Monday, March 30, 2015

World of Myth Series: How it all started

Inevitably, this topic is going to come up.  Where did I get the idea?  How did all start?  Might as well answer it now, eh?

The first thing I did when I graduated college in June of 2010 was to take my first two jobless weeks of summer and write a book I'd had in my head for a good three years.  This would be my first book, one to complete my childhood dream of writing a novel, and I wrote from morning until dusk, pounding out a near 100k word book I called "A Lack of Planning."  It was mediocre at best, aptly named, and understandably, none of the queries I sent out to agents received a response over the next couple of months.

I wasn't all that concerned, though.  Just your standard disillusionment and coming to terms with reality.  At the height of the recession (when I graduated), my intended career choice of Construction Management was the worse industry for unemployment.  For every 1 job, there was an estimated 30 people who were available to fill it, and 29 of them had more experience than me and lacked a degree that required them to be paid more.  I begged and pulled every connection I had to get one part-time jobs that yielded just enough income to pay for my student loans, keeping me out of debt but making food and a place to stay a dream beyond grasp.  I was mostly thinking about my lack of money and prospects, how ACN hadn't panned out like I'd thought it would, to worry about how badly "A Lack of Planning" was doing.  However, I was also thinking about what to write next.  It didn't take long to solve the last of those issues.

In August of 2010, I was sitting on the couch with my wife (girlfriend at the time) in her sister's 2nd floor apartment watching TV.  She was still going to school (one semester left), her sister had a job, and they were nice enough to nurse me with food and shelter while I struggled to get on my feet.  That old couch was one of the only two pieces of furniture her sister had, and the TV only had about five to ten channels (I think?), one of which was Discovery.  That day, they were playing one of their "Top 10" episodes, and this one was "Top 10 Poisonous" something or other.  One of the scenes involved an ancient tribe in the Amazons who would intentionally get bitten by poisonous insects in order to build up a tolerance.

And I thought what a brilliant idea that was!

Instantly, the idea of a man traveling to this place, getting bit by insects, building up a tolerance, traveling back home with his immunity, and then traveling to other places and gaining more skills, cascaded into my mind.  A moment later, it became a fantasy about a great hero, like the Samurai Jack montage intro where Jack learns to fight from each and every great warrior across the world.  A half-a-heartbeat later, the man became female as I dreamed of Xena: Warrior Princess recreated in a younger yet more realistic fashion.

That idea, the concept of a young woman traveling a dangerous and deadly world, growing more and more powerful with every place she visited, became the central focus.  Everything else spiraled out from there.  I spent the rest of the show in a haze, dreaming about the world I'd create that would live up to the deadliness in my head.  I wasn't out for grim-dark nor adult.  I wanted adventure, but decidedly high stakes adventure that would push the lines of morality from white to grey to black.

I spent the next two weeks pouring over Wikipedia, reading over mythologies to invent World of Myth, and creating a master document of sorts that would hold on the information for the series people, places, creatures, and things.

I had no idea how the first book was going to end until I wrote it, but after I did, I had the next five ready to go as well.

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