As you can probably tell, updates are still sparse at this point. It’s only taking me, what, a year to finalise the second Realmgard story? Since the actual stories are coming along slowly (that’s what you get for using your Mom as your editor), I figured I’d try something new and offer some insight into how Fryte’s Gold developed into its final version. Which, incidentally, can be found for purchase on Amazon:
The earliest vision for what eventually became Realmgard and the characters that eventually became the Sisters Darkstone goes back about seven years, when I decided to start writing a funny Fantasy story. From the very beginning, one of the main characters was a pirate. This is, of course, the character that eventually became Dunstana, though in these earliest versions, he was an adult male. In this version, Kat was his twin sister and was essentially the same character that she is the final version.
As writing these versions of the story progressed, I eventually decided to experiment with making the pirate character female. I thought it would be an interesting play on the archetype of the boastful, hot-blooded pirate captain to apply that character to a woman. As a result of this change, I also changed Kat’s character into a man, as I had always intended the two Darkstone twins to be opposite-gendered. Because of this, the two twins were a belligerent, masculine sister and a level-headed, feminine brother. This didn’t last long, as I continued playing around with the characters.
Ultimately, this led to the recognisable Dunstana Darkstone, as I decided as the logical end point of my previous playing around with the pirate captain character was to make her a little girl, but one who had still somehow managed to have a successful pirate career. The whole point of Dunstana’s character was to have her live as a bonafide pirate, while the fact that she is ten years old passing without comment from most of the rest of the characters. Realmgard is a weird place like that, I guess.
As Dunstana became a little girl, the character who had previously been her twin brother, and had originally been a fairly recognisable version of Kat, became her older brother. For the first several drafts of Fryte’s Gold, the character was known as Kade Darkstone. As I continued along with the drafts of the story, I decided to make the older brother into an older sister, as I decided that I liked the character dynamic between two sisters more. At this point, the Kat character essentially came full circle, returning more or less to the character she had been in the very earliest versions of the story, but now having a bewildering little sister rather than a bewildering twin brother.
It was around the second or third draft of Fryte’s Gold that I finalised all this and the Sisters Darkstone became the characters you’d recognise in the published version. The subsequent, oh, seventy-seven or so drafts were focused on fine-tuning their characters. Dunstana gradually became more capable of solving her own problems and not constantly requiring Kat to save her, and, in fact, came to save Kat on several occasions. Similarly, the fact that Kat is genuinely loving and protective of her sister, rather than annoyed all the time, became more and obvious.
After all that, it was just a matter of sitting on the manuscript of the finished story for another couple years as I had school to deal with and I started looking for the best way to publish it. Ultimately, the best form of publishing turned out to be “self”, and Fryte’s Gold found its way onto Amazon.