For more than four years, Shadows of Darkness has gone through multiple phases of drafts, edits, and rewrites all of which have shaped and brought this story to this point. This end time apocalyptic thriller takes a more character and personal approach to mainly show someone's journey through such a dark era. I am truly excited to share this journey with everyone through the eyes of James Janis and a few other characters that work into his story line.
Today, I am reveling some of the details showing the backstory of Shadows of Darkness and the origins of the upcoming novel. A journey that has been an interesting path, from the original sketching board to completing an actual novel that will be available later this summer.
It all began in June of 2015, where both my brother and I were binge watching every single end time movie that had been released. During the same time, we most of the popular end time novel series or collections in the Christian market. We had an interest in the end time genre where we began talking about them a lot, as well as offering personal reviews to each other. Soon, our dad offered a mild suggestion that the two of us should try to write an end time movie of our own. So yes, the first draft of Shadows of Darkness was originally going to be a movie script that containing three different story lines of characters going through the tribulation. The final result was less than satisfying to the two of us to say the least. A majority of the characters were flat and had plots that had been seen multiple times in an end times story. This is where both my brother and I were trying to come up with a more unique plot for this script. By the time late August came around, I had to begin my college life where the script was tossed aside to rest for a little while.
After a year of college, I decided to re-write the movie script to meet up with what I had learned about storytelling and character development throughout the months. Unfortunately, my brother's schedule became really busy with preparing for college applications and schoolwork where he was unable to continue with the script from that point. Not willing to give up on what the two of us had started, I decided to continue forward to try and bring the script to the big screens. That summer, I completed a two hour feature length script of Shadows of Darkness as well as did enough work to write a sequel in the same format. It felt like a real accomplishment to finish a couple of movie scripts under the Shadows of Darkness name. Once my second year of school began, I decided to wait until the next year before performing final edits and possibly send the first script off to movie developers.
FALL 2016 - 2018:
A lot had happened with Shadows of Darkness within the past couple of years. Multiple edits and rewrites were performed to make the story meet higher standards. After which I realized that my script would realistically never make it to theaters. The story required a budget of 150 to 200 millions dollars which would have been impossible to convince any director to accept. This is when I did some research into novel writing and discovered that I could easily get my novel published. After a bit of praying and thinking, I decided to forfeit the script format and transition to novel writing.
2018 - 2019:
Before the writing process, I re-read my script for Shadows of Darkness and discovered some issues with the main character's motivations as well as the plot holes that needed to be addressed. The main character had been given a extremely cliche journey which did not work for the story. I will go into more details about some of these issues in the future.
Up to this point, I had read multiple novels an carefully watched movies to learn how to create a more compelling main character. I went into these novels and films with a different mindset, almost as if I was a story critique. After a few months, in-between all of my schoolwork, I had learned a lot about storytelling and was determined to continue studying the art of story crafting. Even with all of this studying, I still was struggling to find the perfect motivation and arc for my main character. For many, storytelling is an art, one of which should require time and dedication to create. That is when I saw my own personal life and struggles throughout my college years and decided to takes some of those ideas and re-create the main character. I decided to put some of my own personal traits, strengths and weaknesses into the character in order to make James Janis a better character.
This gave the story more excitement to write for myself, given that I went in with the minds set that I was in a ways going through what James is going through during a dark era. So in between classes as well as the weekends, I wrote as many words as I could trying to complete the novel. Unlike writing a script, novel word counts can be as lengthy as 70,000 - 120,000 words, which was a struggle for me at first. This seemed like such an unreachable milestone in order to complete my story. After a long span of prayer, God gave me the strength and will to continue on and complete the first draft of Shadows of Darkness.
Near the conclusion of the summer period, I had finally typed the final period in the manuscript and thus completing the first draft of my novel. This marked an accomplishment that I never dreamed of, which felt satisfying. This story first began as a movie script and almost was tossed aside a few times to be forgotten, which is now close to getting a novel release. For me, publishing Shadows of Darkness is enough for me, marking a milestone in my writing life that never seemed possible. Thanks to the suggestion from my dad that sparked this four year journey as well as a few ideas from my joint work with my brother. All of this helped me come to point with my debut novel. After that point, began the long process of editing and re-editing.
THE RELEASE OF SHADOWS of DARKNESS:
As the release of Shadows of Darkness approaches, I will be posting more blogs on my author site revealing additional details surrounding the novel. All of which will include blogs more behind the scenes stories and the release date and additional content that I am working on that have to do with the novel.
Next week, I have a special announcement in regards to my novel's cover design. I will be posting on my author site and social media when the time comes. What I have planned for next week is something I have been waiting to release for a long time. You would not want to miss what I will be announcing!!
I am really pleased with the final product and cannot wait to share it with everyone.
Jonah S. White