The 777 Writing Challenge – Peek-a-boo, Book 2!

My blogging buddy, Michael Fedison, has been around since the very beginning of my blog, offering support and kindness and encouragement, all of which I am incredibly thankful for. Mike is the author of The Eye-Dancers, which is a fabulous sci-fi/fantasy story about friendship and all sorts – I highly recommend 🙂

Anyway, he tagged me in the 777 Writing Challenge a little while back. And here state the 777 Writing Challenge rules:

The 777 challenge requires you go to Page 7 of your work-in-progress, scroll down to Line 7 and share the next 7 lines in a blog post. Once you have done this, you can tag 7 other bloggers to do the same with their work-in-progress.

How wonderfully simple, no?

Needless to say, my current work-in-progress is Book 2 of the Ilimoskus story. Regular followers will know that I forever refer to it as ‘Book 2’, though this is not because it is untitled – in fact, I named all three books way back when, such was the extent of my planning – but rather I refer to it as such because I wish for its title to remain secret. “Keep it secret, keep it safe.” So much is revealed as the story unravels and I wish no part in accidentally letting something slip, and so, as an extreme caution, my lips have been bolted shut. The nearer completion it becomes, the more I shall tell. But, for now, I must keep everyone in cruel suspense 😉

A while back I was thinking about sketching another character within the story, with the intention to… perhaps… share it with the world. This character is new in Book 2; this character is insanely important. I believe I have once disclosed that there are many new characters in Book 2, and let me tell you that ‘many’ is no exaggeration. You see, Book 2 is a joy for me in a vast variety of ways, though one of the greatest joys is the, I’m sure, long-awaited inclusion of the other ilyorz (or elements, to those of you unfamiliar with the story). Times of Old is wholly set within the Flamikus (fire folk) world, yet Book 2 welcomes the arrival of the Aeriikus (air folk), Agwikus (water folk), and Humiit-kus (earth folk) with open arms. Due to the other ilyorz being in this book, there are many new characters to meet within these other elemental worlds, and in turn many new dynamics and interactions. I so rarely get excited, but the thought of eventually sharing Book 2 with the world makes me buzz! I cannot wait to see what people think of the other ilyorz, or how they react to some of the new characters! And I know there is a good handful of people out there waiting for Book 2, and they have been for far, far too long. Life has been a bit cruel to me these past two years, and so writing Book 2 has been the last thing on my mind… Though I must deeply thank all those patiently waiting, for their interest and love for the story has not waned despite the length of time. It is truly touching. Thank you. And the Ilimoskus thank you, too 🙂 They want their story told as much as I do!

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So! When tagged for this challenge, I was curious to know where Page 7 landed within the story of Book 2, and, due to my bolted lips, I wondered whether this landing would tell of something I was not willing to share. This would have made things quite the pickle, I’m sure you’d agree. In reaching my Page 7, I discarded the boring title pages of the manuscript, so, technically, this isn’t actually from the true Page 7, but it is Page 7 if counting from the very beginning of the told story. If that makes any sense. I have said “Page 7” too much.

To my relief, Line 7 on the not-true-but-still-is-Page 7 could not have been better. Anyone would think this had been strategically planned, it is so perfect. For those unaware of ILIMOSKUS**, the story is split by being told between two perspectives: fantasy (the Ilimoskus world) and reality (the human world). There are, therefore, principal Ilimoskus characters and principal human characters. The last few chapters of Times of Old are set wholly with the Ilimoskus, and so there may be a few readers out there wondering whatever became of poor Elizabeth, for last we knew she was in a dreadful state. Well, my friends, these wonderings may cease at the beginning of Book 2, for the book begins with the human world. This Page 7 lands within the first chapter of Book 2 – a human chapter.

And now, here is the excerpt:

Anastasia was about to fire back, but then she noticed the horror on her sister’s face as she looked into the sky behind her. Confused, she turned to look too, but there was nothing to see. Walking the remainder of the way to reach Elizabeth, she critically said, “What are you gawping at?” once arriving in front of her.

Elizabeth’s eyes followed its trail of flight. It was another great yellow bird, exactly like the one she had seen that fateful afternoon. Although her heart once again spun into overdrive, the bird was merely gliding around in silence, yet the lack of its piercing noise made it far less daunting. “C-can… Can you not see it?” she asked faintly, pointing up at it. “How can you not see it?”

Dun-dun-duuunnnnnnn. Well, not really. If you have read the first book, you will understand the impact of that there excerpt. Though, if you read Times of Old‘s blurb, it is hardly a secret:

‘Throughout this ever-growing tension, Fii’dezrhu Reotum – a rebellious Flamikus – discovers a momentous secret he then acts upon by venturing to the forbidden human lands; while there, he inadvertently reveals the Ilimoskus’ existence to one young girl.’

All Sherlocks out there would likely have clicked that this ‘young girl’ is indeed Elizabeth 😉 Needless to say, this ‘great yellow bird’ is a creature within the Ilimoskus world (called an espi’motoff, for those of you who wish to know).

I’m not going to lie, I am now slightly stumped on what else to say about this. I shall thus embrace my bolted lips once more. Though, for all of those people out there waiting for Book 2, I will say that I am very nearly halfway through the story. It’s only taken me three years to get to this point, but, you know. Whatever. How it pays to dally with the snails! And with the snails I shall stay. It’s exciting, though. I’m excited. I love Book 2.

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And so now I move on to tag other writers and their WIPs. I’m supposed to tag seven, though would you believe it would seem I hardly follow any writers who have a WIP… Unless I’m just blind and unobservant, of course – which I wouldn’t put past me. But anyway, I tag:

Valourborn

Like Star Filled Skies

Concerning Writing

They’re all great writers, do check them out 🙂

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Thank you for reading! I always appreciate it. I hope that little excerpt was a tantalising insight. Please, try to remain seated throughout your hysteria. I know it’s difficult. Hopefully I will have some more news soon. Keep your eyes polished! (Not peeled. Who wants peeled eyes? Such grim imagery.)

