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TSC Production Journal #1: Origins & Early Ideas

Hey, Worldhoppers!

Last week we announced The Seventh Cadence by Jim Wilbourne and we can’t wait to share that story with you. That’s coming on Oct. 8th, 2021. That’s a long way off, so until then, we’d like to share some behind-the-scenes content for the story, starting with what Jim had to say about the novel and the series’s origin.


Jim on the Origins & Early Ideas for The Seventh Cadence

The Seventh Cadence began as an untitled novel I started in high school. I loved to write stories and had written several of them. A few years before, I’d dived head-first into epic fantasy, and I just knew I had to write a book like that.

I only got two chapters in before I bailed.

I’d show you those chapters, but I’ve recently looked at them and they’re awful, just horrendous. It’s buried at the bottom of my abandoned projects trunk, and I don’t plan on letting anyone see it.

Really, there are only a few small elements that carried over from that original opening sequence: a few of the character names and the tone. Otherwise, it’s a completely different beginning to what would have become a much worse story.

King Jeremiah and Prince Gabriel were both named in this original, incomplete draft. Navid existed, but he went by Nathan and had a completely different personality. Captain Alden was also in the story. Alden wasn’t very fleshed out in this draft, and his role in the story was completely different. Prophet Tristan was also named, but, again, very little detail was given on him and his role in the story’s world.

If I’d done any proper worldbuilding for this story, I don’t have a record of it, so very few of my original ideas actually followed me into what I’d consider the real first draft of the novel.

Perhaps I shouldn’t have given up so easily back then, but I went on to focus more on music, and that was very fulfilling. Until I ended up in a dead-end job, trying to find a new outlet for my creativity.

This is where the real first draft came into existence. Ready to finally write the great American epic fantasy, I began once again.

I only got two chapters in before a bailed. Again.

But this time it was different. I wasn’t ready to give up. I knew what my problem was: I had no idea what I was doing. All I had to do was gain the training and experience to turn the book into something I really loved.

Fortunately, my job allowed me to listen to music on headphones while I worked. There wasn’t much interaction with people, so you could work uninterrupted without the use of your ears for hours at a time. That’s when I discovered the Writing Excuses podcast. Writing Excuses lead to other podcasts, books, and courses on the writing craft and the business of writing.

I treated learning how to write a novel like I was taking on a new major in college. I took my time and listened and learned from the writers I loved. I began reading re-reading the novels I loved most with a different eye, breaking them apart and studying how they worked.

But even after all that, I didn’t know what I didn’t know, and it took a few years of development to learn how to shape the story into something worth reading.


We all have to start somewhere, right? We’re so happy Jim didn’t give up on this story the second time around because we absolutely love it, and the world will most definitely be a better place with it here.

Jim Wilbourne’s debut epic fantasy novel, THE SEVENTH CADENCE, releases October 8, 2021. You can follow him on Facebook and Instagram to keep track of his writing adventures.


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