What is this all about?

People have said it for years. "Why don't you write something?"

"You're a pretty good writer, you should write something."

"Why don't you write for a living?"

That's just it. I write all the time. I can't stop myself. But I'm an unmedicated ADHD person, and I start a chapter or two, and then I lose interest. I'm not sure how to continue. Where should the story go next? I am not sure if it's even any good.

So I had an idea one night, a story about a dragon, told from an angle that a story about a dragon has probably never been told before: A story about a dragon whose first test before he can live among his people is to first live as a human.

Over two or three days I wrote the chapter for fun, adding little bits to it, but leaving it mostly as a rough draft, and unrevised.

Which gave me an idea for a devilish experiment.

What if I just posted that first chapter that had been sitting around for a few months, and turn it into a blog? Where could that go?

What if I challenged myself to focus my writing on a single project, and open up a window to the writing process to the world? Perhaps it wouldn't always be gold, but I think I have a decent idea of what it takes to tell a good story, and I know what interests me at any rate. Maybe other people will like it, too.

It's just art in progress. If you think it's bad, you tell me it's bad in the comments. If you didn't like a particular chapter, or want to ding me points for bad spelling* you can tell me that.

If you think it's great, you can tell me that, too. I take praise as well as anyone.

If you think for some reason you know what's going to happen next, discuss in the comments below.

You get the idea.

If you choose to share your thoughts, I might even steal your ideas and incorporate them. It could seriously happen. Let it happen. We're all just having fun here.

This is just my story, spun out of whole cloth.

I am also a web developer, and decided that as part of this experiment, I wanted a visual blog design. Then I thought that going with the community aspect of this whole thing, I wanted to feature artists, a different original work from various artists I could commission on the great democratizer for all creators of the visual arts: DeviantArt. I loved the idea of giving them a take on different characters in the story, and giving everyone else who followed the story something to look forward to every week.

To pretend that there's some semblance of order to the whole structure, I've given myself a few rules, just to keep everyone honest.

Here they be.

The Rules:

  1. New chapter posted every week**. (tagged as 'Chapters')
  2. With each chapter, comes a new original piece of art, from deviants (artists) in the deviantArt community.
  3. It's a first draft. I'm only allowed minor revisions to the core work, such as spelling corrections, or edits to certain awkward phrases. In the event that a full-on revision to a chapter is posted, that will occur later, tagged under Revisions. That way no one gets to read Chapter Two and find out later on that they need to re-read Chapter Two because I've completely changed it. That won't happen. (I'll rewrite non-chapters as I see fit, of course).
  4. Since everything is a first draft, sometimes the quality may suffer. Not everything will make the final cut. That's okay.
  5. No plotting out the story in advance. I've got fragments of ideas for what might happen in the future of the story, but I will be as surprised as anyone how it turns out. That's what makes it fun for me, too. Nobody knows at this point what the final book will look like, especially me, and I'm trying my best not to impose anything artificially on the story, but just try to channel it.
  6. Feedback is welcomed. If I incorporate your feedback, please don't say I owe you 20% of all profits in the event it ends up in a book you can buy some day.
  7. When the story is "done", revisions are complete, and edits are finalized, we turn it into a finished book, and we all get to see how this devilish experiment turned out.

A Note on the Community

To help fund the war effort on feeding starving artists, if you want, and if you like the story, you can donate to me on Patreon (the button is in the footer) and I'll churn that right into commissioning more excellent art. The bigger the budget, the more cool art I'll be able to post (and a Gallery is coming when I have enough content and time to code it. I have a full time job, too.)

If you want to donate original art to the cause, I'll humbly accept that as well. Donated art might not make a chapter, but it may either be posted in the gallery, held for use at a future date, or added to an additional piece of content.

Please share with your friends if you like the story, I'd like an audience for this grand experiment! There are buttons down below for that, too, although you might not want to link people directly to Chapter 5 if they haven't read Chapter 1 yet. (No spoilers in the comments in Chapter One about stuff that happens in Chapter 5, either!)

Thanks for listening to my rambling, and if you plan on sticking around, thanks for all the listening to my rambling that you are going to continue to do.

-- Pax,

Shawn Grigson

*(there's no spell-checker on this blogging platform)

** There may be additional content such as backstory also released during the week--details about the world, ruminations from the author's perspective on certain aspects of the story as they develop. These will not be tagged as chapters.

Site Note: In Stephen King's "On Writing", he gives some very good advice: Write the first draft with the door closed, revise with the door open.

I am calculatedly ignoring his advice on that front, as during this entire writing process the door will be open. Let's call it a grand experiment and see what happens, eh? Even King would be the first to tell you that you have to know the rules first before you can know how to break them.

(Pictured above: Some random things from my shelf of fantasy/sci-fi/rpg materials to establish some geek credentials, along with some other actual books I've read, including the aforementioned "On Writing".)