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05 December 2012 @ 02:58 pm
A post on "Mwyr"  
A lot of people really wanted to see this post and so I suddenly feel like there is a "no pressure!" situation going on. Wow.

I'm going to ramble on a bit about my history with this story and then I'll get in to talking about the plot.

Be warned: There are going to be spoilers galore! So if you're adverse to spoilers of ANY KIND, even if it's a story you might not even read, then tread with caution!

Current Status: 16.5 chapters written // 82600 words of the original goal of 60k

Ease of access links to sections here:
- My history with "Mwyr" and why I love it so
- Canon history of the world in "Mwyr" (or the world of Mwyr depending on how you look at it)
- Rambling on about the story

For those of you who don't know (and that's pretty much all of you), I first wrote Mwyr back in 2003/2004, and it was the first actual novel I finished (to date, only one of two that I have finished, surprise!). Nine years! That being said, it obviously holds a special place in my heart.

It started after I read one of the Myst novels (I only just realized how similar the titles are hm). I loved the idea of writing in a book and creating a world -- that's essentially what authors are doing, anyway? I guess it was sort of (unintentionally) meta like that. So I set to work on plotting it.

I go back and reread it now and I am just blown away by how immature it all is. But, you know, that's what happens when you write a novel at 15, right? I killed a lot of characters unnecessarily (I'm so sorry, Jon and Chan. And even Cassia, your death was so meaningless and unemotional!) and you really didn't know the motivation behind the main bad guy. I had this habit (that bled over from my first "novel") of having a bunch of minions for the bad guy to just show up and die/be killed.

For eight years, I've been trying to rewrite this story. I start, then I stop. I start, then I stop. My major flaw was in the beginning: Arika was a girl from Earth, who found these books that outlined the creation of a world. The first rewrite and the original both varied in the location/language of these books, but the premise remains the same. So anyway, I needed to come up with a way for her to get from Earth to Mwyr. In the original, she found this portal and stepped through that (/gag); in the first rewrite, she interpreted a passage in this journal as basically saying that "while on the bring of death, one finds Mwyr". Now, Mwyr was a rune I created that meant "hope". Arika and Philip (whom I will get to later) argue over if the sentence should be translated as "While on the bring of death, one finds Mwyr" or "hope", which would change the meaning entirely. Deciding to put this to the test after falling halfway down a cliff in Scotland during a storm and having a dead phone, Arika jumps into a pit at the back of the cave she takes refuge in.

In the end, that was giving me far too many issues. I had to take one big question into mind, and that was "what happened to Arika's body on Earth while she was in Mwyr?" I believe that, in both cases (or at least the rewrite), she had the constant "threat" of waking up on Earth and thus disappearing from Mwyr. So I took the most drastic step that led me to the point where I started this new novel: I removed Arika O'Connor from the novel (more on that later, too), and she became JUST Arika. This meant she no longer had the history that came with Arika O'Connor. She was no longer from Earth, and she could no longer have that back story. I decided to keep it ambiguous and remove the first person narration, instead sticking to third person and various narrators.

So here we are, with the next section.

For some plot history: (remember, spoilers!) The Goddess once walked the earth, and gathered followers about her and started to create this religion. She gave powers to those most loyal to her, then disappeared. Several years later, she returned in the middle of a war -- only to find that six of her closest friends were missing. Only one of them remained, and he kept her close and 'kept her safe'. In the end, he was the one most of his rocker and was creating this "potion of immortality" (or whatever you want to call it). He had already tested the imperfect version on one of his to one of the Goddess' followers, who nearly died from it. But he needed the Goddess' help on it--and by help, I mean that he needed her blood. So, he killed her!

The other five were then given the updated version of this potion. They created a species called the Ti'Corrah. They are covered in scales and are very lizard-like in appearance, have leathery bat-like wings, and have their own special brand of magic. The stories of their role in the original myths of the Goddess are very confusing, and no one really agrees on what the actual truth is. All they do know is that they are supposed to be the original six that found and traveled with the Goddess.

