Friday, September 9, 2011

A Tale of Three Questions: 2068, Operation Robyn, and Quintessence

They say good things come in threes.

After I wrote my Tale of Three Boys post, it occurred to me that I had yet another tale of three. Maybe my mind works well in threes and fours. I know it works well in multiples, for Runaway Castle V became Betsy Flowain and Robin Hood IV became Forest of Lies. I've said before I'm like Tolkien, and maybe my creative mind is like Treebeard. It isn't hasty. It mulls, it considers, it simmers...all in the back of my head, ready to pop up with a combination of several ideas

So without further ado...a tale of three futuristic, dystopian societies...and very important questions.

2068: Mari's Question: What is our past, and who am I?
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The idea for 2068 came from watching, strangely enough, a PBS presentation the Black Death. Me being a writer, I thought: wow, this would be interesting to write about! That night I scribbled down a bunch of ideas for a story about a futuristic world with a villain who is trying to resurrect the Black Death through use of time travel. (And thus, as super-villains do, get all of Earth into his grasp. MUWAHA!)

My heroine, Mari, was to fall into this balance of powers because she herself was snatched from the time period of the Black Death--and was found not to infected (nuts!). She enters the quest to find out what's going on because no one will tell her about what went on before the year 1500 and why she has strange visions she doesn't understand. Only a 7 pages exist of this idea, some outlining and a couple of scenes. A strange, red-and-grey-haired librarian named Gillette in an abandoned library plays an important role.

Operation Robyn: Robert's Question: Is God worth trusting?
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Operation Robyn grew in several surprising and a little unsettling bursts from one scene I wrote called "The Hyby" (hybrid car). In it I had Mr. Hode and Mych. If you haven't figure it out yet, yes, this was an idea for Robin Hood set in futuristic times. A whole flurry of scenes poured out of my head in a couple of days--all whammy scenes and character intros (Amy Naire, Johanna Lynne, Professor Gisy--yes I had fun with names) with car chases and memory wipes and all that good stuff. I actually outlined the book in its entirety, but ended up writing Forest of Lies first--and I haven't ever gotten back to it with the same passion.

This book actually had several questions: the whole first couple of chapters are centered on Robert asking questions and getting rebuked for it. Questions of ANY kind. It was highly focused on questions, truth, and lies. It also happened to have a female ally who is not a love interest. Another key component was, as I said, memory wipes. Or blocks, as I called them--since the memories could be retrieved.

Quintessence: Hywel's Question: What is quintessence?
Then, of course, along came Quintessence. It has more of the world feel of 2068 (not the beat-up, post-apocalyptic type like Robyn--instead, shimmering in strange perfection) but the focus of Operation Robyn (no time travel!). It, too, has a focus on questions, lies, and Truth. Other things, like librarians and messing with memories, also come into play.


My mind works in interesting ways, doesn't it? I can only attribute this fascinating process to the One who created it!

Also, when looking at this, I can't help but be hopeful that Quintessence doesn't crash and burn on me like some of my favorite ideas do--since it actually has different kinds of backing in 4 different stories--Betsy Flowain, Worthless, 2068, and Operation Robyn. It makes me think that maybe, this time, after a two year hiatus, I actually get to write something--beginning to end. It's time for my hopeful, Truth-loving, and God-fearing dystopia.


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