I’m going to put my pride on the line for a moment.
When I was in the ninth grade, I was working on my largest project to date. Titled “Immortal’s War”, it gave birth to the Immortal race mentioned in the Second Realm trilogy (and perhaps I should update my History page to add that in). It was my first time building a magical race, but at the same time, when I look back on it now…
There is a great deal of shame involved.
In the ninth grade, I was solidly in what I call my “anime” phase – everything had to be Japanese, had to have a Japanese(ish) name, origin, and every anime trope under the sun (those same tropes are what ended up distancing myself as more of just a classic anime fan). It’s also full of what I call the cardinal sins of writing: excessive use of ellipses (the “…” thing), full of completely inappropriate overreaction and most of the emotion is written strictly through dialogue or brief snippets of “he felt sad because…” Yeah, I know. It makes me cringe.
The basic premise of the story? Shy teenager Satoshi has a run in with Rae, a girl who holds many secrets, one of which being that she’s an Immortal. No, I’m not going to add a spoiler alert to that because the story will remain locked in my creative vault, so to speak, until I’m able to give it the proper revision it needs. There’s a plot about a powerful artifact and two families fighting over it…the storyline isn’t quite as coherent as I thought it was. It’s solid but just, young. Underdeveloped. Don’t even get me started on the dialogue – it’s horrendous.
It’s gone through what I call “revamp hell” – where I continuously try to restart the idea, in terms of redeveloping the plot, characters and most of all, the prose. Three redrafts and it hasn’t been successful. Then again, the Second Realm trilogy has all of my focus these days and through my journey writing the Second Realm trilogy, my style has evolved again and again, leaving the original “Immortal’s War” in the dust.
That said, I thought I might share a piece of my past, to show how far I’ve come. This story was started on October 4, 2004 and finished March 7, 2005. It was the first completed novel I had ever done. One would think I’d be more proud of it; yet it’s kind of treated like that distant friend you try to avoid, hoping they don’t notice you. Yeah. Kind of awkward, like that.
PS: If you want a bit of a spoiler alert for my second book Warpath and what it has to do with “Immortal’s War”, it’s at the bottom of this post in tiny letters. Good luck…
Throwback…Friday? (Whatever, it’s a throwback)
Sidenote: I just realized this is almost ten years old, holy cow…
Satoshi and Rae watched over Tatsuya. They laid him in one of the spare bedrooms. He had hit his head pretty hard on the concrete from the big fall.
Rae closed the window which had been open to help cool down the house. “How did you summon the sword?” she asked, sounding troubled.
“I…don’t know.” he replied. “It was weird.” He hesitated, then continued, “I heard this voice in my head right before it happened…”
“A…a voice?” Rae asked, eyes widening. Her mind flashed back to when she had heard that voice.
“Yeah…a female voice, I think.”
“Oh.” She sounded relieved. It wasn’t Luna’s then, she thought.
“She kept telling me to trust her…and if I really wanted to unleash my powers.” Satoshi spoke, mostly to himself now, though he knew Rae was listening. “I have no idea how it happened…but it just did. I swear, I had no idea what was going on..”
Her eyes narrowed, though in thought rather than anger, and she spoke slowly. “I think…I think you’re like us. Me and Tatsuya, I mean.”
“How?” he asked, confused.
Rae held his gaze for a moment, then lifted up her hand. Satoshi followed her gaze, and gasped when a bright blue ball of energy burst to life in Rae’s palm. She flicked her hand, and the blue light was gone.
“How’d you…?” Satoshi was literally at a loss for words.
Rae smiled. “Tatsuya needs to be awake to tell the whole story…plus two others…”
They sat in stunned silence for a moment. Rae was surprised that she had found someone like her, and Satoshi was shocked at what had happened. The silence was shattered by a loud growling and mad screeching, an outraged screech.
“What the…?” Rae yelled, jerking back from the window and into Satoshi. “Ow! Oh, I’m sorry.”
“It’s okay,” Satoshi said. “But what was that?”
“I dunno, but it sounded like it was outside!” Rae’s eyes widened. “We should go see what’s out there.” she knew the sound of the growling…but she wasn’t sure.
“It’s probably nothing…” Satoshi gave a nervous laugh. He didn’t want to see what was out there, if they were making those noises.
“Scared?” she challenged him.
“Wh-what? Of course not!” he said, bravely, but flinched when a roar came from outside.
“C’mon, then.” she giggled. She took him by the wrist and dragged him outside, before he could protest.
“Hey!” he cried, as he was dragged.
Outside, Satoshi was shocked at what he saw. A panther was in his yard…!? What was even more shocking was from the panther’s back were two feather, snow-white wings!
“What is that!” he yelled.
Rae’s eyes widened. “Lunar Sun!”
“Say what?” Satoshi asked.
The winged panther turned at Rae’s voice. It leapt away from the falcon that was with Tatsuya and came closer to the two humans.
“Yaaugh!” Satoshi yelped. “It’s coming towards us!”
“Shh.” Rae put a hand on his shoulder, taking a step forward.
“What are you doing, Rae? That thing could eat you!” Satoshi cried.
The panther glared at him. Then, something even more shocking than everything else that happened today happened.
It began to talk.
“I don’t eat people, thank you very much!”
Yeah okay, you can say it. It’s completely cringe worthy. And that was one of the only snippets I could find from the parts I had typed up (the entire manuscript is handwritten) that I felt were relevant. The more “polished” stuff in the story comes in later, but after typing about seventy or so pages of the original handwritten manuscript, I just wanted to flip a desk afterword…
Not all hope is lost, however. I’m still hopeful that eventually, and perhaps after the Second Realm trilogy is -gasp- done, I can go back to tearing this story a new one and restructure it the way the prose deserves. From my revamp hell planning documents, I’ve already got a new de-Japanese’d cast (yes, I am making up phrases now, just roll with it) set in Moonlight Hills. You know, Moonlight Hills, where the Shadow Assassins originated from. It’s a small world, after all…
On a final note, you’re on your own to read the spoiler alert. I won’t stop you but I won’t shield it, either. I’ll just make it really small so you have to put effort into reading it… hehe…
They turned to see a woman with long, wavy black hair and unsettling blue eyes. She, like most of the women here, was dressed in a cotton shirt and leather breeches, free of the confining and stuffy dresses that every female wore in the Emeralde Kingdom, even the peasants. Her leather pants tucked neatly into leather boots. A large, winged panther sat at her side. The woman seemed ordinary, but her familiar was what caught everyone’s attention at first, the full grown cat with large, black feathered wings on its back.
The woman politely cleared her throat to draw attention back to her. “A large party with purple banners came seeking refuge in our city a few days ago. They claimed to be from Moonriver Academy, or what’s left of it. They say the Emeralde Kingdom destroyed their school. Some had families here, so they have reunited with their families. The rest have taken refuge in our cathedral. They are, for the moment, mostly disorganized.”
“Can you take us to them?” Evangeline asked. “Please. We were a part of the battle they spoke of.”
The woman nodded, then turned to her feline familiar. “Luna. Go and alert the wolf of visitors, please.”
The panther nodded, then began glowing. Its form shifted, shrinking down from a winged panther to a common house cat. In this smaller form, the familiar called Luna darted through the crowds with ease, slipping between the legs of the passing people and animals.
“Lunar Sun will alert them of our arrival,” she said. “There was a boy whose familiar was a wolf. They seemed to get along great. Now, why don’t you follow me?”
Yes, I really just did that.