Tuesday, January 16, 2007

· A Bit of the Rambling Thought Process Behind my New Fantasy Story

Almost done with my story for Elfworld Vol. 1! The thing grew to a semi-respectable 10 pages... I had my doubts as I worked on it, but in the end I'm pretty happy. I just hope that no one thinks that I am unfairly including myself in the anthology because I am the editor, but looking at it I'm convinced it won't stick out like a sore thumb... The story is silent, yet I somehow got it into my head that I might attempt to shoehorn some ideas I've been pondering about the allure and horror of violence, loss of childhood innocence, and cultural conflict! A hard task, which I probably wasn't up to...

It sounds ridiculous (and more than a little pretentious!), but my first inspiration came from the "Nick Adams" stories that Hemmingway wrote, esp. the one where Nick and his father visit the Indian village and Indian kills himself... I started with a drawing of a wounded elf and a boy discovering him and went from there. I wanted to do a short story about a traumatic event in a child's life which night shed a light on some aspects of his future character, if I chose to revisit him.

Another inspiration was cultural and racial clashes in history. I remember when I was a fantasy-obsessed kid I would always think about how great it would be if there were elves and dwarves and other intelligent beings other than just humans around, how much we could learn from the different cultures, traditions, minds of these other souls! While still young I sadly realized that such diverse beings would inevitably be caught up in never-ending racial conflict; if humans can barely stand each other how would we react to a whole other species competing with us for resources, land, etc. (I was interested to learn that humans did actually face this situation, long ago, with Neanderthals, who were a distinct species from Homo sapiens rather than our progenitors... and that didn't go so well, at least for the Neanderthals: Our ancestors seem to have killed off, out-competed, or perhaps eliminated them through inter-marriage by 24,000 years ago). Thus, the world I imagine here suffers from at least as much cultural conflict as our own has, the situation is somewhat similar to the conflicts between Native Americans and European settlers; the elf is a fugitive, pursued relentlessly by humans, he in turn is equally vicious when he has the chance. Only the still innocent child believes that all parties can share something with each other.

Anyways, once again I've bitten off a bit more than I can chew, narratively, despite some serious restrictions placed upon myself this time! I mean, it's 10 silent pages! What am I trying to do here! Oh well... It also has a pretty cool fight scene in it! My story, entitled "Mêlée," will be in the first Volume of Elfworld, due out in April of 2007!