It’s amazing to think how far this little story has come since it was first imagined sometime in 2005. From 71 hand written pages, to Word documents never exceeding three chapters. Then One Year Adventure Novel came along and added one full 50,000+ word rough draft and one 60,000+ word second draft.
It began as a tale about a girl named Celeste and her cousin Esten. Their village was dying of a mysterious evil plague. It was up to Celeste and Esten to find the elves, who could lead them to a tree with fruit that could save the village. But the tree was guarded by a terrible beast and only with the assistance (some person who I hadn’t named yet) could they defeat the creature and bring the fruit back. Plus, this tree was located in the middle of a maze-lake mountain range called the Kat’s Kraddel.
The very first, hand written page, of Heart of Hope.
Yes, quite the clichéd plot, but hey, it was a start. From there Celeste’s name changed to Fay and the story, though still staying relatively the same, was given some twists and changes. Celeste/Fay and Esten suddenly had to take a journey underground with their mentor named Goel. There they met the terrible creature, a giant serpent named Apollyon and his goblin soldiers. As time went on, the journey to the elves was getting a little side tracked and the hero’s were taking way to many detours, plus the clichés of the plot were driving me nuts.
Finally, everything changed for the better when my mom found OYAN and we ordered it. Once I began that, Celeste/Fay was renamed (for the final time) to Avalyn. The tree was taken out as well as the Kat’s Kraddel. A new villain was introduced, the whole plague thing was wiped out and the plot was given a complete makeover. Even after that, the story still changed. For instants, Avalyn went from having two parents, to only have one, to having none, to having one again. Plus all the little things that change while you’re writing.
The plot now is as follows…
Barita’s king has been murdered. Goel, a mysterious storyteller who Avalyn and her mother gave shelter to is said to be the murderer. Because they offered him shelter, Avalyn’s mother is arrested and taken to the tyrant now overseeing the rule of Barita. Avalyn is determined to get to the bottom of things and free her mother. Her and Esten set out to find Goel in order to set things right. (That’s how it all begins anyway.) And a bunch of other crazy/adventurous stuff happens along the way.
So things have changed a bit since the very beginning of Heart of Hope, even the title. It was first called Arcana, then I wanted to called it Truthheart. When that didn’t stick it was dubbed Arcana: Heart of Hope, ’till finally that was shaved down and it become simply, Heart of Hope.
Since that day back in 2005, the story has been changed so many times I’ve lost count, been restarted at least twenty times, (though I could be exaggerating that bit…), and has spanned thousands of words.
The process with Heart of Hope has defiantly been long and tiring, but worth it. And it isn’t even over! Oh boy…
Time to dive back into editing for draft III.
Yes, I still have EVERYTHING from writing Heart of Hope. Every started draft, every note, every notebook (or page from a notebook) I ever used for it, and every scrap of paper. It’s quite the collection and helps to remind me of how far it’s all come.