Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Joker and the Thief

So, I used to have several more posts on this blog. But that's changed since I've actually finished the third draft of my novel. I decided to delete the other posts and re-post with new information, updated backstory, and an overall introduction into the world I'm trying to create. Up there, the title, that's actually the name of the first chapter of the novel. Hopefully someone gets the reference, because that reference is the crux of theme for most of the story. I say story, because one novel simply cannot hold all of the story that I want to tell. It's impossible for a writer like me to do it. I'm not sure exactly why, but somehow I always end up with a long piece whenever I write. The finished third draft of the novel is around 300 pages. It's either a curse or a gift, and I'm leaning towards the former.

So, let me introduce you to this story I can't stop writing about. I've had this idea for a character, this quasi-imaginary friend in my head for as long as I can remember. Literally, I have no recollection of a time when I wasn't thinking about the Magna Beast and his adventures. That's the title of the main character of this story, the Magna Beast. It's only a formal title though, sort've like Doctor, or Professor. The protagonist's name is Briok Cwartel. I developed that name from a few short stories I had to write in 4th grade. Every Wednesday, or Tuesday I'm not exactly sure, my 4th grade teacher had the class write a short story using a list of vocabulary words. I created this character called Briok, who would have various adventures, and he was a recurring character over the course of 4th grade. I guess I've developed an affection for the name. Plus, it's the name of a Saint - total coincidence.

So this character, Briok Cwartel, is the Magna Beast. Being the Magna Beast entails a whole host of duties, including leading a race of aliens called the Mags, being a Prophet as well as King to them, and murder. The last part is the driving force for the plot of the story. The Magna Beast must murder the Howlamega. This latter character is another formal title. The name of the Howlamega is Kilik Qwarren. This person performs the same essential, basic duties of the Magna Beast. He - or she - is the leader of a race of aliens called the Howlas, Prophet of these people, and is also responsible for murder. He must murder the Magna Beast. The reason why I say must is because, for both the Magna Beast and Howlamega, the murder of each other is a holy mandate, a duty placed upon them by their Gods, or who they think is God.

These Gods, Tov and Yfel, are supposed to represent true, impersonal, raw embodiments of Good and Evil. You can probably see where their names came from. Briok and Kilik are only the 26th and 25th Magna Beast and Howlamega, respectively. The first Magna Beast and Howlamega were "told" that their duty was to kill each other by Tov and Yfel. I put "told" in quotation marks because when dealing with religion, there is always ambiguity as to whether or not the Prophets were actually told anything by God. Thus, this mandate - or decision - has been carried down for 26 generations, in Briok's case, and 25, in Kilik's case.

After much exposition, the essential plot element of the story is set up. Briok must kill Kilik. But, to add to the plot, there are only 26 generations of Magna Beasts and Howlamegas. So, Briok is at an extreme disadvantage. He is the last Magna Beast, and Kilik is the second to last Howlamega. That's a problem, because even if Briok manages to kill Kilik, he will still have to kill Kilik's son, or daughter.

Crazy thing is, killing isn't easy. It's very, very hard. Save for the few people with actual biological and psychological disorders, but that's way above my level of patience to research. Therefore, an essential character element is whether or not Briok can kill at all. Whether or not he's capable. Anyways, that's the main driving force of the entire story, looking at things in the big picture. Speaking of big picture, I think a rundown of the current, working, names for each novel and volume should be put down so I can better relate my story.

Basically, every novel will fall under the umbrella of The Magna Beast Chronicles. There will be three volumes to the Chronicles. Volume 1: The Proxy Wars, Volume 2: Qasida, and Volume 3: that title isn't worked out yet. :/ Each volume will consist of a certain number of books. Volume 1 will have four books: Book 1: Dramatis Personae, Book 2: Rising Action, Book 3: Climax, and Book 4: Denouement. Volume 2 will have three books, Book 1: Nasib, Book 2: Rahil, and Book 3: Ritha. Volume 3's books still haven't been worked out yet, and honestly it seems a long ways away to give any concrete details on it.

I feel like I should end it here, it's already overly long. I'll try and update this as much as possible. Until next time then.


  1. Anonymous7:01 PM

    awesome keep writing

  2. A little backstory for myself: I'm in a very similar situation to yourself it appears; I'm almost twenty with a finished manuscript of a novel and going through the editing (and editing again, and again, and again) with the second novel in process... so if I ask a lot of semi-weird questions about your methodology, that's why. Like, for example, when did you finish your first draft?

    And what's wrong with a lengthy story, anyways? Mine is 326 in the first draft, 415 in the second, probably 500 when I'm done with the third. If you're creating a fantasy world, it's implied that it's supposed to be kind of lengthy. I mean, imagining the most relevant fantasy author (Tolkien; yes, there are other popular and famous fantasy/sci-fi authors but I consider Tolkien the most relevant since he kind of inspired everyone else...) doesn't conjure up images of puny books (unless you count things like Roverandom)... so I'd say there's no problem with writing a lot, considering your genre. It comes with the territory. And as long as you are making every word count and contribute to the feeling of the novel, there's no problem. Also, it's very cool that you've been writing/thinking about this story for so long... it's like it's a part of you, then.

