Sometimes, you just need to take a step back from your work. Sometimes, you need to take a step back, look at it as a whole, and evaluate, “Is this what I should really be doing, or is this just a waste of my time?” Sometimes, the answer is one, sometimes the other.
Isle of the Dreamer has been put on hiatus for the past 5 months. This was for multiple reasons, but I think the main reason is that I was going about it the wrong way. See, I made the amateur mistake of deciding that I was going to post the chapters as I wrote them, as that would force me to follow a deadline: 1 chapter per week. This resulted in: (a) a fluctuation from week to week on the quality of writing and (b) inconsistencies resulting from me either deciding to go in a different direction or from forgetting key details.
To be honest, I probably wouldn’t have started posting Isle of the Dreamer at all if I had received the advice of ‘don’t do exactly what you’re doing’ before I started posting it. However, I found that advice immediately after I started posting the story so here we are: with an incomplete story that ended on a cliffhanger five months ago and has just been hanging in limbo ever since.
Those five months has given me some time to think things over and decide where I want to go with the story. Assuming that I want to try to release something of high enough quality to exemplify my talents (which I do), I have decided the best decision is to go back to the beginning. At the time that I publish this post, I intend to remove the existing 13 chapters of Isle of the Dreamer from XavierMakes so that I can go about writing it properly, giving it the attention and proper procedure that it deserves.
Once I have finished going all the way through (telling myself the story, as Terry Pratchett would put it), then I will begin posting the chapters on the website, and be able to do so much more consistently as a result. I suspect this will also allow me to bring the chapters up to a similar standard that my short stories are at. The story itself, before being posted, will go through multiple self-edits and be subject to the scrutiny of some of the most critical people I know, alongside other authors (hopefully).
Most of the changes will probably be superficial, but there likely will be some changes to the narrative and almost definitely changes to the format. An idea that I’ve been bouncing around in my head for a while is restructuring Isle of the Dreamer to be a series of 10 or so short stories approximately 8,000 words each with an overarching plot. I believe this will work better for an online format than the previous intention of it being a single cohesive novel.
This will take me some time and detract from my attention to the main novel I’ve been working on, Devilspawn, but I think, overall, it’s a wise decision in terms of thinking for the future.
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One thought on “Taking a Step Back (Isle of the Dreamer Update)”
I’m glad you’re taking the time to pause, look back, review and replan.
You are a wise young man.