First thoughts on the 2008 Marathon

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Too many eyes look upon this page. There is much to hide and even more to show. It is the first of October, an auspicious day as it is one month from the first of November, the start of the Marathon. We’re flying back to Seattle after a long weekend in NYC. We left early and often and now we’re heading back. I’m typing with tiny type, avoiding the lingering eyes of those who don’t care enough about what I’m writing to care. A strange woman sits behind me. She’s a New Yorker, her voice shrill, she speaks only in complaints. If I wonder where my consternations grew from, I need wonder no longer. I consternate because I’m a New Yorker.

I wish I had more thoughts about what I planned to write next month. I know a few things: there will be strange plots. The protagonist will learn that there is a world outside of following rules; it will change him when he realizes all that he lived for was a mistake. That in itself is not plot or a story. That will come later. The problem is that it doesn’t always come. I need to force it and pretend like I know what it is more often than not.

I will return to the world of fantasy, where anything I can make up I can make up. I don’t need to worry about things I know. I can worry about things I can never know.

Silence will greet me as I figure out what more I need to say. I will write during lunch time, driving forth a thought or dream or something that will push me to new heights. It will not have the element I hid from people last year. There is no need for such elements. I will push through the elements and pump words and wonder why I didn’t pump before. I will tell a story fit for a video game.

It will be about a wizard coming into his own. A wizard in a world of warriors who know better than him in everything. He is weaker than they until he realizes that there are other worlds that he can tap into. He doesn’t need to live within their rules. His power is not defined by what they can do and what they want him to do. Fighting is not replaced by magic. That is how the magic users work. They learn formulas and algorithms. They don’t lift weights or bang shields. They use their magic to replace the normal martial skills. There is more to the science of magic. There is more to the gifts he was granted than just the words that he thought he received.

That is the world I will write about. It is something more than I expected and hoped for. He carries a sword as a focus. That is the first thing he must do away with. It is his family’s sword, they do not make swords like that anymore, but he must rid himself of it. He must not rely on it or use it as a focus for the power that he reaches for.

Magic is like programming in the descriptions. It’s a way of manipulating the world around him, of creating strategy in lieu of action. The action is in his mind and he moves beyond it to find something.

There is also a king, a true monarch. The monarch is chosen by the prophets who know the thoughts of God. It is Judaism without the rituals, without the truths. It is books that are run by the prophets. The prophets chose the king. The king does not have a family. His family is his nation, and he cannot have children. Princes and princesses would fight amongst themselves. The king would worry about his or her legacy. Such thoughts are removed from the king. It is good to be the king. Until you are replaced. He is not killed but allowed to live out his days with his advisors and the people who once cherished him. He is allowed to rule the smaller businesses.

Okay. So I have things that look like story elements. What is the plot? There is a king with an illegitimate son. The son is the protagonist, he is the magic user who realizes that there is more in the world than using the magic to replace arms. Does he want to become king? He wants to work on magic, he wants to share his magic with others, teach them, show them that there is more out there than what the prophets promised them through obedience.

I still don’t have a plot. Pick something simple: illegitimate son of the king is born. The king protects him. He grows to be a great magic user. His father wants him to be the next king. There is a plot to convince the prophets that he should be chosen. Hilarity ensues.

It’s a start. We need a name for the prince. Jongular. Jan. Jon. There needs to be more characters. He needs sisters and brothers, fellow orphans. The world doesn’t work. The king is corrupt. The kingdom is becoming more martial as it looks around to its neighbors and deigns to rule them. The way you keep a kingdom together, the king tells his advisors, is to expand. As long as you are growing, reaping the riches of others, internal problems, no matter how insurmountable they appear, can be overcome with gold.

There is an evil mother. The mother of the king. She knows of her sons illegitimate children, and she doesn’t want her line to die with her son. She wants them to achieve. She is overprotective, visits them in secret, fills the ears with the secret truths.