Story Writing Status
I more or less finished the second draft. I say more or less because there are a lot of scenes in the second draft which consist of “come up with something better and rewrite later”. LOL! I printed out all 70 pages of the second draft and am now going through it, correcting dialog, and taking notes for when I start writing the much longer third draft.
In addition to fixing things I’ve learned during my continued research (more on that below), I am adding a considerable amount of new scenes to every chapter. So far there are eight chapters plus a prologue and an epilogue. When I write the third draft, because the chapters will be so much longer with all of the new scenes, I may be dividing them up into around sixteen chapters plus the prologue and epilogue. I’ll figure that out for sure once I get started writing the third draft or I may wait until the fourth draft to think more about chapter division.
The new scenes not only add more action but also are character building. When I thought about what the overall theme of what the novel should be, it’s the evolution of Shelby Bly as a character from a sheltered girl to an adventurous woman. So now there are more scenes showcasing her origins and evolution. I also added more action since some of the locations were a little bare-bones in regards to obstacles for Shelby (and others) to overcome.
Research and Reference
First off, I want to again thank my friend Angelika for her help with my research for the chapter taking place in and near Germany plus with every German word I come across and can’t figure out myself (like the word “Reichsarbeitsgemeinschaft“). 🙂 Also thank you to Denise LC for proofreading the new Intro and making me feel much better about it.
I’ve also been further researching Vril (and fell down the rabbit hole of New Age crap but found my way back out). The concept of Vril comes from a nineteenth century novel called The Coming Race by Edward Bulwer-Lytton which can be read online for free here. After my research I decided to take several creative liberties with the source material including changing it from a difficult to describe form of matter to a crystalline form for ease of storytelling. I’ll also be taking many creative liberties when it comes to the Vril-ya people. I want my story to be my story and as original as possible. I just needed something that was “real world” rather than making up the MacGuffin completely.
I also did further research into the locations that Shelby will be visiting. I made a mistake with my first draft and confused the Aztec with the Maya (a common mistake, actually). While researching Stonehenge, I found out about a lesser-known and more interesting site called Avebury so now Shelby will be going there instead. Ultimately, I will do what is best for the story but if I can make certain elements “real” then that will help with the readers being able to connect with and make sense of the novel.
Concept Art Creation
I’ve updated the concept renders of every character currently in the Concept Art gallery plus added a new character and the first object concept. I will be adding more object, symbol, location, and a few more character concepts soon. I may be adding a “spoiler section” to the concept art page for concepts that could be considered spoilers for the novel. That way only those who choose to be spoiled will see those particular concepts.
Every character has been updated with new renders plus I altered the way the character concept pages are presented. I finally added character synopsis to a handful of the characters (Shelby Bly, Joel Rio, Maia Avanti, Robert Bly, and Rita Nimway) and will be writing and adding synopsis to the rest of the characters soon. There is also a brand new character in the gallery, Dr. David Kingsley.
The new object concept is of the most important object in the novel, Vril. Specifically, I have added a concept render of Vril crystals. It is the Vril which everyone is after in the novel. You can find out a bit more about that on the new Intro page.
I’ll be adding more objects and location concepts soon. I also have some more characters to make which I’m still deciding whether or not I will post. If I do post them, I will set up a “spoiler” section on the Concept Art page so that only those willing to let the novel be spoiled for them be able to see these particular concepts. The biggest spoiler concept characters I can think of would be the Vril-ya… that is, if they exist!
To generate more interest/support for the project and to give people (including myself) a better idea of what I am capable of, I have come up with the idea of doing a short one-shot comic that is based in the Shelby Bly Project universe. It will just be a few pages, free to view, and will not feature any story spoilers for the main novel. I am still brainstorming about what to write for this short-story one-shot comic but I am working on it. I hope to have this ready to illustrate by this December if not before then. I will keep you updated on its progress.
Once I finalize the characters for the novel, I will be making a set of trading card ACEOs. Each character will have its own 2.5″x3.5″ trading card that is fully illustrated front and back. These will be given out to supporters and also be available for sale as individual cards and as a full set.
I need to increase the amount of interest (and financial support) for this project if it is to continue. Actually, the only way it won’t continue is if I die suddenly but I still need help to get it done in a timely manner. If you would like to help, I have a Donations page setup.
The biggest, most important update to the site is that the Introduction page is now live with a proper story intro for the upcoming novel. I also added several character synopsis to five of the character concepts on the Concept Art page.
I have started a new Tumblr blog just for the Shelby Bly Project. It can be found by clicking here.