittersweet to reach the end of this one, and I’m both celebrating and dreading those final pages.

But as I said, the Aruvalia Chronicles sits at the center of a wheel. So while it will feel odd to leave this particular part of the story behind, there’s a lot more to tell. And I’m looking forward to my next project with great anticipation. I can’t wait to share it with you!

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