Monday, January 14, 2013

Back To Orphna

Hannah here.
This is really a difficult post for me. Trinity recommended that I write about, as she put it, "The land of the giant possums."
That's Orphna.
I'll explain the giant possums in a minute.

Orphna is both a fictional land and a nickname for my first book. My first book, which was actually, interestingly, inspired by a series of tape recordings I ad-libbed with two of my sisters. It had no plot, which is common with my earlier stories. The basic idea was that the main character, Arsha (no last name), had a secret that some bad guys wanted. The bad guys were just bad guys, for no reason, and they were chasing her constantly to get the secret. That was the recording "plot". The recording is lost now. But as I started writing, the story evolved a bit, into something a little bit better.

To begin with, I never finished Orphna. I didn't get farther than ten pages into it when I stopped. My family was really encouraging, and I loved writing it, but now that I'm going back over it... as Trinity said in her previous post, about the eye-clawing... I can relate. It was so clichéd. It was... very not good.

For example (and a little piece of me is dying as I post this):

Arsha ran down the slightly worn path, her soft shoes hitting the dirt.
“Just give up, Arsha! You have no choice!” A voice called out behind her.
Arsha sighed,
“No way, Jorph, I’m not going to tell you! Find out on your own!”
“Charge!” Jorph shouted. She glanced behind herself and gulped when she realized a large group of trained soldiers were now being commanded by Jorph. “That’s not...what I meant.”

So here was the basic slap-together story-line: There is a queen in "an island far in the Indian Ocean, in the large empty space between Madagascar and Australia, though not really empty." I somehow felt a need to put Orphna in the real world, so I just went to the map on the wall and picked a blank section of ocean.

So anyway, Queen Losila did something that the people of Orphna didn't like. In this case, she took their... bees away. The majority of the population were beekeepers, and she, for unknown reasons, outlawed bees. Naturally, one would assume, the people were not happy with that. So they revolted.
Secondly, the main characters. They were the advisors to the queen. So when the people went after the queen, the advisors were next. So Losila sent them into hiding for their own safety. A fine story on it's own... but not the way I wrote it. Anyways, the main characters are these: Arsha, Kiake, Denna, Mylenda, Jenza, and Xren.
Arsha is the lead character. Kiake and Xren are her best friends. Xren is the only man in the group. Denna, a mother whose husband was killed by the yezben (giant possums). She has a 4-year-old daughter, Jenza. And Mylenda was an advisor who had already been caught and assumedly killed by the Cerchin (that's what the core of the revolters call themselves).
The advisers, also known as the Vinzine, have been hiding in a forest hut for a few years, all five of the remaining members. But they still have to get food, so every week or so one of the members will travel in disguise to the nearest market and get supplies before heading back to the woods. In this case, Arsha had gone to the market and was discovered by Jorph, the active leader of the Cerchin. The Cerchin are trying to find the Vinzine's hideout, so they chase Arsha, hoping she'll lead them to the fort, which she does. She thinks she outruns them and heads to the fort, but they follow, so the story starts with the entire team being chased out of their hideout.

While reading through this again, I can actually tell that I was basing it, perhaps subconsciously, on the Inheritance Cycle books. For example, the Vinzine, a classic good-guy band with a title, like Varden, both starting with V. If it worked for Christopher Paolini...
I've also worked out the time I was writing it - back in 2008, so when I was 10. The dates are messed up on my computer since we have wiped the system twice since I started writing, so I had to take a guess. One telling point was the big bad guy's name: Barama, which, in the little pronunciation guide (also inspired by the Inheritance books), I note that it rhymes with Obama. Our family is ultra-Conservative, so at age 10, basically all I knew about the elections was that McCain and Palin were good and Obama was bad. My naming skills needed work.
After writing this, I'm considering starting on the story again. But I'll have to change a lot of things. Like the bee-farm-banning thing.

Feedback is welcome and appreciated. We're going to start scheduling posts, so, Lord willing, we'll be able to get a post up on a regular basis, probably every other day, except on weekends.

1 comment:

  1. The core idea is very interesting, though I can see where it needs work. However, for having written it while being 10, I must applaud you!
    I'd say keep Barama's name Barama. It has a nice ring to it, and I'd never have thought to link it with Obama's.


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