Monday, January 18, 2010

Head of Steam

Currently listening to: Silence and Motion from Final Fantasy VIII composed by Nobuo Uematsu

Current word count: 24,000

____



A few days ago I had a great night of inspiration for the story. I figured out a pretty good way to put two of the characters, Laro Sadoleto and Jek Tahng, to great use. While I had planned on employing the Jek character from a very early stage in my thoughts, the Laro character was invented "on-the-fly" as part of chapter 3, Woods of the Wildlands. After considering Laro's purpose at this early stage in the story, I realized that it would be possible to use him later, and decided to do so.

Several days ago, though, I devised a way where the character could experience a significant arc. As it currently stands, I plan on following this track for Laro. Surprisingly, I am very excited about him, especially since his initial function was minor. I cannot wait to see what this character will be able to accomplish for the plot of Ark.

I also invented a new character who is loosely inspired by Monk Gyatso from Avatar: The Last Airbender. This character will not appear for quite some time and will thus remain nameless for now. I am very fascinated and excited by the role he will be able to play in the story.

Currently, I am about 3,000 words into chapter 5, which is tentatively titled The Conclave. Chapter 5 once again resumes the story from Tru's perspective and follows her on her way to the Quorum assembly mentioned in chapter 3: Ghosts of Chimon-Jing. Per the request of one of my closest advisors, we see a lot more of Linus in chapter 5.

Chapter 5 is a real turning-point in Ark, as everything prior to it is aimed at contextualizing the world and characters that we meet. Chapter 5 is where the actions of Dang in chapters 2 and 4 are finally seen in scope, and it is also where the tension expressed by Tru in previous chapters comes to a head. It also features a more prominent role of the politics of the World of Ark and (I hope!) immerses the reader in a more directed cultural context.

We meet two very important characters in chapter 5: Arch Magister Vartega, head of the Magisterial Authority, and Cerinth Merari, former member of Tru's task force and the only survivor of Dang's terrorist attack at Chimon-Jing. Both of these characters have only been alluded to prior to chapter 5, so I am very glad to finally introduce them into the narrative proper.



Progress on the book is slow but steady, as I am also enrolled full-time in graduate school. Fortunately, I think the old proverb "slow and steady wins the race" is very applicable. Since my mind is often busy with a great many things, I very rarely find myself "stagnating" while writing and thinking about Ark. Thus far reviews of the book have been very encouraging, and I hope to maintain my head of steam and continue to deliver a quality story.

As usual, those interested in reading the full manuscript of Ark can visit my page at Scribophile.com.

For now, I should probably return to my history assignment. Thanks for reading!

-D

Chapter 1

Currently listening to: Balamb Garden theme (Orchestral)from Final Fantasy VIII composed by Nobuo Uematsu.

____


I am excited to officially announce my first novel, Ark: A sci-fi/fantasy tale. I conceived of the idea 7 years ago, during my senior year in high school. The tale was initially to be a Star Wars fan-fiction, but after watching the entire series of Avatar: The Last Airbender this summer, I realized that for my story to be taken seriously, I needed to spend the time and effort to construct my own world and mythology, rather than stealing George Lucas.' (Another plus: I don't have to pay royalties to his real-life Empire.)

I thus began in July to work on background-related issues, which I did until October. In late October, I began working on the first draft of the first chapter, which was submitted to Scribophile.com on November 5th. I received numerous encouraging reviews on the chapter (and, most recently, 2nd place in a NaNoWriMo contest) and have been writing like a madman ever since; my current word-count is around 23,000.

I was likewise blessed to have several close friends and family members who were more than willing to read my work and provide continuous critique and support, which has been encouraging and also challenging.

I am thus very excited to say that there has been a stellar amount of support for the book thus far, both from close friends as well as from reviewers on the internet.

I would like to start blogging about my progress on the book, so that interested parties can keep up. At this point in time, I plan to do so via Facebook, as I do not have the money or resources to do anything "official."

This, therefore, is my first step in that effort!


____



I would like to include in this note, for those of you unfamiliar with the project, the Scribophile.com synopsis of the story, which will follow:

Nearly a millennium ago, an unexplained geo-thermal catastrophe called the Tumult brought humanity to the brink of extinction. The few who managed to escape the disaster orbited the World in man-made Arks: drifting, self-sustained space cities.

After eight centuries of extensive terra-forming, the World was once again inhabitable. The descendants of the original survivors began re-populating the World under the banner of a New Humanity: a homogenized society committed to its own survival. This New Humanity was governed by the Magisterial Authority: a council of "gifted" humans with extraordinary physical and mental abilities.

150 years later, the World is safe, but the expanded population and political interests of an evolving culture have once again yielded a society of vying powers.

In the midst of this, Magister Tru Arneau, one of the Authority's most gifted Telepaths, struggles to track down the World's most dangerous fugitive. But years of failure are beginning to erode her tenacious demeanor, and there is the ever-present fear that a second Tumult will once again plunge humanity into darkness.



-D