Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Becoming Darkness: Meet my new WIP

And what a weird little creature it is. As the prequel to the Dark Book, it follows the life of one of my main characters, Archon, from her first waking moments to six years before the Dark Book starts.

So far, this WIP is all over the place. I know part of my inspiration is coming from ENDER'S GAME and ENDER'S SHADOW, in which the main characters are children. I knew when I started plotting out this world that I would spend some time exploring Archon's childhood, but wasn't sure how to approach it.

Apparently, I'm still not. I've started with a diary entry, then back tracked into a weird first person style for Archon's first five years inside a "wet chamber" (which is one of those "grow the baby in a giant tube" thing filled with liquid. How very sci-fi of me, I know). That was chapter one.

I'm working on chapter two now, Archon's first month outside of the wet chamber and into a normal first person mode of writing. I also included a transcript of a conversation between two scientists. I think I'm going to make a point of including something outside of Archon's first person perspective at the start of every chapter - something I also included at the start of each of the three sections of HOUND - and something Card also used in the ENDER books. I've found it to be pretty common in a lot of fiction, so I don't think I'm being a copycat? Hehe. :)

It's a very odd experience so far, so I'm going to guess I'll be bouncing between this WIP and the Dark Book until one or the other is finished. At least until the middle of April, when all my time is going to be devoured by query writing.

Anyway, here's my opening for this new WIP.

My first moment of wakefulness was at the age of three months, nine days and eighteen hours of life. I know this only because a scientist once explained to me the cycle of my embryo in an attempt to better understand my condition. And I remember this because I have never forgotten anything in my life.

Of course, I am hardly unique in this status. I was one of thirty-nine embryos initiated at the same time, for the same purpose. And that remained the only consistency between us as the years continued.

Luneblood, Marsstrain or Earthborn. There were combinations of various percentages, ranging from 100% of any race to the hairline hints of a cross-faction splice. And of these combinations, only Earth and Mars were ever mixed. The Lunarians were always, always pure, because their fragile DNA was violently resistant to change, even as their species dictation the evolutions of humanity through science.

Myself, I contain 89% Marsblood DNA, with the other 11% of Earthstrain inserted to ensure a tendency to lawfulness and highest Perpetuation receptiveness and reaction.

When the doctor asked me about my memories, dating back as far as I was capable of recalling, I asked for the reason.

She said it was a study to determine the mental and personality determents and benefits to having a fetus, and later infant and then child, conscious during early progression within the developmental chambers.

I asked her in return what any of this had to do with clones, such as myself. Where these not the question asked of those with souls?

I received no explanation, though I complied without resistance, just as I was designed to do.

-Archon Valis
Required Journal Entry #563
Year 15


Dominique said...

This might just be a because I am easily confused, but if this entry is taking place when he's been 15 years out of the wet chamber, then shouldn't he have covered all of this a while ago? Why did he wait until he was 15?

The Screaming Guppy said...

After this journal entry I go into a section describing Archon's time in the wet chamber, in first person.

But, that is a good point. Maybe the journal entry should be from an earlier age or be placed elsewhere in the text. Something I'll definitely take a look at in the next draft.

Thanks. :)

Tara Maya said...

The worldbuidling here (Luneblood, Marsstrain, Earthborn is fascinating. (Make sure you keep the terms consistent, though -- first you use the terms above, which I like, but then refer to "89% Marsblood DNA, with the other 11% of Earthstrain").

The Screaming Guppy said...


I was planning to make them interchangeable - meaning Lune, Mars and Earth could be combined with either strain, blood, or born. It is the planet (the first part) that is defining factor.

Good point though, that at least in the first section it should be consistent to avoid confusion.

Maybe I can incorporate that later, after I've established more about the terms and what they mean...

Thanks Tara. :)

Kate Karyus Quinn said...

Oooh, that sounds really cool.

Good luck switching back and forth between two stories - that is a difficult thing to do!

Crimogenic said...

Love the opening line. I like how the opening paragraph establishes the setting for the novels, we know from sentence one it's going to be a sci fi/fastasy type of work.