I decided to go back and take a look at some of my old fan fiction to see how I can use those ideas as springboards into something new and improved. So, I spent the better part of the week writing the background for that concept. I had a sense of the direction I wanted to take with the stories, so I began typing.
Being fanfic, I had to think my way out of copyright infringement. That meant I had to twist some of their settings to fit my stories, much like Terry Brooks did with his Shannara series. My sketch has two different origins—a fantasy launch point, and an urban launch point. (I haven’t decided from which direction I want to start yet, so I want to see which appeals to me most.) It wasn’t long before I had sketched out the bones of each setting.
As I got my thoughts on the screen, I began researching the faerie world. And promptly fell down a rabbit-hole. I looked into the Seelie and Unseelie Courts. I not only found a patron for an adversary, but I also rediscovered an entire playground. Silly me.
While at university, I was able to expand my horizons as a Journalism undergraduate because I had enough elective credits to get a minor degree. I chose instead to gratify my inner creative writer by taking a few classes that would help my career, about half of those credit hours. I also allotted the other half of those hours to satisfying my curiosity about mythology, theories of learning, and different cultures. (SQUIRREL!) Remembering this, I dug out an old book I had from an anthropology class I took, called “Folk Religion.” The textbook that the professor used was an (at the time) out-of-print edition of The Fairies: in tradition and literature, by K.M. Briggs. (The book has since been re-released and is available from various sources on the Internet.) I had the setup for one of the antagonists—Talbot Nairetla. The best part is, Talbot works equally well for both beginnings.
Finally, I needed protagonists to help tell the story. I have a ton of characters waiting to tell me about their adventures. But the first to make themselves known were the twins, Elaina and Eliam Alterian. The “El’s” as they are called by the rest of the family are practically polar opposites.
Eliam, or Eli, is outgoing, yet highly empathetic. He is usually the first to lend a helping hand and comfort his family in times of need. A natural musician, Eliam is quick to provide a verse that is almost always perfect for the occasion. Whether they be supportive or cutting, his ditties get to the heart of a situation. While he loves his twin dearly, her lack of compassion is the one thing he struggles with.
Elaina, or Ela, has limited feelings for people in general. An avid reader, she has knowledge about a variety of subjects—from forestry to gardening, from chemistry to physics. She holds a firm belief that she could survive outside of her native environment. She is very focused on making sure she has everything she needs to survive. Maybe not well, but she would survive, she’s not so sure about her twin. She sees him as somewhat “soft.”
While I intend to continue work on my homebrew D&D campaign, I need information from my players to move forward. (The current world situation has curtailed those efforts for now.) Now, I have a concept sketched out for another series of stories. Whether these tales become short stories or something longer, only time will tell.