First, an update. I am still working on a short story. The working title is ‘Velvet and Silk, Russett and Grey’, and guess what? I have a male protagonist! Woohoo!! His name is Nicholas Steadwell and I think he’s the kind of guy people will take a liking to. The story’s still early in the plotting stages, though. I haven’t even started a draft of it. But it is progressing forward, albeit slowly.
Now, I want to add that I believe I have settled upon what Chalandris’ solar system will be. It will consist of a single star, much like our own, named Gideon. Around this star will orbit a number of planets. One of these planets will fall within the star’s ‘Habitable Zone’. This planet will be a large, gaseous planet, similar to our Neptune, called Belial. Orbiting this planet will be a large, earth-sized moon with an atmosphere – Chalandris.
Sunset, as seen from the surface of a habitable moon of a gas-giant. Credit: H. Giguere, M. Giguere/Yale University
Because my ‘creation myth’ for Chalandris is heavily dependent upon such things as this, I now need to rewrite that myth, which is a shame because it was some pretty good stuff, if I do say so myself. But that’s okay; it will make everything better, I’m sure.
Still plodding forward, my erstwhile friends. Thanks for keeping the faith!
I’ve been doing some thinking about how to make Chalandris unique in the vast milieu of fantasy worlds. In keeping with my penchant for allegory, I’ve been trying to consider the implications of a binary solar system, what effect that would have on life and how it is experienced by the denizens of such a planet. Generally, days would be longer and weather would be less predictable, even if the two suns are orbiting each other very closely and one of the suns is weak compared to the other.
While doing research on this, I encountered the following CGI video of just such a binary system recently discovered by astronomers:
The system, located in the constellation of Cygnus in our sky, is composed of two suns, one large and white and the other smaller and yellow-orange in color, orbited by two planets. The closer planet is too close to be habitable, but the outer planet is within the system’s ‘habitable zone’; very exciting stuff! Now, the planets in this particular system are both gaseous and uninhabitable on that account, but if they were rocky planets like Earth, they could potentially support life if other conditions were met.
This video is very helpful to me because it helps me to envision what conditions might be like on such a planet. What would their daytime and nighttime skies look like? What would their annual seasons be like? Would their seasons even necessarily be annual?? Lots of stuff to ponder!
While doing some thinking on the two novel series I have planned for the Chalandris setting, I noticed a problem. As most of you likely know, I have two primary central characters and originally I was going to have both of them share the spotlight in a single novel series, but then thought better of it, deciding it would be better to treat the story differently by splitting it into two parts with each central character having their own series, allowing me to focus upon each of them in their own story. Once I made that decision, it felt right. It still does.
The plan I came up with was to start with Kara’s story. As the first of the stories I conceived, it only made sense. It was while dreaming up Kara’s story that I had conceived of the setting of Chalandris in the first place. Serena’s story occurred to me later, after the outline of Kara’s story was practically done. The problem I noticed, though, is that the two stories are very different from each other. Not a problem in and of itself; in fact, that’s a good thing. But the problem is that the scope of Kara’s story is huge – in fact, it would be fair to describe the scope as “epic”, where the fate of the world could possibly hang in the balance. Serena’s story, by contrast, is much more intimate, more of a personal saga. By now, most of you see the problem. Going from a sweeping novel series, huge in scope, to a smaller, more intimate story in the same setting, will quite literally feel smaller.
So, I’m going to set Serena’s story first in the timeline and write the first installment of it. Then, I’ll continue as I shop for an agent and publisher. Maybe I’ll get to Kara’s story before I get published. If so, fine.
I know many of you will like this news. Some of you professed a preference for Serena’s story. The intimacy of her story really seemed to resonate with some of you, and I’m happy that the result of my continued thinking will be a shift in my attention to her. Also, it will allow me to introduce the setting of Chalandris and get the reader well-familiar with the setting before I start tearing things apart in Kara’s story.