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On October 17th, 2004, on a whim with a barely formed idea, I drew the first picture that related to the world of Forest. I never imagined, and never would have dreamed, that 9 years later these simple ideas would have grown into an entire world; that I would be working every day to perfect the 500+ page novel that was never meant to be more than a short story; that it would be one of the most important things in my life.
It was just supposed to be a short story. A simple thing for fun that my friends and I could read together and get a kick out of. That was after Halloween of 9th grade when, after seeing all my friends together again for the first time since our middle school had closed down, I realized that I wanted to create something to connect us all together. I wanted to make something that showcased our friendship. I wanted to write about us.
And then my “short story” idea turned into a 567 page novel.
A couple weeks before Halloween ’04, I had toyed with an idea: each of us having magical weapons. That was October 17th, 2004. And since I don’t know the date that I officially started to write the actual story, that, to me, is the 9 year anniversary of the Forest.
Here’s the drawing that sparked everything:
Lots of things depicted above have changed since then. But the original intentions of the writing have not. I’ve been trying to keep the spirit of the first draft intact while I do these edits and re-writes, and that, to me, means staying accurate to the real people while delving deeper and more realistically into the world and the fictional characters.
Nine years later, here’s what’s changed from the drawing above. (Drawn on September 13th, 2012):
This book is like a time capsule of my life and friendships from 9 years ago. We’ve all grown and changed, but when I work on Forest it’s like stepping into a time machine. It’s only with this foundation that the world of the Forest could have ever come to exist.
I’m currently on page 549 out of 567. The end hasn’t been touched in years so it needs a lot of work, but I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished so far and confident that I can make this book worthy of its 10 year anniversary next year.
Wish me luck.