Wow, April seemed to go by fast, didn’t it? At least it did to me. Finishing up my grad school semester, along with keeping up with my work-from-home job, virtual karate lessons and instructing, and everything going on at home really kept me pretty occupied. But now that my semester of school is over, I made up my mind to focus on my current WIP: revising the very first book I ever wrote, The Showstopper. Little did I know fate had other plans for me…in the form of a brand-new WIP that’s been on my mind for the last week. Guess I’m not going to get anything productive done after all, although I suppose that depends on what you call “productive.” I’m certainly writing regularly again, which is an accomplishment in itself, so I guess that’s a victory!
What’s this new WIP, you may ask? Well, I can’t say too much about it right now because honestly I’m still largely working this one out. What I can tell you is that I’d classify it as “high fantasy” or somewhere between that and sci-fi. Maybe a combination of the two genres. Think Lord of the Rings crossed with The Terminator. That’s basically the short version.
You want a little longer description? Okay!
As some of you may know, one of my favorite pastimes is playing Magic: The Gathering (yes, the trading card game. Everyone’s got to have a hobby), and I also enjoy following the game’s storyline, involving different planes of existence, wizards that travel between them, and magic (obviously) of all kinds of inventive varieties. Recently I had an idea I thought could be a decent new storyline and world for the game, but the more I thought about it, the more ideas I got, and I slowly realized, “You know, if I could kind of disassociate this from an established product, it would actually make a pretty cool story!” So that’s what I’ve resolved to do, and I’m about eight pages in so far!
The story takes place in a fantasy world (not sure of a name yet) populated by humans along with other magical beings, like elves, dwarves, goblins, etc. The world was a paradise for many years, but eventually this society committed its greatest mistake: using its technological skills to create artificial intelligence which then rose up against them. The war between machines and “organics” has lasted hundreds of years by the time the actual beginning of the book rolls around, and has devastated much of the world. The handful of survivors hide away in underground bunkers plotting guerrilla attacks against the machines that rule most of the land. Whole races have been made extinct, oceans have been bled dry, and the land rendered uninhabitable by the machines’ weapons, but the remaining organics keep holding on, hoping something will come along that helps them defeat the machines once and for all.
I see this as a multi-POV story, similar to something like The Expanse or Game of Thrones, with different chapters written observing different characters. The main ones I see so far are: a female lead, who’s one of the human survivors and a warrior against the machines, but not super skilled with magic or artifice; her sister, the leader of the survivors who she constantly feels the need to compete with; the MC’s elf boyfriend, a cocky and suave master spy; maybe a dwarf engineer and goblin warrior character; one of the machines, an independent program who runs their military forces; a renegade mage from another world who sees potential in the MC and decides to bring it out by whatever means necessary; and a big bad guy lurking in the shadows, manipulating everyone in his grand design.
So far, I’ve been writing random chapters from the machine perspective because that’s the part of the story I see most clearly right now, and also because I just like a challenge. Writing as a machine is interesting because I have to be careful how I communicate their thought processes: while some of them may be independent, I don’t want them to have emotions or to resemble my non-mechanical characters too much. Even so, it’s fun to play around with their machine society group dynamics and find out how to “push their buttons,” as it were. The machine character in question may be a military commander of sorts, but he’s also the low man on the totem pole in machine society because the other factions present see him only as a tool to be used and don’t include him in planning. To make a long story short, he (I think of the program as a he, but he’s really an it) is first introduced dissenting from a new plan among the machines to wipe out organics, as it puts too much risk on them (in his opinion). Through the following storyline, he comes to suspect there is a conspiracy within the machine society and digs at the inconsistencies he finds until he discovers he and the organics he is programming to kill may be actually victims of the same enemy.
Interested? Would you like to read more of this story? Let me know! I don’t know how long I’ll be able to keep my inspiration train going with this, but I plan on writing until I run out and have to stop and actually maybe outline this thing in a logical way. Either way, I’m dying to know what people think!
The revisions can wait, I suppose. Good ideas don’t come along every day. Onwards and upwards!