Friday, October 31, 2014

Character Profile: Kio (and) "The Edsetera"

  (Kio and Nim)

I said I'd be posting some character bios this past week, posted Nim's and then forgot to ever officially write up ones for my other characters. So, here's a list of short bios for some of the major players. I might, over the course of the month, post some more.

(*note: UTC stands for Universal Treaty Confederation, which is what I'm currently calling the big government running most of these planets, but the name will probably change.)

(Kio's mask)


Kio Mobrique is an Edseter from the Ripple, one of four terraformed planets in the same reach of space as the UTC but not part of the treaty. Kio was rescued at a young age from plague by a stranger's kindness and was later recruited by the governing powers of the Edsetera to find an Air Jumper who would speak on their behalf at the Victory ceremony of the Cup. With lungs badly damaged from his brush with death, Kio wears a respirator mask to help him breathe. Kio is the assistant to Puck Ebrin and becomes personal friends with Nim.

A Note on the Edsetera:

Generations ago, before the creation of the UTC, it was decided by certain scientists and governing powers that they would attempt to terraform seven worlds in their reach of space whose systems could hypothetically support life if some key elements were supplemented or changed. The result was four “successful” terraformed worlds: the Mirror, the Ripple, the Aper, and the Echo.

Soon after, transports were sent to these worlds with colonists whose job it would be to cultivate and inhabit these brand new earths. The colonists faced the hardships of pioneering their way in a brand new, harsh land, as well as disease and illness caused largely by the side affects of the terraform process. Over time however, those colonists who survived began to thrive in their new home—and to change.

They adapted. Like the people of Earth have adapted to thrive from deep in the desert to the tops of mountains, these people's very biology slowly realigned to enable them to survive: Their skin became thicker. They lost bone mass. Their eyes changed shape and color. Their skin turned gray. Their lungs were bigger. Their limbs longer. The colonists had children, and those children had grandchildren, and then great grandchildren.

No one really knew what to make of this people, this new breed of human that was developing. People ceased looking on the colonists as ordinary people like themselves. They were 'aliens', as mysterious and dangerous a race as any unknown out in the wide, wild universe. Soon they came to be called the Etcetera. The other. The rest. The added 'something similar' that was not quite the same.

Because of this, the Edseter worlds were not adopted into the UTC when it was created, and this left them open to attack from pirating spacecraft. They were the very outcasts of society. Only one world, the Aper, has succeeded in joining the UTC and at great cost to the little planet, which is still considered somehow less than its sister planets, inhabiting a sort of No Man's Land between the Edseter worlds and the rest of the UTC.

In the time leading up to Air Jump, the Edseter have been contriving ways to receive the recognition and protection of the UTC and their attention now falls the the Air Jump races and the Crown as a means of letting their story be told.

Monday, October 27, 2014

What is 'Air Jumping'? & Character Profile: Nim

Nim Sequanna is the main character (MC in novel lingo) of my NaNo, Air Jumper. Nim is tall and slim. Her hair is a dark brown, about to the length of her shoulders, with red hues in the highlights. Pale skin. Bright eyes that are green in color.

Nim loves Air Jumping almost more than anything else. To her it is life and breath. It gives her a special connection to her mother—a Jumper who died in a racing accident when Nim was small. Her love for the sport is so great that she is willing to abandon her family to pursue the fame and glory that a championship can bring her—something she believes her mother was wrong for refraining.

Her father Jurard and younger brother Arcus live with her on the rainy UTC planet Charybdis. Her father is primarily against Nim's fascination and aptitude with the sport that stole away his wife, even though Hester Sequanna was the one to instill that love in both of her children. Arcus is his sister's number one fan and constantly works with her to convince their father that she knows what she's doing—whether or not that's actually true.

Despite education and a zeal for knowledge, Nim quickly figures out just how naive she is before she even makes it offworld. By the time she realizes she's not ready for the challenges ahead of her, it's too late to go back.

What is 'Air Jumping'?

