The story of The King’s Challenge came to me while driving to work late one night. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and the moon was half new when I got on the highway. At work I had little more than sticky notes and a vague idea of the story I wanted to write. I new that I wanted the moon to play a heavy part in the imagery and beliefs of the people I was writing about and also I wanted to write a story with a female lead. Like many young men that grew up in the 90’s and 00’s I had only ever seen fantasy and adventure stories from the perspective of male characters. It wasn’t until Avatar The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra came out that I decided I wanted to see more entertainment with a woman as the main focus of an adventure. I think shows like Avatar and movies like The Hunger Games and others that have recently came out in the past few years have been proving that this is something a lot of people also want. What they really want is believable characters no matter the setting. So with those two vague ideas I started scrawling a map on some sticky notes.
As you can see I took the imagery of the moon a little too literal in the very first incarnations of this story. In my head I would no longer define the island of Redren as crescent shaped but that is neither here nor there.
It all came together in scribbles and half sentences jotted down in my Bob Marley notebook which was then transferred to a Google docs document that you can read about here. I’ve owned about three different notebooks since I first started writing, each one is like going back in time to a very specific mood or feeling and can be somewhat strange to see what kind of person I was when I first started writing in them. I have a standard black and white composition notebook, my first and most colorful due to all my high school friends drawing on it, filled with mostly song lyrics from the early years of my music. A Ninja turtle notebook that is filled with a lot of half-baked story ideas, which also includes the very first notes for The Writers of the Universe. And finally my Bob Marley, which contains the handwritten first chapter of a story called The Rebirth of Magic, and the first maps and notes for The King’s Challenge, seen above. I doubt I will ever be able to bring The rebirth of Magic to you as I have the very worst handwriting and have no idea where I was going with that story. Maybe sometime I’ll post pictures of the pages and let you all decode my secret scrawl. Below is the notebook in showcase.