Looking back on writing The Hesitant Hero

I say I’m looking back, but it’s obviously not done yet. Before I even consider approaching any publisher at all I need to edit and proofread a bunch of stuff. Having said that, I don’t think there are going to be any massive differences between this version and whatever a final version will look like. Main things on my mind currently are characters referring to things too vaguely because I hadn’t fully developed those ideas at the time of writing them. So changing “the kingdom up north” to what it’s actually called because the characters would know their names. 

But once all of that is done, which I’m putting off because I’ve deserved a short break from this story, I hope to get it published somewhere. I’d love to have physical copies of a book I’ve written someday, that’s been a lifelong dream of mine. I don’t even care if they don’t sell, I hope they do, but I’m writing this story as an outlet for me and as a hobby. If other people like it, that’s just a bonus.

Today I’m not going into plot points per se, I did that in the first draft of this post and I realized halfway through that I’d written four full pages of ramblings, so let’s spread this out and milk it a bit. (because I really don’t have anything else to fill Fridays with for blog posts). I first got this idea maybe around April of 2021. I’d been playing with an Isekai story in my head for a while, but after watching the spin-off season of Tensura I really started honing in on the kind of story I wanted to write. Now anyone who’s seen that spin-off and read my story will realize that they’re not alike at all and that’s true. But the pacing of that show is what inspired me. I wanted to write an interesting story that felt calm and never rushed. I hope I somewhat succeeded at that.

I started writing some concepts on paper in October of 2021, in preparation for NaNoWriMo. This is a yearly writing challenge where you try to write 50.000 words in the span of a single month. I chose this story for that challenge since it was the one I had the best idea of what I wanted to do with. It ended up being a success, to my surprise. I finished the entire draft for this story, at 50.009 words total. I still have the draft version separate from the updated story. I was technically slightly short when I wrote the final sentence, so I had to find a spot in the story where I could add a couple of words, which I did. 

Then when January of this year came around, I started editing the story, one chapter a week. Most of the early chapters were pretty good and didn’t change much except for filling in the story and the world a little bit with more context and more life. As the story progressed, I realized the original draft lacked a throughline and an ending. I’d written the magical circles into the story with the idea of bringing them back in the second volume, but it felt pointless. I wouldn’t care about this storyhook if it took too long to return either, so that’s why I had to change it and bring it back towards the end of this volume.

Speaking of which, almost every chapter after the crew got settled in Dionil’s house has been completely rewritten compared to the original. There’s a high chance I might change some things here and there. The council’s personas were very spur of the moment and I might go back and adjust them a little bit, to make them feel more like real people. But overall I’m pretty happy with how everything turned out. After a bit of a break from this story I’m going back in to fix some things up. I also still need to think of a throughline for the continuation, which I’m hoping to write this November and then post weekly in the new year. But obviously I’m not promising anything about that, because I’m very good at breaking my promises. Either way, I hope you enjoyed this story, I sure did. If you have any feedback or constructive criticism I am very much open to it. I’m only one person and I tend to think what I write to be pretty good because I wrote it, that’s kind of how our brains work, right? It’s the reason why you have someone else proofread your texts since they pick up on mistakes we don’t. Either way, a massive thank you to all of those who read this story, or even just a little bit of it. It means the world to me if I could just entertain even one or two people with the things that bring me so much joy! 

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