I do not think that the question is: “Will it ever happen?” but “When?” I for one, am comfortably mired in the “How” of my Novella, “The Redemption of Anaìr.” I had printed out the rough draft a few weeks ago, but upon reflection found it to be quite a haphazardly structured collection of junk which I could not attach my name to.
At present, I am drawing a close to my first draft of the first part of the book, finding a better clarity with regard to instances such as structure and point of view. My goal is to tell this story – which can be finished in a sitting or two – in the standard novella format of three acts from the perspective of my protagonist, Anaìr.
Anaìr, as a character, contrasts the military veneer of the story, as he is not a soldier by choice, instead, he wishes to pursue a career as an artist. He is also a form of anti-hero and is (or at least was up until the current storyline) quite a flawed man as readers will later discover. I feel that character development and growth – although a challenging topic – should be a central aspect of any good story and I have had quite a bit of fun writing about somebody who is different to myself, if not completely in outlook, then in personality and habit. Anybody who is familiar with the Myers and Briggs 16PF should know that I am using the ISFP type as a basis for Anaìr’s personality. Though an individual and an artist Anaìr has been conditioned into a highly competent military commander by his experiences and being a highly innovative and creative individual actually compensates for his dislike of organizational structures. As a writer who has served in a military which prizes and encourages innovation and ingenuity from the earliest stages of command, I feel that this combination of experience and character help make my protagonist a highly formidable adversary in his theatre of war.
The country which Anaìr hails from, “Solatus,” is invaded by foreigners who appear to be a collection of societies, mostly based upon the feudal system of old. This stands in quite a stark contrast the more state-orientated socialist matriarchy (which expressly prohibits heads of households from holding land or title) which my protagonist was raised in. The theme then puts the traditionally “fantasy / medieval” society of Nobles, Knights, Men-at-arms and their levies – in the form of the “Orvinarr” against a small nation of civic militarists in the form of the “Solati.” One must also point out that the invading feudalists consider themselves more of a group of “warrior nations” than the defenders, who tend to see civic militarism as an obligation to the State and the rightful duty of all pure-blooded Solati Citizens. Still, the common soldiers on both sides are conscripted or levied to fight, yet I feel that one can definitely call it a clash of cultures as well as a clash of nations.
In addition to this, I have added the points of view of two minor characters whom I hope will fill major roles in future novellas of the series. These scenes are not as extensive as those of the Protagonist as I feel that it is unwise to deviate points of view within the brevity of a 30-40k word novella as opposed to a longer novel.
There is also supernatural / fantasy element of course. There is a reason that people have been so unwilling to invade Solatus over the centuries and as the story unfolds, one realizes that it is not mere superstition which has deterred invaders in the past…
A link to the previously published short story of the same name can be found here. I hope to have a novella ready by the time the rights revert back to me in another five months.