Avoiding the details of all the different obstacles, rules, course sets, team types, politics, etc. that I've been feverishly figuring out, here's the basic info on this sci-fi sport:

At its very base form, Air Jumping is parkour. It is a sport, or a discipline, primarily engaging the upper body of its participants, relying on arm strength and agility in jumping and leaping.

The idea of each course is to simulate different obstacles that the participants must out-maneuver in order to reach their goal. These obstacles might be stationary or mobile, creating impressive challenges each Jumper overcomes. A good Jumper is any individual with stamina, agility, strength, composure, and speed—and most commentators on the sport will agree that these traits should come in that order of importance. Any Jumper can be fast and able but wear out within a few obstacles, and a calm Jumper can lose sight of the bigger goal when time is of the essence. Every Jumper approaches the sport uniquely and studies have shown there are a variety of pros and cons to each technique.

Air Jumping was developed slowly over the years from its original urban art form until it reached its current height in popularity. From the street level 'free jumping', to the streamlined racing recognized by modern spectators, Air Jumping is a sport which branches through dozens of planets and multiple systems.

NaNoWriMo 2014~ the Week Before

 (Why is it I do my most blogging when my writing energies are most spent on something else?)

Quick reminder of what NaNoWriMo is:
NaNoWriMo stands for “National Novel Writing Month”. It's a (now worldwide) challenge to write one 50k word novel, beginning to end, in 30 days. In other words: one month of pure. blind. panic.

As weird and shocking and hard as that all might sound, the oddest part might be that this is my sixth year participating...and I won the challenge the last five times. In fact, I decided it wasn't challenging enough and last year pushed my wordcount goal to 70k—I finished with a couple thousand to spare.

This year I'd considered pushing my wordcount goal to an outrageous 100k (3,334 per day), but I'm going to settle for the 50 and just do my best—when writing roughly 2k daily—to make every word count so that when midnight comes on November 30th I've got something I'm really proud of. Well, that's the idea at least. ;)

The main reason that I've opted for fewer words again is because I'm writing in a genre I've never worked in before: Science Fiction. I've done a couple short stories that were sci-fi, but didn't really need to do a lot of worldbuilding or technical work for them, so I'm very new to the genre. Besides, novels are a whole other beast than friendly little shorts. I don't read a lot of sci-fi either, so I don't even know much about the typical formats and styles.

My main challenge is worldbuilding because in this story, instead of having a country or two for my characters to toddle about in, I have a confederation of over sixty planets. Now, I'm not going to develop all of these planets of course, but I'll need a good dozen of them to grow into characters of their own if this story is going to work.

And that brings me to the novel itself: I'm calling it Air Jumper. (*audience oohs and aahs appreciatively*)

Air Jumper is the story of Nim Sequanna, a young Jumper who puts everything her family owns on the line to compete in the sport she loves—the only way to return home now is to win it all. Hurled into a world of cheating athletes and dirty politicians, Nim befriends a mutant outcast looking to save his people and a disgraced businessman searching for redemption as they race against saboteurs and killers to claim the crown.

So that's the plan for this November. Over the next couple days, I'm going to try posting some character bios and such as I prepare for a race of my own. See you at the finish line!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Well, this is awkward...

 I cannot believe I've not posted anything on my blog since July! Wow. Sorry about that.

Honestly, I've not had much to post about. I love writing a blog--and sincerely need to make a better habit of it!--but I always feel the need to make big complicated posts...

That being said, here's what I think I'm going to do:

1. Not make my posts so long. I might post writing prompts or simple "notes to self" that could prove helpful, and not worry about making it look like an essay. ;) My blog entries might consist of a picture and two sentences. Or they might turn into rants, you never know.

2. Once again, NaNoWriMo is on it's way. I'll do my best to be posting throughout November. Clips from my NaNo, my random outbursts while writing, some character profiles, worldbuilding misc--that sort of thing. That should get my post number up for a short period anyway.

So, here's to paying a good deal more attention to this sad little journal I've done such a poor job keeping of late. ;)