The High King Lives

Hear the Writer Roar! Tuesday: How Long Does it Take to Write a Book? July 31, 2012

In this post: My rude awakening, a list of how long it took famous authors to write their books, and please leave me a comment with any surprising revelations you found out on your writing  journey.

Well friends, I’m a dunder head. I seriously thought I could spit out a book in 6 months because I had such a great outline. Well, I spent several hours last night working on my timeline and fixing my outline. I’ve realized my character can’t move from one place to the next in one short chapter. It has taken ten chapters to get my character a third of a way to his goal (for the first book). They’re not really long chapters compared to most but it takes me a looooong time to write them.

It’s been a bit frustrating because I actually started this project about two years ago. The first year I only got about seven chapters and then I threw it all out because the plot was flawed. Thankfully the characters and world building stayed. So my first year basically just yielded the world, characters, and creatures.

It was back in January that I really started hunkering down and making myself write on a regular basis. I finally have a plot that makes sense and I’ve fixed many loop holes. I’m not sure why I thought I could whip up a good book in such short time…especially an inspirational fantasy. Maybe because I read a lot of YA fiction and many of them have a book out every six months. Yeah, well they also have traditional publishers and fans pushing them to write fast. Plus many of the genre hang on the present day fads. They need to write before the fad dies. Also I’ve noticed that certain popular YA authors start out strong but by the third book the plot has become so cheezy I can’t stand it. Also the editing becomes sloppier and sloppier.

I don’t want my books to be like that and I’m not trying to catch a fad. I just want my story told and I hope it’s timeless. Overall, I pray my books will inspire people to seek the TRUE High King. I hope they will want to know someone as wonderful as the High King in my stories and that my Forward will point them to Christ. Hopefully they will realize He is greater than the High King of my stories and beyond what anyone could imagine.

In a way, it’s like Aslan. C.S. Lewis didn’t write an allegory. He said so himself. Aslan is an inspiration but he is indeed fiction. No one should base their theology on Narnia or say Aslan IS Christ. Because he IS NOT. But Aslan reminds me of Christ and then I think of the way Christ is far superior. What a joy to realize that there is a true kingdom similar to those found in stories but oh SO much better……there is a true Lord & King similar to the stories but OH SO much greater!

Moving on… I have the timeline for all three books and I have a detailed outline for book one….less detailed outlines for books 2 and 3. I have names for all three books….simple names…but hey, I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel. I’m finding this writing thing takes a lot of work and time…doh lol.

It takes research to come up with a good map and to figure out how long  journeys take. The first book will only cover 6 months but most likely four years will have passed by the end of the trilogy. I wish I could get this story to people quicker. I love the characters and I love the world. I think it’s neat and I know God inspires me. My greatest inspiration comes from church. As I understand more about the concepts of sin and grace the book comes together better.

I can’t wait to share with you the ruins and secret tunnels of Davar, the mighty Leviathan of Aletheia and it’s sea faring city, the blistering desert of Ebaer, and the icy halls of Keshet. I could go on about the other lands in Emeth but I don’t want to give too much away. That’s a small taste of where the first book will take you. 😉

So I’m not sure when I’ll finish this book but I’m in it for the long haul. Writing is hard work and those of you in the same boat understand that. This didn’t click until I was watching “The Making of The Lord of the Rings”. I saw how long it took Tolkien to write and I thought “How arrogant of me to think I could produce a book worthy of it’s predecessors in such a short time!”

Here is a list of famous authors and how long it took them to write their books 🙂 Enjoy!

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How long did it take C.S. Lewis to write his books?

“Although Lewis originally conceived what would become The Chronicles of Narnia in 1939,[1] he did not finish writing the first book The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe until 1949.” -wiki

All seven books finished by 1956, around seven years since the first book was finished. So the first book took a good bit of time and after that a new book was published each year.

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There are mixed answers on how long it took J.R.R. Tolkien to write The Lord of the Rings. Here is an opinion I found.

“Ask anyone how long it took J.R.R. Tolkien to write The Lord of the Rings and they will probably say something like 11 or 12 years. But is that really the correct answer?

