Fiction (Endhaven Supplement)
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I have been hard at work developing Endhaven from the bottom up. That's hard work with a toddler in the house.
 Story 1: The Heroes of Broadford
In celebration of this month's NaNo novel writing month, here is where my own novella has wandered about for the last year.
Do note that these drafts are not fully edited. I ran them through a spell-check to remove the most heinous spelling goofs, but they are otherwise rough.
I ran into a dry spell while trying to create Endhaven. I realized that I had no new way of looking at this space. In order to jump-start the creative process, I decided to write some fiction based in this world. That would help me to fill out the world some, and also help me to show how this would worked.
The story began as a woman with two children looking for her lost husband. In that story, she would follow the trail of her missing husband, learning of his own story and own great deeds, until she reached some point where she found him, still alive.
Bit by bit, I abandoned pieces. The children did not work out. Other characters became too engaging. He quest became too overriding, bending the entire team to her goals. I did not see everyone bending to her goals.
That mutated and mutated until I worked out the Maran character.
 Draft 1
Draft 1 has six primary characters cooperating to destroy a bandit lair.
Draft 1 had many issue. The biggest of these was too many character, many of them overlapping. The second and more pernicious issue was that Maran was learning the story of other characters as the work advanced. I never worked out what that story was. That left the story feeling blank.
 Draft 2
Draft 2 saw much simplification. I cut many characters. I completely wrote two new characters. Altyn walked in the door and sat down. She was easy. That's how I met the character. Osei went through eight or ten rewrites.
 Draft 3
Draft 3 saw the antagonists change from orcs and goblins to dwarves. That simple change rocked. The whole story stepped up to a higher level. I found something compelling about dwarves engaging in twisted plots.
A second change was the abandonment of the "following others" story structure. Now, the story itself was the only story.
Third, I invented Svero. I like him as a villain. He worked. He had a plot and an agenda. He had plans to foil. He had plans that could be foiled.
Unfortunately, the story suffers from a horrific flaw: the story is just a group walking straight down the plot.
 Draft 4
- Draft 4
Draft 4 is pending and is an entire rewrite of the plot. Almost everything is thrown out, then salvaged into a new form. The problem that I identified in draft 3 was that the character basically jumped onto a plot thread and ran at it. My reviewers consistently found the world interesting and engaging. I decided to lean into that by spending more time in more places, getting to see each place more closely.