After the Goddess' death, the powers of those still loyal to her started to wane. Soon, there was only the faintest trickle left of their former abilities. Many people left the religion and turned to other things--namely, science. Hundreds of years passed, and the Goddess' church was small but true, passing to those that truly believed in the Mother of Mwyr. After some time, they began to realize that their prayers were having more of an effect. This ushered in a rush of conversions as people went "HOLY COW SHE REALLY DOES EXIST QUICK QUICK LET'S BE ON OUR BEST BEHAVIOR".

Then appeared Henna. And while her physical appearance was strikingly similar to that of the Goddess, more surprisingly, was that she insisted she was the Goddess. She was able to perform all the same duties as before, knew all the history, remembered everything. So the church swooped in and took her under their wing, regulating who she could see and what blessings she doled out. Etc. One sect, however, insisted that she was a fraud. Just to prove this, their operative sneaked into the church and killed her.

Thus began the second "Depression". Small war ensued, not as big as the first, but still. More years passed by, powers returned to the faithful, then: Rosalyn. Repeat of what happened with Henna, only this time: The Church was curious to see what happened and allowed her death without the sneaking around of this crazy sect.

Using the records left from the first and second Depressions, they calculated an approximate time for when the fourth appearance of the Goddess would take place. Nearly to the day. Introducing Selphie. Once again, she was taken in by the church, yadda yadda. Only this time, the man from the sect that was supposed to kill her (his name is still Viper until I find something better), fell in love with her. So the church took it upon themselves to just off her without using the crazy sect people to get their shit together.

Now, the Church began to realize that the last three girls that appeared (Henna, Rosalyn, Selphie) each came on the tail end of the death of a girl whose physical appearance they matched and who was loyal and faithful to the Goddess. Not to mention, they knew exactly who they were and were always referred to as Goddess (it wasn't until later that their names were returned to them). During their next set of calculations after Selphie's death, they determined which girl was the most likely candidate (Tallah) and informed her shortly before she died of an illness that the Goddess was going to be using her body as a host.

Only... the Goddess did not appear after Tallah died.

She was the adopted daughter of two elderly farmers and, after their passing of old age, was in the care of her older brothers (also both adopted): Chan and Loki. After she died, praising the Goddess even on her last breath, Loki lost all faith he might have had and turned purely to alchemy--the mixing of magic and science. And then he just kind of ran away from home. Chan remained, supported by his best friend Cassia and Tallah's best friend Sera.

That is where we get to the present time of this novel.
Asides from changing the age/appearance of nearly every single character, the most drastic change between the original and this most recent rewrite is the narration style. Originally, it was in first person--the original had it framed by Arika writing about her recent adventure in this other planet and explaining how she reached the point she was at. The first rewrite did not have the framing narrative, but still stuck with Arika's narration.

Seeing as I did not know her back story (until fairly recently), I couldn't have her be the narrator. Plus, this lets me play with and expand upon my side characters in a way I didn't do in the original.

Now. Two years after Tallah's death, Chan is returning from visiting her grave when he finds this girl on the side of the road. And he stops because she looks exactly like Tallah. Yet she has no idea who she is, where she is, or how she got there. She just woke up and BAM was standing under the tree on the side of the road. They don't have much time to talk because LOKI pops up with a Ti'Corrah, a creature that was supposed to be just a myth. Loki goes on about "doesn't this girl look so much like our dear little sister?" and "Oh by the way, that's the Goddess. Peace out, bro" (in so many words) and then disappears. Not really knowing what else to do, Chan takes her home after she passes out.

He calls Sera (well, when I say call, I mean that he sent the dog over to fetch him since Chan lives outside the town and Sera lives in the heart of it), who comes over and tells him to calm the fuck down, Ti'Corrah aren't real, and who is this strange girl. He goes in to talk to her, and she tells him that her name is Arika, she gets upset when they call her Goddess, and confesses that she can't remember anything but really fuzzy images.

