I have finished a book! Bionicle: Raiders of the Forsaken Archives is a fanfiction based on the LEGO line, Bionicle. As a child, Bionicle had everything I wanted in a story: adventure, flashy magical powers, an in-depth, immersive world, and a buildup of scale and magnitude. Bionicle hit me at the sweet age where nostalgia grabs hold, and the story grew up with me.
You can read Raiders of the Forsaken Archives here on the BZPower forum. BZPower is a place where fans of Bionicle get together and share stories. I am surprised and delighted to see it alive and active after all these years. It goes to show that, if you let it, whatever you love as a child will stay with you into adulthood.
I started writing Raiders around ten years ago, working on it off and on, sometimes going for months only adding a sentence or two. However, once I started this blog, I took it to the grindstone. Though the first draft took ten years, the second draft took only three months, and the line editing, a week. Getting myself in the mindset to write more was one of my original goals for this blog. It is so satisfying to find that my writing incentive has indeed increased tenfold.
Though I wanted Raiders to be a novel, it only ended up with 30,000 words, well under the 40,000 novel threshold. I think, though, that I could have passed the mark if I had written a third draft. After finishing, I wrote a list of problems with the final draft, most egregious of which was doubling the number of characters at the 3/4 mark. Since fanfiction has low expectations, I can leave these problems unfixed. But the list gave me an idea: each time I finish a draft of a book I want to publish, I will write a list of problems, and write another draft to fix all of them.
Raiders was written with a sequel in mind. I don’t know right now whether I will write that sequel, but if I do, I am sure I will have as much fun with it as I did with Raiders.
Someday, I hope sooner rather than later, I will look back on Raiders and wonder how I let something so awful be revealed to the public. Right now, though, I simply feel pride. I like my beginning, I like my ending, and I feel satisfied that I made the middle interesting enough to keep you going through it. And now that I have proved to myself that I can finish a book, I can write my first original novel with the concrete surety that I will finish it.