HOTE Worldbuilding: Getting Organized

If you follow my site via RSS, your reader app may have exploded yesterday with fourteen new posts. Sorry, not sorry! They are all for Heart of the Empire. I decided, rather spur of the moment, to post various notes and other tidbits to the HOTE Compendium in an effort to help myself get organized and continue worldbuilding for this story. For this reason, all of the posts are for members only and they all have spoiler warnings attached to them. I’m open to feedback, discussion, and suggestions from members on this content, but please do take the spoiler warnings seriously. :)

Some of the existing HOTE articles were updated too. For example, the Ardrakin Character Profiles article was renamed and has a number of additional characters listed in it now, even if they don’t have proper profiles yet. That article in particular is very spoiler-heavy at the moment and I will make an effort to tone it down when I get around to making proper profiles later. I also updated the Music article, as I discovered some of the links to YouTube were broken. The HOTE menu overall has been reorganized.

Why did I do this? I wrote before about needing to rebuild HOTE due to problems with the plot. I also wrote before about being a slow writer and wanting to get back to writing actual sentences. It’s high time I got started as far as my original work goes. Part of rebuilding HOTE involves making sure the world this story exists in makes sense and feels like a living, breathing place. I’m also fairly fascinated by “extra” content such as the Lord of the Rings Appendices and books like Klingon for the Galactic Traveler. I enjoy watching movie “making of” featurettes and consuming anything that talks about the thought process that went into creating a fictional world that I enjoy, simply to allow me to better understand that world’s “big picture”. Perhaps it’s overly ambitious of me, but I’d like to have similar kinds of content available for Heart of the Empire too. I don’t necessarily mean thousands and thousands of words of extra content, but enough to help flesh out this universe.

Since I’ve been working on this story in one form or another since I was a teenager (my earliest artwork dates back to 1996), I have a lot of information scattered all over the place. The other day I was unpacking some boxes left over from my move in the summer of 2015 (yes, still things left to unpack!) and discovered a stack of papers from high school, yellowed with age, that have scribblings on them for this story. If it was important enough for me to write down and then haul around from place to place for the last twenty years, I better have a look to make sure there isn’t some jewel of an idea in those papers before I shred them! Additionally, my more recent attempts to tackle HOTE have become spread out over my computer and various backups. I feel a need to organize it all to see what bits still appeal and could be useful, and then properly bin the rest. Putting the bits I want to retain here on the site will, I hope, create one central resource that I can refer to when I eventually begin rewriting the story itself. I hope other people will find it interesting too.

The chapters are still unpublished, and every time I log into the site I see the draft count on the posts page which drives me crazy (I don’t like having drafts sitting there!). Getting to the rewrites is taking longer than I anticipated, so the chapters have been reposted in all their ugly outdatedness. This means they won’t reflect any of the updated notes that are now posted. Before I can tackle rewriting the story itself I have a huge and very detailed synopsis that needs to be cleaned up. That document will not end up on the site (at least not in a form that anyone but me could access).

Getting all my ducks in a row (or at least as many as I need to feel comfortable to proceed) is, for me, an important step toward easing the sense I’ve had that HOTE became too big of a mess to know where to start. So, this is progress!