Story progresses, and Arika is POSITIVE that she is not the Goddess. Chan and Sera aren't convinced, because they don't know who else she could be when she appears looking just like Tallah after the church said that she'd be the next host. You meet Cassia, who has been Chan's friend since they were young, and is very wary about Arika--Goddess or not. In fact, she hates the idea of Arika being the Goddess almost as much as Arika hates the idea. But as to an exact reason, she couldn't say. She just feels it in her guts. You also meet Cairo, who came to work as a field hand for Cassia's parents shortly after Tallah died.

Now, much to Chan, Sera, and Cairo's surprise, they get visits from the Ti'Corrah. Each of them states that, while they are working for Loki, they are more than willing to protect the Goddess' best interests as well. But only in so far as their interests are number one. While Cairo has a grudging acceptance of this strange creature appearing before him, Chan and Sera do not like. They admit that they know who it is who is supposed to kill the Goddess this time around, and it is not their responsibility to stop it.

Arika starts having bad dreams of things she can't place and people she doesn't know, yet she herself is in each one of them. Only they call her by different names (Henna, Rosalyn, Selphie--). She decides that she'll need to go and figure out about herself, and to do that, needs to figure out about the Goddess.

The day of the fair in town, she meets a blind man named Taen, who used to be the heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Raeq, before it was destroyed five years before by a neighboring kingdom. He begs her to restore the throne, because she is the Goddess and Raeq was loyal to her and the church for generations. She refuses because she is not the Goddess. He continues to insist that she is and tells her that, even though he lost his primary sense of sight, he is able to perceive the truth of matters, and that he can tell she is the Goddess.

A few days later, when she goes back into town, she meets Loki. Again, she repeatedly insists she is not the Goddess despite a growing kindling of doubt. He corners her and tries to intimidate her with magic, only she's able to cancel it out and actually puts fear into his heart. He tells her that the Goddess is lost within her own body and can't find her way out because Arika's doubt is blocking her.

Sera and Arika leave for the church in hopes that they will be able to preempt and escort that is arriving to pick her up and, therefor, get a few questions answered before she is taken under their custody. After the Ti'Corrah snaps at him to get a backbone, Chan follows after her, joined by Cairo (an operative for the Church sent to watch over Cassia) and Cassia (who was asked by Loki to join so that she could keep Chan from any danger that Loki himself might cause). Along the way, they meet Adder, who asks if they could escort him to the kingdom of Gi'Han (the kingdom that attacked Raeq) after he was ambushed by strange creatures (Ti'Corrah). (it's actually a lie).

While in the Church, Arika starts to act more and more like the Goddess, taking on her responsibilities in seeing people with prayers and requests. She is constantly overcome by this feeling that she is not herself, or that there is something stirring inside of her--whispering and struggling to remember. But because everyone is treating her as the Goddess, she responds in kind. She runs into Taen again, who has been staying at the church due to the loss of his family and kingdom, and to the twins Mica and Mina (who have also received visits from Ti'Corrah). Mina, who can see fortunes and possible futures, suspects she knows the truth of the Ti'Corrah though she refuses to speak on it until she is 100% certain, not even telling Mica about her hunch.

After meeting up with Mica and Mina, Arika and them become fast friends. On one of her free moments, she goes to the Church's library with Mica and they discover a secret back room. There, they find a black journal and a stone pendant with a rune on it (the Mwyr rune). The journal seems to be a progress report of writing this world and her challenges from her friend who doesn't believe in her). (Spoiler alert, this is the original Goddess' notebook).

(So that's a super condensed version of 17 chapters. Moving on. )

One way or another, they all end up in Gi'Han for a ball. (the transition is much smoother in the novel, I apologize). King Hyen wants to pay favors to the Goddess. While in Gi'Han, Adder takes Cassia to meet his 'family', aka a group of radical religious zealots (that's a bit repetitive). Only she finds herself sympathizing with a lot of what they say.

At the ball, Hyen gives Arika a necklace that he claims is the Goddess' 'star' (aka the necklace she always wore, that was a magical-looking diamond. Loki had it all this time, but why?! shhh it will be revealed). Then all chaos breaks loose! Adder corners Arika and demands to know why the Goddess only has time for the rich and well-off, and doesn't spend any time with poorer people. He kisses her, and, because his lips are coated with poison, she passes out. Cue another dream, where she meets this strange young man that looks just like Loki, only a bit kinder. He calls her Arika, which shocks her the most.

