The following timeline relates to my "Year of the Tree" series which is fantasy/adventure. There are four books: Ninth Island, Decade Prophesy, Eleven's Council and Twelve Tribes:
- November 2007: I wrote The Ninth Island. The setting was highly akin to any prep-school story and so I scrapped it.
- November 2008: I rewrote The Ninth Island with all the same characters, but with it closer to the Adventure genre. I also wrote about 10k into the sequel The Decade Prophesy.
- December 2008: I sent the first few chapters of The Ninth Island for one of my friends to read/edit. She said she hadn't gotten very far in and that I needed to show and not tell, along with syntax and all that good stuff. It was good advice, really. She did however show her sister without asking me first and that made me averse to showing anyone my work.
- Spring 2009: In the height of the school season I switched between computers often and kept a single copy on a USB to make it easier to edit. Secretly of course. I kept the USB on a keychain. When my oldest sister came to visit, she needed to borrow a house key. Yes, the USB broke, and so did my novel, and all the research and planning that went with it.
- September 2011, last week: One of my sisters was organizing her computer files. (In my efforts to not hate my oldest sister forever, I had checked every computer from school to the windows '98 in storage. No, no there was no copy on her computer...) but there was a file "Year of the Tree" on one of her USB flash drives. And in that file, was everything.
I was overjoyed. Crying at the miracle of my long lost novel finally returning home!
Upon reading the first few paragraphs I began to pity my friend... how could I have made her read something that would even make M. Night Shyamalan cry?
"Fine morning, isn’t it Moro?" Miri gave a slight smile and sat beside her brother.
Moro had shorter brown hair and identical green eyes to his sister. The two of them looked out to the space where heaven met earth, the very line that was growing brighter by the minute. It would be sunrise in about an hour.
Moro gritted his teeth and pursed his lips. He strained to not make eye contact with the sinister person beside him. Moro hated his older sister. Even now the selfish girl was trying to make him break his vow of silence.
Miri stretched her arms upward and yawned. "Well as long as your tongue is tied, I suppose I can freely speak."
Moro wanted get up and run, but he wasn’t allowed to leave his post. There was nothing he could do to stop Miri from distracting him. The only concentration left was on not speaking, no matter what clever comebacks he had on his mind.
"I- I don’t support your promotion. The elders even don’t want you to become a field worker either. In fact this operation would do well without you. I’m saying this because we both know you are an incurable prankster with a fickle attitude. This isn’t your future so, just back out of it."
Seriously? For now, I am tucking this little gem away for a third draft. No prep school, no redundant insight to the characters motives... or vomitable dialogue... just an adventure fantasy.
An epic one.
Because you cannot take a miracle novel and turn it into garbage. (Eh, we'll see about that).