Hello, I’d like to give you all an update on Sword of the Nation, as well as share with you all a general initial roadmap and plans for the entirely of this project.
I. Sword of the Nation
The first entry in what I aspire will be, a long saga.
Where I'm at
Its certainly has taken me longer than I originally intended. Workflow has been heavily disrupted several times throughout the past year due to a myriad of reasons, much to my dismay. Nonetheless, work on the third draft continues, not as fast as I’d like it to be, but one step at a time is better than nothing.
The first draft was completed over a year ago. I then went through it to polish and make adjustments to the story, producing a second draft, which took me about two months to complete.
Now, a lot was going on my life and in the country during those two years, and much of what I was working with regards to legally migrating with my brother crumbled overnight once certain embassies were shutdown due to the political tensions that arose in the first months of 2019.
Regardless, and in retrospect, much of the changes and additions of that second draft weren’t good, it sucked. I wasn’t in the best state to focus on anything and it shows. As a result of what was going on my life at the time, I involuntary put the draft away for a couple months, and returned to it towards the second half of 2019.
That third new draft is almost finished, and its vastly improved. While it doesn’t have any massive structural changes to the story, it’s vastly more polished in terms of locations, characters, and the worldbuilding aspects; certain action scenes are much better now. One particular addition to it was the inclusion of titles to each chapter, up until then they simply had a number.
In case you missed it, there is a public preview of the still unedited draft, which covers eight out of the twelve(?) planned chapters. It goes without saying that your feedback and criticism is, and always will be, greatly appreciated and invaluable for this project.
I finished work on the third iteration of the ninth chapter earlier this week, it was one of the ones that saw the most amount of reworks to its flow.
As I mentioned above, this third iteration of Sword is almost finished, only a few things left to do, which I’ll be working on the following days/weeks:
Go through Chapter X's review and planned changes
Should be a quick one, I don’t have much changes planned to it beyond sprucing up the action, and some dialogue changes to go with certain revamped characterizations.
Split the final chapter into two:
Crimson Daybreak, the final chapter in Sword, is by far, the longest one—I kinda went overboard.
This chapter was always envisioned as two halves with very different tone from one another, so splitting them in two (Fading Flame and Crimson Daybreak) seems, in my opinion, the best course of action.
Some narrative changes to weave the flow of these two might be in order, but nothing too extreme. I do plan to add more impact to the final moments, but the climatic action is there already for sure.
Go through the epilogue one more time.
It’s ‘ready’ in my opinion, but giving it one more throughout go won’t hurt.
What comes next
Uh, this is my first foray into writing a novel, and I have no shame in admitting how neophyte I still am with many, many things, so I am guessing here that proofreading and more feedback are in order.
Naturally, I will require an editor for this, don’t forget that English isn’t my native language and I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed, nor the smartest or best looking. There is also other things, no less important in nature, such as the cover, and how in the world am I getting this published considering that as of the time of writing this I am, for all intents and purposes, stranded on this country, as I’ve exhausted my last hand and my Venezuelan passport’s expiration date is a ticking time bomb.
One of the reasons I’ve had to slow down work on Sword throughout 2019 is the fact that I’m still actively trying to legally flee from this country with my brother, it’s a puzzle that I don’t have a solution for.
I’m very hopeful and confident that I’ll be able to find a solution to it soon, and Sword will get published in tandem, or perhaps I’ll get to publish it after I manage to obtain a visa and flee.
Whatever scenario ends up being the one, its one that will be greatly welcomed.
II. Sins of the Nation
I will start work on the second entry as soon as Sword enters the editing and publishing stages. I already got a general outline, how to start it, what characters I plan to introduce, and how to end it.
Sword isn’t even out yet so I won’t talk much about the plot for now. One of my goals with Sins is to go more personal with the main cast without deviating from the general premise of them being essentially, a sentai-esque group saving the day, fighting in the name of their nation and king.
Expect the team to employ better, more advanced suits and technology (In Sword they all use the same series of suits. in Sins, they’ll branch out into more distinct and unique suits based on their strengths and unique prowess), and some impactful moments that I’ve been dreaming about for years now—can’t wait to bring them to life through words at last.
The consequences of your actions, the righteousness of your cause, and how the main cast impact the lives of those that they cross paths with are some of the themes I’d like to focus on.
III. Soul of the Nation
The climax of this first trilogy arc.
At the moment, The outline is much rougher than Sins‘, but some of the cornerstone moments and events are already set in stone, as well as the suits, challenges and locales.
Ideally, I would like to begin work on Soul as soon as Sins is on it’s the final stages of publishing so as to not have a huge gap between releases, and of course, I see myself long gone from this country at that point.
But first things first: escaping from Venezuela with my brother + getting Sword published, then Sins.
A lore compilation / compendium
This is an idea I’ve been dancing around with some time now.
Once the series is out there and is well established, I’d like to work with illustrators and artists in order to bring a compendium of this universe’s lore and visuals to life.
Snippets of in-universe ‘news articles’, brochures, correspondence, documents, and visual material would be one cool and interesting way to portray the lore. I would like for this to be released between Sins and Soul, although releasing it after Soul would have some benefits (covering the lore of all three entries as a whole and all).
It’s a pipedream goal right now—one day perhaps, if all goes well.
Another idea that I’ve been giving some thought. The way I outlined everything gives ample room for side stories and tales that, while not being part of the main narrative, would make for something cool and awesome.
It’d be interesting to work with other authors and creators to portray other aspects and tales of Vaifen (as well as the world of Orbis) through other forms beyond books, such as a Graphic Novel, a Comic, or short stories.
What comes next
Sword, Sins, and Soul are the first arc in the tale of Bastiel Isthal and the Gestat team’s adventures, but as these three entries are a self-contained arc I consider opportune to avail myself of that circumstance to look back, way back in the timeline of this universe’s events, and tell the war story that takes place decades before Sword begins—the tragedy of the Nasivern’s devastation, renaissance, and ultimate demise.
A first entry focused on the Nasivern’s Age of Devastation, and the fall of the Arghest Empire, with legendary warrior, Isthara, as its central figurehead.
A second entry would be centered around her son, culminating in their demise, alluded several times throughout Sword of the Nation. Portraying two different, yet equally crucial moments in the history of the so called Heirs of Sin is something I’m determined to do, and it’d be a very different tone and setting than the ‘main’ series.
With a duology (or trilogy) of the Nasivern out there, my plan is to begin work on the next arc of Vaifen’s history.
A fourth entry is already in its initial steps, with a tentative name even. A fifth one is the most rough and uncooked yet among my notes, but I’m still a couple years away before I focus my attention on it. There is a long road ahead before I even consider this stage.
I honestly don’t know if I’m talking way ahead of things, or if its even something I should worry about right now, and I may be talking out of my ass with these wild dreams and plans for this series when I don’t even have my life in order.
This is a dream that I wish to share with everyone, one way or another, and I pray to God every night for that to happen. Besides, dreams are some of the last things left for me here, and along with my brother, the promise I made to my mother, and my friends, are what keep me going.
I know I haven’t accomplished much in my life, but this—this would surely be something. This is a dream I’m most passionate about, and something I see myself working on this decade and beyond.
It’s a journey I very much desire to see through its end, and one that I hope you tag along for the ride.