Tolkien began working on the story in late 1937. He completed a semi-final draft of the main narrative in 1948 but by 1950 J.R.R. Tolkien had begun working on the Appendices. He paused his work to make changes to the background material that would be compatible with the published 2nd edition of The Hobbit. When The Lord of the Rings was finally accepted for publication Tolkien made numerous changes on the galley proofs, even rewriting many paragraphs. The final galley proofs were sent to the publisher in 1954 or 1955.

It would thus be more accurate to suggest that it took about 17 years (allowing for some breaks) from start to finish for J.R.R. Tolkien to write The Lord of the Rings.” ~

Xenite.Org (

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How long did it take J.K. Rowling to write the first Harry Potter book? six to seven years. All seven of her books were finished in 17 years. She said the shortest writing time was a year. That’s a long time for fans to wait….wow.
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John Bunyan, author of Pilgrim’s Progress- a classic favorite of mine. It took Mr. Bunyan a year or two to finish the first part. He was also in prison where I presume he had a lot of time to write. He was imprisoned twice for preaching. Some of the best writings have been written in prison……for example parts of the New Testament ;).
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My favorite author, Francine Rivers, has a book every year it seems. She is a special literary genius. I don’t have the vocabulary to write as well as she. Seriously lol.  She has some great tips.
Honestly, I think it all depends on genre. Writing an epic fantasy is a lot different than writing a supernatural romance…..or picture books. Some genres take longer than others. So as I look at my predecessors I don’t feel so guilty that I’m not published. Also I realize this book is like a marriage…it takes commitment. Also it has to come after the most important three in my life: God, my marriage, and parenting. Four if you include family…or I could just say: God, family, writing. but when I say parenting I’m talking about a lot of time parenting…..because of homeschool. Sometimes writing just has to take a back seat.
God bless & remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover
PS: Please leave me some comment love. What have you learned since writing? Any surprises? Did you expect it to be as much work as it is?

Inspirational Wednesday: Sailing without a Map May 30, 2012

Galatians 1:8 KJV
  8But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

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Hello dear ones :). I pray you’re having a beautiful Wednesday. Today I come to you with another issue of balance. Often we see two extremes in religion and even in Christian circles. There are those who base their faith on experience alone and the emotions of a spiritual experience. Then there are those who worship their theology as if it is God. I have been on both sides and  I praise God for constantly bringing me back to His truth and balance. C.S. Lewis describes it like this:

“Now theology is like the map. Merely learning and thinking about the Christian doctrines, if you stop there, is less real and exciting than the sort of thing my friend got in the desert. Doctrines are not God; they are only a kind of map. But that map is based on the experiences of hundreds of people who were really in touch with God– experiences compared with which any thrills or pious feelings you and I are likely to get on our own are very elementary and very confused. And secondly, if you want to get any further, you must use the map. You see, what happened to that man in the desert may have been real, and was certainly exciting, but nothing comes of it. It leads nowhere. There is nothing to do about it. In fact, that is just why a vague religion– all about feeling God in nature, and so on — is attractive. It is all thrills and no work: like watching the waves from the beach. But you will never get to Newfoundland by studying the Atlantic that way, and you will not get eternal life by simply feeling the presence of God in flowers or music. Neither will you get anywhere by looking at maps without going to sea. Nor will you be very safe if you go to sea without a map.”

~ C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity)

God bless and Remember The High King Lives!~Amber Dover


Inspirational Wednesday: Scared of the deep? May 16, 2012

Romans 7:21 KJV
21I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.

Last night was somewhat magical….maybe I should say spiritual so you don’t take me wrong. It was a rough night at first and once again I found myself failing in some way. But once again God the Father reached out to me despite my failure. Fireflies lit up our back yard….something rare in our part of town. Michael and I, sat on the trampoline and watched the “little flashlights” as Michael called them. We both thanked God for reminding us of  His love. We needed a firefly night.

I find that no matter how hard I try to do good there is this war inside of me, a force pushing me towards ruin. I am not alone in this struggle. Even the Apostle Paul, the writer of most of the New Testament, dealt with this hardship. I also find that in my quest to know God the Father in a deeper way I often run in the other direction. My spirit longs to truly abide with the Lord but that other part of me is scared to go too deep. C.S. Lewis and Darien B. Cooper explain this phenomenon better than I. Praise God that one day I will lose myself in the ocean of God’s presence and never dabble on the surface again. It seems I will be in Heaven when that happens but I pray to get even a glimpse of what that can be like.

