|so, as the name of the domain alden.nu implies, the world for my first (and most my currently planned, though not all) fantasy novel is alden, but alden didn't start off as a novel world. it was actually my gaming world. at the time, i wasn't writing. in high school and beyond, i'd gotten a lot of discouragement, and instead of letting that fuel my "i'll show you" fire, i gave up. stupid, i know, but like most teenagers, i was pretty stupid despite a decent i.q. and a college reading level in junior high. however, about the time i was feeling beaten down about my writing, i was introduced to gaming, and that ended up being my writing outlet (because i've never been able to NOT write). alden didn't get developed until quite a few years into it, but once i started developing it, i really got into it and really dug into the world building.
honestly, a lot of what i've learned about writing generally and world building specifically came from those days of creating my gaming world and the games to play in it. nothing will teach you about details the way a bunch of gamers who NEED those details to figure out what they're doing.
later, i developed a history for the world and story lines that eventually became novels. i actually created a timeline...well, a couple of them: the real timeline and the "faked" timeline that the political powers that be pushed as the truth. and as the story ideas for the novels came to be, they were added to the real timeline where they would occur. at some point, a lot of this ended up in a wiki on alden.nu (the wiki no longer exists).
then alden.nu was "lost". the owner of the company hosting it didn't pay his fees--something about an accident and hospitalization...possibly (the truth of it never came out, and while i'm inclined to give someone who hosted my site with no problems for years--and to this day was one of my favorite hosts until the end--the benefit of the doubt, some kind of apology, explanation, something would have been nice and was never forthcoming)--and the hosting was shut down and all sites pulled down. now i've always backed up my sites, but the wiki was a database thing, and everything went down so fast (apparently everything went back up briefly on a day when i wasn't home, so some people got their stuff, others like me were s.o.l.), that i didn't have a current copy of the site. at the time, i wasn't too worried. because of a previous machine that needed reformatting every 3-4 months, i tended to have stuff in triplicate.
or so i thought.
go forward a move across the country, ten years in toxic house where we stopped gaming and i became seriously sick and we went through at least 3 machines (one dated replaced, at least 2 replaced because they tanked), a grand daughter who decided my maps were meant to be colored...in black marker, 2 moves in the space of 3 months, a crap load of stuff in storage, and a whole stack of stuff, including those timelines, that had disappeared. even going through the piles of data i saved on the external hard drive didn't dig them up (did find all my site fights stuff and graphics!). and while that drive may not be the most organized, all my writing related stuff was in one folder. a messy folder, but my searching has been pretty methodical.
so i figured i'd have to rewrite the whole mess. the timelines in particular were a loss that i was so not looking forward to trying to redevelop. and there was no way it could be created the way it was. heck, with my anemia and swiss cheese memory, there's no way i'd get even close to the original work. plus, i'd made some changes to the way time was told on alden to simplify it, so i not only needed to work up the original history, but i also had to adjust it according to the new way of telling time.
yea, not happening. i couldn't even wrap my brain around the project, much less give it a go. i guess one of the positive things about assassin's not getting picked up is that there's no pressure to get the timeline refigured and written down again. and i've always had a pretty good idea of when the various books happen in relation to each other (this story happens before that one, but this other one happens after, but not much more specific than that). so while i've been upset at their loss, and occasionally considered developing them again, i've let it go as currently unnecessary. i figured i'd get there when i needed to.
we're currently trying to clear out the storage space, mostly to save the $70-100 per month (depending on how late the payment is). we're doing this very slowly because it means needing to find space in our apartment, and even though we don't have a lot of furniture, we don't have a lot of room. so a few boxes come in, get gone through, tons of stuff gets tossed, and the rest gets reboxed in cleaner, sturdier boxes and tucked in whatever space we can find for them.
considering all my gaming books have long since been given to my oldest, the last thing i expected to find was any gaming stuff. but in the boxes hubs brought in today there were binders of gaming stuff. most of it was pretty useless adventure planning. there were a few characters (and strangely enough, we may not be playing, but we've been keeping our characters and dice, go figure), some non-player character and creature and treasure info specific to alden, and...
my timelines. all of them. in triplicate.
there were some other things that i'm soooo happy to see again, but the timelines are the biggest treasure. i do have to retype them up so they're back on the laptop and backed up in my dropbox, but i don't have to redevelop them from scratch. i can retype them then work out the changes i made in how time is told on alden, rather than having to tackle both at once.
and typing them back up will help me with the current alden book i'm working on (not the sequel to assassin's, another series entirely) because there are some things i sort of vaguely remembered but couldn't remember the specifics on. not having to recreate those details will make my life and writing soooo much easier.
so not only has what was lost been found, but it has been found at the perfect time. and i am very much beyond pleased with that.