If I opened a school for creatives, the first (and most frequent) lesson would be: “Trust you gut.”
Five years ago, I wrote a novel called Blade & Bow. This ambitious but anemic medieval fantasy became a bizarre Nordic-inspired epic called Fire Keeper, which morphed into a half-steampunked serial, Rise of the Tiger, and finally crystallized as a distinct steampunk fantasy world in AURELIA: Edge of Darkness.
Now I’ve come full circle. I’m revising Rise of the Tiger based on what I learned through AURELIA. I’m committed to the steampunk fantasy it’s become. But I’m also amazed how many pieces of Blade & Bow are making their way in again, all these years later.
It feels like a homecoming.
As it turned out, my raw young storyteller self (for all her faults) knew instinctively what her story was about. It just took five hard years in the school of writing to discover how those pieces really worked.
Well, as a young storyteller I fought my instincts. After all, how could they be accurate? What did I know, rube that I was, about telling a story well?
To some extent, these were fair objections. I had a lot to learn. I still do. But one of the biggest lessons I’ve had to learn (unfortunately, almost five years later) is to trust my intuition . . . first.
Better late than never, I guess. And I suppose I can’t really begrudge the journey. All the wanderings, the frustration of endless “trashed” drafts, the misguided deviations from Jude’s true story, served to help me grow. Rise of the Tiger will be better for them.
But now, it’s time to finish the story I started five years ago.
My gut says so.