World building the Rucksack Universe

Momentum has been building for my wee travel fantasy stories these last weeks. In progress right now are a novella and my debut novel, where I’m building a wee world I call the Rucksack Universe. Based in indie-style travel (a la BootsnAll and Lonely Planet and such), the stories bring a fantastical twist to travelers seeing a world that is a lot like ours… but with a few different bits.

The novella is getting some last edits before I pass it to my elite cadre of Beta Readers. Once it has their blessing, I’m going to finalize the story and put it out there for the world. More on that to come.

The novel is in rewrite. A while back I plotted out every bit of my book on 227 cards. Every day, first thing in the morning, I sit down with my manuscript and those cards, and figure out what needs to be changed to fit the story. I rewrite word-by-word, paragraph-by-paragraph. As I finish a scene, I print it out for my Chief Reader (also known as my wife) to read. On my novella, she’s had to point out a lot of weak areas that I needed to fix. On the novel, she usually has nothing to say, except to point out where an minor clarification is needed, and to say that she’s really liking reading it.

It’s slow progress, but it’s steady progress. More importantly, it means that scene by scene, my novel is shaping up for my Beta Readers and then an editor. And then… to you.

Wow. I’ve been working toward this for years, and especially since becoming a full-time independent author and copywriter in 2011. To see these dreams coming along? It’s not just world-building—it’s dream-building. And it’s so damn fun.

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