20 March 2010

Fiendish Endeavors #1: Barmaglot & "Assassin"

The Mesoamerican feathered serpent god Quetzocoatyl is 1/3 of the inspiration for the Penteract trilogy

So, here's what's passing from my fevered mind to the letters at my fingertips on the keyboard and then jumping onto the screen sitting and smiling in front of me.

YA Fantasy Trilogy:

A Jabberwock of Penteract
    Book One: Barmaglot Book Two: Bandersnatch Book Three: Beamish Boy

The idea has been floating around for several years and started off as a middle school novel inspired by Lewis Carroll's poem "The Jabberwocky".

During National Novel Writing Month, I took the original story and another fantasy I had outline and wrote the first three chapters of but didn't like and combined the pair into this present incantation. I produced the first book and am now maddeningly revising it into something presentable.

I'm hoping to have the complete first book finished by the time SCBWI comes around in Los Angeles next August.

I've got several chapters revised and am sharing what I've gotten on paper with a couple of critique partners, my wife, and a teaching colleague, and they have all been quite helpful.

His Dark Materials Trilogy
I thoroughly enjoyed this series but I seriously disagree with his thesis.

Just this past week I had an epiphany as to what this story is about and, in a nutshell, it's simply "A Child's Guide to Good and Evil".

Although I enjoy His Dark Materials, I disagree with Phillip Pullman's world view, and A Jabberwock of Penteract is my answer to his thesis. 

I believe in the eternal soul of Humankind.

Quite a challenge, I know. But, dream big, or don't dream at all.

Along with the Mesoamerican feathered serpent god Quetzalcoatl, I was also inspired by the Dracorex and Stygimoloch dinosaurs.
The Stygimoloch has a skull cap and a shorter snout. This is the model for the Jammerwoch.

The Dracorex is the model for the Jabberwock clan of the Draig species.

Penteract has several species of dragons in the same way Earth has several species of "Great Apes".

One species, the Draigs, is anthropomorphic and stand eight-feet tall. Over the millenniums, Draigs lost their wings, their fire-breathing, and their tales, but they gained intelligence and creativity.

Draigs are divided into two warrior clans that are battling for supremacy of Penteract: the Jabberwocki and the Jammerwochi.

The Jammerwochi are distinguished by a bone skull cap protruding through their skin. The Jabberwocki have no such skull cap.

In my outlining and note taking, I describe the Draig species of dragons as a cross between Klignons, Berserks, and Men of the West (Lord of the Rings).

Other dragons included are more traditional; fire dragons and ice dragons; lindwyrm.

I've also created a small dragon that is the size and looks similar to a large butterfly but is a dragon in every sense of the word except for its size, the colorful rainbow gossamer wings, and the fire that it spits out like a flamethrower. It's called a Dragonfly, of course.

Three children--a 16-year-old boy and his two nine-year-old fraternal cousins (boy and girl) are thrust into the world by an iPhone app called Penteract, which the teen thinks is a game but is really a portal to Enia, the world where the continent of Penteract is located.

The kids are caught in the middle of a great war and don't know which of the two clans--the Jabberwocki or the Jammerwochi--they should fight for.

In fact, both leaders of the two Draig clans--Barmaglot of the Jabberwocki and Frumious of the Jammerwochi--believe Ethan Swain (the teen) is the Beamish Boy prophesied in an ancient religious text to end the genocidal war and bring victory to one of the groups. The prophecy leaves open as to which group the Beamish Boy finally sides with and leads to victory.

As if that weren't enough, Ethan learns that his two bratty and obnoxious twin cousins are not who he thought they were and are part of the prophesy as well.

While Ethan is trying to keep from being killed by either of the Draig clans, he's got to fight off his cousins who are out to destroy him as well for their own murderous reasons.
"Assassin" -- a short story concerning Edimata Froths, a character from The Face Maker's Apprentice (see below).

At fourteen, Edimata is one of the best of the Sister Assassins.

The Sister Assassins are a quasi-religious group made up of girls from thirteen through nineteen. After nineteen, they leave the order to marry, become nuns, or stay on as adjunct teachers.

Although they are a legal organization, they are sometimes hunted down after they leave the order and are killed by revenge-seeking relatives and friends of those they have killed--which is also perfectly legal.

Killing a Sister Assassin is easier after she has left the order because they are forbidden by law and my sacred oath to use their acquired assassin's skills after they "retire".

This is why the Sister Assassins are heavily disguised and go by pseudonyms while they are a part of the order.

Mata Hari
Mata Hari--Femme Fatale of World War I

The Sister Assassins are based on the Kunoichi . My visual image of a Sister Assassin is a combination of Mata Hari as played by the actress Famke Janssen.

Famke Janssen
Famke Janssen--Whom I've met. Check out her Wikipedia.org blurb and you'll find a picture I took of her dog Licorice

The Sister Assassins live by a strict moral code, the most important of which is "No contract is left unfilled." Although rare, a Sister Assassin may be contracted to kill a fellow Sister Assassin.

Edimata's latest client, a captain of the royal guards in the capital city of Gorod, is murdered. The telltale clues indicate the captain was killed by a master Assassin--or did Edimata kill her employer for some reason?

Female Ninja

Edemata and her sister Assassins are modeled on the Kunoichi, Mata Hari, and Famke Janssen

Edimata must find the true Assassin as the Gorod royal guard, using the strength of its force, hunts her down to kill her without prejudice.

One of my objectives in writing "Assassin" is to combine fantasy with hardboil detective archetypes and motifs.

I began writing the short story to help me with setting, characters, and world view of The Face Maker's Apprentice. When finished and polished, "Assassin" will begin its journey of submissions through the world of fantasy magazines, both hardcopy and virtual, until it finds a home.

The Face Maker's Apprentice is another YA fantasy series taking place on the mythical world of Enia but on a different continent, Aisha.

The story concerns a young girl named Aydan from the time she is sold into slavery at ten by her parents until she finds her place in the world when she's twenty.

Edimata appears in this series, and I might find a place for her "Assassin" story somewhere. If not, I've got plenty for her to do as she hunts down Aydan, whom she's been hired to assassinate because Aydan is a threat to the ruling family of Gorod.

I'm working on the characters, settings, plots, and outlines for the three books the will be The Face Maker's Apprentice as I finish up Barmaglot.

I'll be blogging about my journey through Barmaglot--I have already--as well as post sections of "Assassin" for anyone who likes fantasy and hardboiled detective fiction.

Let me know what you think about either, and I'll reciprocate with anything you're writing.

See you on the bookshelves.

Take care,

Larry Mike Garmon

No comments:

Post a Comment