Now, to be honest or say something that won’t make me look like a ten year old kid in your eyes…while I debate on that–TANGENT!
Sooooo, I thought my story idea was cliche. At least over used. I mean, time travel to Egypt with magic and necromancers and gods and death? Pfft. Right?
Then, about two years ago after I finished the second draft, I actually tried looking for a book like mine, because, well, you write the book you want to read, right? Right? I’m repeating myself a lot.
The point is, couldn’t find it (besides that one Red Pyramid-something or other by the guy who wrote Percy Jackson–has the same cover art style and everything and not enough romance). I either found stories that took place in Ancient Egypt, erotic Romance (because hey, if you go back in time to do the hot pharaoh, it doesn’t count), and mystery thrillers that involved an archaeologist popping open the wrong tomb and a bunch of bad guys wanting to get a hold of the cursed treasure. Did I mention all those girly stories about Cleopatra? Yeah. Everyone loves Cleopatra.
Maybe I’m just blind, but I think I just found an unopened niche here that has only been filled by fanfiction. Well, if I’m right, higgedy do dah I’m either a genius or am about to make a huge mistake.
If it is a huge mistake…I’ll just write more books. >) Buwahahaha.
…so, to my inspiration, um…well, if you’ve gotten this far, I guess I can trust you.
I got the first idea for it when I was…*sigh*–okay, okay, man, you people, I got it when I was ten, happy? Watching Yugioh if you must know, and no, it wasn’t a fanfiction, and no, Yami isn’t in there, and no, Set is not Seto. T.T But you’re all going to see it that way now and I have no more dignity, so I might as well continue.
I was a smart kid, and smart kids get bored. So, since I got in trouble (a lot), I got into writing and drawing, mostly daydreaming up stories in my head, and one of those was of a girl who got taken back into Egypt and had to help the pharaoh. The first draft I wrote in middle school was nothing like the story you’ll read today (except there were still zombies and a pharaoh named Xius). There was no Hath, Xius was the flatest pancake of a character you could get, and it was told in a journal entry-like style from the perspective of the girl from the future.
I hit high school and hid away my first draft like a stack of porno magazines. Only one of my friends (little did I know, but my future husband as well), read it.
Senior year of high school, pulled it out to type it into my computer, decided it was lame, and started retyping it. Rewrote the whole thing, tore up the plot, and made it into something a little bit closer to what I wanted.
College, I am again humiliated by my secret story obsession from when I was ten (still haven’t found this type of story because the authors I depended on to produce said time-travel story were being lame), so trashed the whole thing and started from scratch–this time writing it all completely from the pharaoh’s perspective. I figured that at least that would make it a little more interesting.
Not only did it make it more interesting, but the story changed completely. New characters came in, new dynamics built up, and soon I was researching the crap out of Ancient Egypt and watching every single documentary I could get my hands on. I had to create a whole world now from the perspective of one who grew up in it. That meant I couldn’t explain everything, I had to write it like it was my world and the reader’s world, I had to make it real. This wasn’t an encyclopedia, this was a daring tale of blood and zombies and love.
Wrote it in a month.
Very pleased with myself. Friend and my husband love it, so what does the stupid me do? I edit it, I rewrite bits of it, and then I try to query it. I even got two agents interested in it. I was on the ball, I was on the fly, I thought what had started out as my little fifth grader Yugioh dream was going to set me on the top of the hills.
Get rejected. My not-so-much friends groan as they read it. And then I finally read a book on the importance on multiple rewrite and revision. With growing trepidation, I handed it to my professional editor, a friend of mine who specialized in the English department as the Editor of the school newspaper, and then went on to be the editor of a publishing firm in Washington.
It only took her a few minutes to make me realize the sad, dilapidated story I had in my hands. She could, however, see the potential, and soon I could see it to. It would take another complete overhaul (I might not even be able to keep any of the original text). It would take a ton of work. But most of all, it would take a buttload of humility.
Thus, I had a choice. I could either keep working on this story or move on to any of the other dozen or so other books I had written (yes, this isn’t my first book. I sort of barf stories onto the page like I have a disease, whether any of them are any good or not is a different story). But after this whole heartbreaking journey, I had seen my need to learn the messy side of publishing a story, and that was revision. I wanted to learn how to fix a story that is written as you go. I had to make this outline and skeleton of an okay, but not really worthwhile story into something great or I’d never figure out how to make anything worthwhile.
So I made a deal with her for her services once I completed my end of the overhaul of my book, then got to work. It took me forever, and yeah, barely any of the original text was left behind.
But it was in this final revision, this final rewrite, that I finally found Hath, the necromancer.
She came out of nowhere, as though just waiting under enough rough drafts to come free. She filled in all the holes of my story, fleshed out all the goals of the other characters, and added just the right feel to the story that I was looking for. She was the tragic main villain everyone wanted to believe in. She was well-rounded, had depth, and practically writhed to the page as I wrote.
I have no idea where she came from. It’s not from me, for sure. I just did all the work.
My editor was astounded. She didn’t see Hath coming at all either, but she too saw how this Nubian necromancer fixed all the issues with the alright-but-bland original story and turned it into something I could actually be proud of.
In all reality, my story was just waiting around for Hath to finally come around. All those years I spent writing and rewriting complete drafts never worked out because I didn’t have the maturity to finally bare the burden which was the vibrant and passionate worker of death which is Hath.
So there. Inspiration. You can proceed to make fun of me if you like. I’ll just cry and write some emo poetry, like i always do. See if I care.