For you, this is a full-fledged adventure story. For me, this is actually a copy of my rough notes for a novel with a bow on top.
During my freshman year of college, after finishing up my homework assignments, I would spend the late, late hours of the night going through my first round of edits for my current manuscript, “The Legacy of a Divination Myth.”
While editing, my lovely roommate and lifelong friend would ask questions and read snippets of my work. Then, she’d ask if it would be a series or if it would at least have a sequel. I told her that it worked better as a stand-alone.
Four years later and she still insists that there be some kind of sequel to this book, though she had already won me over two years ago. I started to come up with an idea for a companion novel of a side character set in the same world.
Yet, I didn’t know much about it other than it revolving around this side character. With this show as an opportunity to explore my writing, I thought why not explore a novel I plan on writing at some point anyway.
It didn’t start off that way, though. Actually, this story was originally called “A Quest for the Moon Herself.” I looked for music that made me think of the moon and of nighttime. However, I realized the idea was too vague. I couldn’t think of anything solid enough.
It dawned on me late one night that because I had nothing solid for this playlist, I could tailor it for the companion novel. This was an opportunity for me to explore the culture of this character, and that excited me.
However, it made writing the story very difficult.
I had to scratch more than half of the songs I had, because they didn’t fit with the story I was going with. This can be tricky, because I have to do a bit of math to make sure my music adds up to about 55-57 minutes. If I change out songs, then I have to find new ones that match the same length, and that can lead to a bit of an intensive search.
I had to conceptualize the people of the Rhaude. All I knew about them was what I had established in my manuscript, which is basically that they have three names (one for the sun, one for the moon, and one for the road in search of their rune.) Essentially, I had to a lot of worldbuilding in a short amount of time, and that can be stressful.
I also had to do a lot of research on runes. Though I still barely know the basics, I did learn a bit about runes and how they work. That was actually quite fun to read up on them.
Despite the difficulties, I had a lot of fun writing this story. I got to take a very dramatic turn at the end which I normally don’t do. It forced me to take some intense steps in writing that will definitely help me in the future.
Not only did I get to learn more about this character’s background, but I also got to learn about the ambience surrounding the Rhaude Valley. The playlist has some very fantasy-based music, but weaving in and out of those tracks are some Native American inspired music.
I liked the fact that I kept coming back to these Native American sounds. I think they’re the underlying tone of the Rhaude. They’re the sounds that truly guide you from one quest to the next, and it gives a strong impression as to what kind of life the people of the Rhaude live.
I’d also like to point out that I liked playing with direction in this story. If you pay close attention, when you go on your quests, each quest leads in the same direction as the respective symbol in the alcove cave.
So, the alcove with the sun is to the right, the same direction you take when looking for Luyu, the sage green dragon. The alcove with the waning moon is to the left, the same direction you take when swimming to the underwater cave. The alcove of the curving road is to the north of you, the same direction you take when you seek out Birdie the Oracle.
Since this is a rough draft of a novel, I wanted the focus to really be on the traveler. I know in the tales to come, there won’t be as many opportunities to be interactive with the stories, simply because of the nature of these stories. So, I wanted this story to be an opportunity for the traveler to go on a very personal journey of their own.
I hope you took the time to reflect on your morals and your dreams. Though it may be scary, it is important, if not imperative, for our character to reflect on our beliefs, our thoughts, and our dreams.