    Random clarifying questions: do both the Howlas and Mags inhabit the same planet? Is it it earth or another planet? And what is Briok a saint of?

    Basically though, it sounds like a really good plot. :) I'm pretty interested in where you take this whole thing, but mostly I'm wanting to know MORE details about the plot, like the specifics of each book and volume, what you kind of have in mind for Volume 3, that kind of thing. Like, does the murder of Kilik and his child (why don't we know the gender?) span the WHOLE series or just the first volume, etc, etc. I'm also pretty interested in the fact that you want to focus more (it appears) on the emotional turmoil of the main character than, say, plot twists and explosions and so on. It's really nice to see fantasy/sci-fi works leaning more towards character development and that kind of thing.

    Sorry for the longest comments in the history of ever, but, well, that's kind of my style. :)

  3. Thanks for the comment Italy, I appreciate it.

    There's a few questions in here I'd like to dedicate a post to, so you'll be getting your answers hopefully Monday night when my next post is. I'm taking a break this week because of school.

    But I'll answer a couple here: I finished my first draft of the novel when I was fifteen, but it was only 150 pages, and it was terrible. Then again, most first drafts are right?

    The Mags and the Howlas come from a planet they destroyed. It was called Meliosa, and collectively Mags and Howlas are Melisosians, although they still identify as separate species. (Think about it this way: If apes became sentient, they'd still be a different species. But if they traveled to another planet, they'd still be called Earthlings.)

    And Briok the character isn't a saint. Sorry about the confusion! I was just making an off-hand comment that the name Briok is also the name of a saint. It was a total coincidence, and I thought it was funny.

    Thanks for the comment Italy! Keep them coming, they're brilliant!

    PS, I hope your manuscript gets published soon!

  4. I told myself I wasn't going to come back here because I have homework and a test to study for but I just wanted to clear something up, since apparently I was a little vague...

    I didn't mean to imply that Briok, your character, was a saint. I was asking for more information about St. Briok, the person. :) I did the Catholic school thing for a few years (though apparently I ask too many questions for an organized religion such as Roman Catholicism) and I can't remember a St. Briok, and my religion teacher was very into the saints. And, here, I don’t mean to imply that I don’t believe you; I’m more surprised with myself that I didn’t make the connection off the bat and I’m interested to see what kind of knowledge you can provide to me.

    Since I'm here, I suppose I'll comment on the other things you said as well.
    1) First off, yay school. Are you in midterm season or something already?
    2) Second, wow, that's an early age to finish a novel, even a short one of 150 pages. At that age my novel was just starting to form (though I would put it on the back burner for two or so years) and the longest story I'd ever finished was like eight pages. And yes, it was good that it was terrible. I would expect nothing less. I hope you kept those first drafts though; they're pretty fun to skim back through later, when your novel is so much more mature and handsome.
    3) Third, thanks for explaining the Mags and the Howlas. That makes a lot more sense. I also liked your little explanatory analogy about the apes :). So just to be clear: the Mags and the Howlas lived on this one planet, which they destroyed, then colonized another planet where they both still live and where the story takes place? OR did they both live on the planet, destroy the planet, inhabit two new planets but still harass each other across space and the story takes place on the planet the Mags inhabit?

    P.S., since I just noticed your P.S: Thanks. :) I guess we'll be in a competition, ha ha. We'll get to see who can fumble through this process with the most hastily with the most accuracy. My goal is to have my book in print by the time I'm twenty-five (which is a long time from now, but I'm allotting for the time it'll take me to edit the story to satisfaction, find an agent who will find a publisher, and from the time of acceptance to publication is a year or two...) with the other four books in various states of completion...

    P.P.S. Okay, I promise, next comments are going to be shorter and have less random information about myself. Procrastination is making me write way more than necessary in these comments. :)

  5. I would never, for the life of me, ever discourage you from commenting. Your comments help me focus the story in my own head, and I love that someone else is interested in this story!

    On to answering the questions you brought up, here's the wikipedia entry where I learned that Briok was a saint:

    ok, so the website won't let me cut and paste. If you type saint briok into Google, the polish wikipedia page will give you all the information. You'll have to translate it first, but that's where I got my stuff.

    Also, the Mags and Howlas are both on Earth. At least the ones involved in the story of The Proxy Wars: Dramatis Personae. Of course, in the universe I'm trying to create, there are many habitable planets. So, Mags and Howlas could potentially live on other planets, but their adopted homelands are on Earth. The Mags hide in Atlantis and the Howlas own what was once North and South America.

    I'll make a post about it, because the history's a little too large to put up here. Thanks for your insight!

    And yes, we will be competing, but I do hope you get published!

  6. That made me smile. :) I have a habit of talking too much... or being too quiet. Though, I suppose that's a problem we all face. I just think it's hilarious that you got your information from a Polish site, like, you took the effort to translate it and everything. And I thought I was bad about googling my characters! (Which is incidentally how I ended up in this corner of the web...) Anyways, thanks for explaining the how and where of the Mags and Howlas, can't wait to learn more about them.

    I really hope you get published, too! :)

  7. Also, I'm SO sorry about the lengthy comments that I'm leaving as of late. I don't normally have this much to say! I guess I'm just trying to give your work the attention I always wanted my work to get and all that... next time, promise, shorter comments.