5 Aug 2015

The Ark: A Beginning

Mr Stargazer is pleased to announce that a prologue—beginning in medias res, for the purpose of drawing inquisitive minds—along with the first chapter have now been written. This, as you can discern, is significant; for not only do the greatest of journeys begin with the smallest of steps, but so too is this a taste of things to come.

Before Mr Stargazer elaborates on the specifics (concerning writing style, character voice, world-building and so on), it is recommended that you, dear reader, ought take a look...

Read The Ark

Once you’ve done so, please consider giving Mr Stargazer some feedback. The latter is valuable for the still burgeoning writer—as even the more arrogant souls will admit—and it may allow him to improve upon his creation. Additionally, allow Mr Stargazer to delve into the specifics; he is ever so vain, is monsieur Stargazer, and you may learn a thing or two besides.

Okay, Al: What Am I Looking At?

You are looking at the beginning of the Ark. This may change; such is the fickle heart of a writer. Regardless, it is an important step. And it begins with a prologue, set towards the end of this grand tale.

I shan’t hint too much of it, for there is yet much unknown and much that ought remain unknown. What I will say: it is indeed what it appears to be. Our protagonists—one Conall Danann and another Casey Kearney—are at Ground Zero: a facility where the Ark hovers directly above, on the edge of space.

The exact means by which it is kept there are complex; ordinarily, such an object would be in a rapid free fall (likely exceeding 20,000mph) and would soon crash into some unfortunate corner of the world. Thankfully, the Ark’s ‘engines’—which are in fact powerful generators of an artificial gravity, and warp space to keep it stationary—prevent this.

Regardless, our protagonists are there to fulfil a simple goal: getting on the Ark. I shan’t say how they achieve this, of course—that would be much too simple.

What I will say: the writing style is a formal one, as befits both the nature of the character (a charming young poet) and the inclinations of its creator. Nevertheless, it is not devoid of informality, even slang; ‘bajanxed’ is one such example. I attempt to carry both fluency (a point on which the Necromancer was criticised, owing to its tendency to sudden expositionism and superfluousness) but also detail. Do I succeed? That will be for my readers to decide.

I will also admit to being disused to first-person narration; the matter being made particularly difficult due to Conall’s disturbing similarites with my own nature. He, a poet, and yet an erudite reader, presents a number of challenges: his vocabulary is remarkably vivid, complex, and vast; and yet he is young, not yet embroiled in archaisms, nor immune to informal expression. Combining the two is easier said than done, alas.

What About The World?

In the first chapter, I concern myself firstly with introducing to you the peculiarities and wonders of this New World. Some aspects are really quite extraordinary: the Earth is constantly in a state of summer over the northern hemisphere, for example, but in a state of winter over the southern equivalent. Moreover, night and day can become off-kilter—days can last ages; nights can grip the world for long stretches, bringing all manner of troubles.

Other aspects intend to be humorous. The Sunshine! lamps, and their peculiarities—the yellow light, the incredible brightness, but also their tendency to vary in output unpredictably—are one such example. The latter is caused by a still developing production process, which results in substantial variation between the exact quantity and quality of the materials in use.

Whether this is indeed humorous is not within my ability to determine; hence my call for feedback.

With the various fascinating history, and detail, aside, I must address the most important matter of them all: Conall, and Casey.

A Question of Chemistry

Conall meets Casey in a twist of Fate, by fortuitous happenstance. And yet, there is an ease of communication between them; they seem to know one another’s mind, to mirror subtle messages of body language, and to achieve a kind of symbiosis.

That, at least, is the theory.

Aside from that, I do not neglect the physical aspects of attraction. Though the matter itself merits complex discussion concerning human sexuality, and various philosophical deliberations on normative versus descriptive elements of sexuality—on construed paragons, inherent desires, and so forth—I will bypass it all to present one simple message: they are teenagers. Sex is awesome. What’s not to love?

Most of all, I aim to instil a sense of desire—of hope, of wonder at human existence. Do I succeed? Once more, a question beyond my remit.

Parting Words

The Ark is as yet inchoate. I have a great deal more yet to write; and numerous difficulties of plot, narration, and characterisation are yet to be addressed. But, for all that, I hope you are as drawn to this tale as I am. I sense potential, excitement, possibility. Do you?

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