ENG 498, Degree Capstone is a required class for my degree program at Arizona State University. For this class we were asked to showcase what we have learned as we worked toward graduation. Since my focus has always been my writing, I have chosen to gear this project towards the process of revising a novel.
Towards the end of my first semester as a returning college student I began writing my current work in progress. To help with the creation of this novel I register for CRW 170, Intro to Writing Fiction. In this class I began the revision process. Over the next three years I continued this process. For my applied project I will be chronicling this process, focusing primarily on the first chapter.
Before words are ever put to page all novels start with an idea. I have always taken an interest in different Asian cultures. For my husbands work he travels back and forth to both Japan and South Korea, bringing home stories and souvenirs. One day in late fall 2012 I sat brainstorming story ideas. My mind kept wandering to the east and a dragon bell my husband had brought back from Seoul. This is when I began thinking of how dragons were depicted in different cultures. Specifically, I thought about how European tales depicted dragons as beast that burned villages, yet in Chinese fables they were revered. I asked myself what would happen if these two ideologies clashed as cultures so often do. Quickly a story formed. Two months later I had completed a rough draft of Empire of Ash and Bone, the story of an unwanted daughter of the emperor, who finds herself accompanied by a dragon on a journey to the land of dragon hunters.