Romans 7:24-25a

24O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?    25I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord….

(Pic of Chris and Michael at the beach- above)

Quote from pg 51 of a woman’s devotional (by Darien Cooper) inside “Hinds’ Feet on High Places” by Hannah Hurnard

Sometimes we have difficulty coming to our Father because of an imperfect relationship with our earthly Father or others. We are not sure of His heart toward us. However, we need never be hesitant or fearful to come honestly and vulnerably to our Lord, revealing every minute detail of our beings.

Quotes from “A Slip of the Tongue” (The Weight of Glory) by C.S. Lewis

“This is my endlessly recurrent temptation: to go down to that Sea (I think St. John of the Cross called God a sea) and there neither dive nor swim nor float, but only dabble and splash, careful not to get out of my depth and holding on to the lifeline which connects me with my things temporal.

“For it is not so much of our time and so much of our attention that God demands; it is not even all our time and all our attention; it is ourselves. For each of us the Baptist’s words are true . ‘He must increase and I decrease.’ He will be infinitely merciful to our repeated failures; I know no promise that He will accept a deliberate compromise. For He has, in the last resort, nothing to give us but Himself: and He can give that only insofar as our self-affirming will retires and makes room for Him in our souls. Let us make up our minds to it; there will be nothing ‘of our own’ left over to live on, no ‘ordinary’ life. I do not mean that each of us will necessarily be called to be a martyr or even an ascetic. That’s as may be. For some (nobody knows which) the Christian life will include many a leisure, many occupations we naturally like. But these will be received from God’s hands. In a perfect Christian they would be as much part of his ‘religion’, his ‘service’, as his hardest duties, and his feasts would be as Christian as his fasts. What cannot be admitted– what must exist only as an undefeated but daily resisted enemy– is the idea of something that is ‘our own’. some area in which we are to be ‘out of school’, on which God has no claim.

For He claims all, because He is love and must bless. He cannot bless us unless He has us. When we try to keep within us an area that is our own, we try to keep an area of death. Therefore in love, He claims all. There’s no bargaining with Him.”

“Law, in his terrible, cool voice, said,… ‘If you have not chosen the Kingdom of God, it will make in the end no difference what you have chosen instead.’ Those are hard words to take. Will it really make no difference whether it was women or patriotism, cocaine or art, whisky or a seat in the Cabinet, money or science? Well, surely no difference that matters. We shall have missed the end for which we are formed and rejected the only thing that satisfies. Does it matter to a man dying in the desert by which choice of route he missed the only well?

 It is a remarkable fact that on this subject Heaven and Hell speak with one voice. The tempter tells me, ‘Take care. Think how much this good resolve, the acceptance of this Grace, is going to cost.’ But our Lord equally tells us to count the cost. Even in human affairs great importance is attached to the agreement of those whose testimony hardly ever agrees. Here, more. Between them it would seem to be pretty clear that paddling (near the shore) is of little consequence. What matters, what Heaven desires and Hell fears, is precisely that further step, out of our depth, out of our own control.”

Enjoy the video 🙂 God bless & Remember The High King Lives!~Amber Dover

Restless by Audrey Assad

Peaceful playlist:

songs by Anne Walsh: Jesus, Lover of my Soul & Children of the Heavenly Father

Audrey Assad- Restless

songs by Kari Jobe- Love came Down, My Beloved, & Revelation Song

Leigh Nash (former lead singer of Sixpence None the Richer)- Out of my bondage, Be still my soul, & Give Myself to You

Travis Cottrell- Jesus, I am Resting resting, How deep the Father’s Love, & Come Ye sinners poor and Needy

Fernando Ortega- Great is Thy Faithfulness

Big Daddy Weave- Maker of the Wind

Lordsong- Under His Wings

The Praise Baby Collection (it’s actually really good)- Be Unto Your Name

Most of these you can find on Itunes. You’ll have to find Travis Cottrell on Lifeway under Beth Moore’s stuff