The process of creating War for Humanity has been a journey that started in my childhood. As a boy, I had a healthy obsession with reading and cinema, along with an overly active imagination and joy for playing action-adventure games around the family garden. During these times, I drew strands of ideas from various influences and started to create the story and world for my trilogy. Because this was such an ambitious project, I wanted to gain more life experience, read more, develop my skills, and expand my vocabulary before writing. So I set it aside for many years, but occasionally dabbling back in to make additions, whilst focusing on my education and a music career.
I am pleased that I made this decision. If I had written the trilogy in my teens, I highly doubt it would have been as well written, nor had the visceral and intellectual depth. I kept the majority of the plot points, but either had to reinforce certain elements with an explanation or simply had to edit out parts because they proved illogical. This was one of the fundamental lessons I had to learn whilst writing and during the editing stage – not becoming too attached to what you have written. Separating away from the ego to refine the manuscript.
Other than intending to create a gripping, epic story, I wanted to make it multi-layered by adding social commentary, universal themes and discussing personal development. Some of the great science fiction stories envisage a situation that is a metaphor for our current circumstances, or a foreshadowing of what could become. I am simply standing on the shoulders of giants. So the trilogy discusses many pressing issues of our times. As is the case with most writers – many of the characters embody certain aspects of my own personality or experiences. I also included a few post-modern elements to make the story a critique of stories and how we perceive and document events. All to create something that can have broad appeal.
So what would I advise any budding writer? Don’t rush things. Take your time. Let the ideas simmer in the back of your mind. Immerse yourself in life. And when you do sit down to write it, trust the process instead of being weighed down by expectation. Embrace the chaos of the editing stage, because that is where you strengthen the manuscript. And by overcoming all the self-doubt and persevering with a story you believe the world needs to read, you will have made an incredible achievement. Hopefully making something that other people will enjoy reading as much as you have loved writing it.
A.R. Lerwill is a first-time self-published author. He lives in London, England. You can find out more about his books and contact him via his website – www.arlerwill.com