So I thought it was about time that I gave some of you followers a more in-depth introduction to my series, The Golden Lands. Only a little bit ago, I finished the first story arc of TGL—an arc is basically like a “season” that a TV show might have—and I’m now beginning the next arc of the series.
So to give you a more in-depth look at TGL, there isn’t a better place to start than at the very beginning of my first volume, entitled, Shadows in the Sunlight.
Writing Volume 1, and beginning the series as a whole was very…experimental for me. And I think beginning a story is essentially, experimental for all writers; it has to be. At the time, I knew I wanted the story to have a mysterious, not your typical-fantasy-world kind of feel. I wanted it to be a little unusual, a little uncomfortable even. The way I tried to do that was by creating a world that seemed to be overly simplistic, even eerily simplistic.
And this is something that a lot of people notice, and are even unsure about. Sometimes my readers will express a bit of doubt in this notion of having everything being too simple. It’s uncreative, so to speak.
All right, maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. I respect everyone’s opinion. Either way, I liked the feel of having an overly simplistic world, or at least a world that the character’s thought was so simple. And what do I mean? What are the obvious ways in which the world of TGL is overly simplistic?
For starters, take the names of the three different “races” of people. There’s Virus, Femina, and Malam. In other words, Man, Woman, and Evil. It’s basic Latin. And then there are the names of the main character’s siblings: Soror and Frater. Literally, “sister” and “brother” in Latin…can’t say that I’m as proud of that as I should be.
But there are other things; there really isn’t any kind of hierarchy in the Golden Lands, there’s no system. There are no politics, no wars. It’s described in Volume 1 as “harmonious anarchy”. The Golden Lands is supposed to be this place, literally, of light, peace, and happiness.
But then we see there are these weird, unearthly creatures, roaming, the Golden Lands. And what are these creatures called? Evil. In the beginning of the book, in the prologue, Evil is singular, not plural. Evil is a single entity that spreads itself out over the world, capable of corrupting everyone and everything.
Overly simplistic, kind of misshapen, eerie world. That’s what I wanted.
So what are the key things that happen to kick off this series?
Well first of all, we meet the main character of the series, John Hedekira. Right off the bat, we can tell that John is a frustrated, lonely, human being. The world, although John knows it is supposed to be his friend, although he knows how things are supposed to be in the Golden Lands, even though he knows how he should feel as a person in the Golden Lands, there is still something about the world that haunts him, that betrays him. He feels such enmity, and he possesses such a sense of distrust in the world.
And so we meet this character, this sixteen-year old boy, abandoned by his parents, left to watch over his two siblings that are, to quote the book, “like shadows” to him; they don’t respond to him, they are seemingly locked in their own little world of depression and self-pity, his siblings have completely shut themselves out from the rest of the world…and in doing so, they’ve kept John from truly experiencing anything outside of this bubble of depression and loneliness, and the feeling that nobody cares about them. That is where we meet John.
Take it back a bit though. In the prologue of the series, in the voice of John, we hear several things, but we hear about John’s desires to escape from the burden of watching of his siblings, and he wants to find this legendary person, this legendary warrior that his parents once told him about. The prologue is this vague, rant, almost, a stream of consciousness from John’s mind, that relates the things his parents taught him about the world, his own fantasies, and the current situation he is faced with…all of these things are related.
And they get related to one thing; the presence of the Evil. Evil with a capital E. We are given this warning by John, about how Evil exists in the Golden Lands, about how it will find everyone. And how? By sensing, and flocking, to the evil we have inside of ourselves.
This is how the story really kicks off.
*DISCUSSION TO BE CONTINUED*