Back in the ballroom, Adder and his people kidnap Arika and Cassia and, by accident, Cairo (mostly because he got in their way). Of course, chaos ensues, and those that have been left behind (Sera, Chan, Mica, Mina, and Taen) are trying to regroup themselves. They had all decided ahead of time that they would travel to Taen's family's summer home as they decided how to proceed. So, that's what they do, in hopes of coming up with a plan for rescuing Arika, Cairo, and Cassia.

(This marks the majority of what I have plotted out solidly. So about 25 chapters.)

Now, one way or another, Loki gets a hold of Arika. I'm thinking the Ti'Corrah swoop in and snatch her in transit as Adder and his people travel to their safe house outside of the city.

Loki whittles away at Arika, playing with her mind and talking about the Goddess as if he knows her personally. She begins to have more and more dreams, of the three other avatars and of the young man (whose name, she learns, is Philip (!!!)). She begins to spend less time awake, and more time dreaming.

On the other side, Cassia is not so much a prisoner as she is now a convert of this fanatic cult. They keep Cairo separated so that he doesn't know she's not trussed up like he is. Adder begins to pick at her insecurities, confessing that he was the one that the Church selected to kill Arika in order to usher in the new Depression. All the doubts and distrust she harbored over Arika are brought to the surface and rile her to no end.

Meanwhile, the remaining five have made it to Taen's old summer home. Mina pulls Sera aside, confessing that she's quite certain Arika is not an avatar for the Goddess, but the Goddess herself, made flesh once again, to walk on Mwyr. That they did not gather around her by coincidence, but that they are the 'reincarnations' of the Goddess' original followers. And, by consequence, are connected to the Ti'Corrah (which is why they've all been addressed by different ones each time the Ti'Corrah have appeared). As much as Sera hates the idea, he knows it's true and Mina is just confirming the suspicions he's had for awhile. They go and tell the other three, though Sera is still confused as to where Cassia might fit into all of this.

After some time (I'm not too sure how long), Cassia and Cairo 'escape' (aka Adder's group lets them go). Cairo wants to head straight for the summer home to get the others and to figure out a plan of attack, but Cassia just wants to go straight fore Arika. Super frustrated with her, Cairo splits and they go on their own separate paths.

Loki, who has been keeping an eye on Cassia, sends his Ti'Corrah to pick her up. She tries to convince Arika that she's going to help her escape, and that they'll all go back to join up with the others together. But Loki steps in and kills Cassia before she can get her hands on Arika. He claims that he did this to convince the Goddess of his loyalties, that Cassia would have killed her if he hadn't intervened. Arika, suffice to say, goes a bit off the deep end and we get to see the Goddess for the first time.

She goes on a bit of a magic rampage. Loki manages to subdue this long enough to get what he's wanted: Her flesh and blood, for his own copy of the immortality potion that was attempted so long ago. In doing so, however, he ends up killing the 'earthly body'.

Back in the summer house, everyone is waking up from bad dreams, but it is Taen who makes the announcement that the Goddess is dead.

AND THERE ENDS BOOK ONE. HAHAHA. I've rambled on far enough so I won't bother with book two just yet.

Most of the questions that I have revolve around what will happen in book two, so I don't want to consider them just yet--mostly because I don't know how things will proceed with book one. But you will learn more about the Goddess' history, the Ti'Corrah, and the "Song of the Seven Heroes". You'll also get to meet this new race of creatures called the Hatu--another race that is "not supposed to exist yet still does anyway", and Sera geeks out major (he's a history buff).

My biggest problem, as of now, is trying to figure out where the plot is going. Because while the original point of the story was Arika traveling to get home, that's been erased.

Now, I should go and work on the actual story...

Entry originally posted at http://lady-mab.dreamwidth.org/323159.html. Comment there if you please, or here is fine, too.
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