Icktis que yer kard fait ya phyde urma, dear world.

“May the light from your heart always guide you”

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** For those unaware of ILIMOSKUS, it is a deep, environmental fantasy story about a race of elemental beings (fire, earth, air, water) colliding with the world of humans. Please click on this link if you would like to discover more. **

Meet My Main Character Blog Tour

The Ilimoskus story has its third birthday at the beginning of July this year. At least I think it’s the third birthday… I just don’t know anymore, time merges into one, giant blob. I feel like a parent internally screaming, “STOPPP GETTING OLDER WHY MUST TIME GO SO QUICKLY?!” I cannot believe it’s been three years sometimes, and if you look at it from a certain angle, you can get a rather downcast perspective. Three years and I’m not even half way through writing Book 2? But then, some things take time. Think of the marvellous trees which surround us! Hundreds of years must pass for them to grow tall and strong, wise and wonderful. I like thinking of my story as a tree. I like trees. Trees are slow. Slow is good. Trees are life. Love life. LOVE TREES.

Anyway, moving on from my obsessive ramblings about trees… (sorry)

I have made some lovely friends during my time in the world of WordPress, one of whom is Michael S. Fedison, author of The Eye-Dancers. He is a great writer, and I absolutely love The Eye-Dancers, so I think everyone should take a look at his really inspiring blog! Michael recently tagged me in the Meet My Main Character Blog Tour. This tour is about the main character in a current work-in-progress, and anyone who is tagged is required to answer certain questions the following Monday.

My work-in-progress is part two of the Ilimoskus trilogy. Part one, Times of Old, is already published and available worldwide (though, often I wish that I had not published it quite so soon… But that’s a whole other story…) Book 2 obviously continues on from where Book 1 finished… 😉 The Ilimoskus trilogy, on the whole, is an environmental fantasy story about a race of elemental beings – the Ilimoskus – who live on Earth unbeknownst to humans. The story takes the reader into a stark collision between fantasy and reality, and, in time, both humans and Ilimoskus will watch the world they once knew crumble around them.

If you know nothing about the Ilimoskus story other than what you just read, in my answers below will be very strange words to you. Any word with superscript beside it will be explained at the bottom, so fear not! (; 

Q1) What is the name of your character? Is he/she fictional or a historic person?

Character. Singular? I know this is supposed to be for one main character, but my story actually has three… and they are all equally as important, if you ask me. The Ilimoskus(1) story and all its characters are completely fictional.

1 – Fii’dezrhu Reotum (he is the main main main character of the story, I suppose…)

2 – Nax’pala Arrubii [known by many as ‘Nax’]

3 – Elizabeth Gott

There are so many really important characters in Ilimoskus I just… What was I thinking?!

Q2) When and where is the story set?

In my head, the Ilimoskus story is set in a very specific time frame and in very specific areas of the UK; however, there is no mention of any of this within the story itself, for, ultimately, I left it down to the reader’s own imagination, and, actually, where and when it is set isn’t that important in the grand scheme of things. The main setting is a forest/woodland – which forest that truly is doesn’t really matter.

The entire Ilimoskus story is set in the present day. If being really pedantic, the story actually starts, in mid-September 2011 (12th), but as I said, there is not concrete mention of this, and there is certainly no mention of the year. But it does say, in Times of Old, that autumn is approaching, which would imply the story is set around September time; moreover, the character Leon says this:

‘“…she mentioned that Elizabeth’s birthday was on the fifteenth, on Wednesday – the day before ours.”’

In my mind, the forest wherein the Flamikus(2) holid(3) is situated is in Dartmoor National Park, and the village wherein the Gott family reside is on the outskirts of this forest. Unlike the time-frame, there really is no mention of Dartmoor anywhere in the story. In Book 2 (my current work-in-progress), parts of the story are set in Exmoor National Park and The New Forest. Again, there is no mention of this.

Q3) What should we know about him/her?

1 – Fii’dezrhu is a rebellious and impulsive Flamikus (fire folk), yet despite his often rash and foolish behaviour, he has a great sense of fun and adventure, and is incredibly spirited. He is an outcast in Ilimoskus society <- psstt, that’s very important. He also has a little companion who brightens his darkest days: Flee the akenlazree(4)

2 – Nax is Fii’dezrhu’s best – and only – friend (besides Flee, of course). He is without a shadow of a doubt the more reliable and sensible of the two, though this is due to his being the heir to an exceedingly high position within Ilimoskus society, and thus, he is bound by responsibility. He is extremely loyal and has the kindest of hearts, and he is generous and thoughtful. He wears his heart well and truly on his sleeve for the whole world to witness.

3 – Elizabeth is an introverted fifteen year old girl, being the small shadow under her elder sister’s dominating presence. She comes from a privileged family who live in a quintessential English village; living in a village suits her, as she is a quiet, simple individual, and she has easy access to the natural world which she so enjoys and cares for. She doesn’t have many friends, but the ones she does have are true. Likewise, she doesn’t often speak her mind, even though she may want to, due to her reserved and somewhat placid nature, and she struggles to find the inner confidence to stand up for herself.

Q4) What is the main conflict? What messes up his/her life?

Oh dear. Throughout the story, the main characters especially have a whole mountain range of ‘conflicts’ to confront. To ensure I do not ramble on all day, I shall briefly outline the main conflict/s for each character specifically in Book 2.

Also, I do not want to spoil anything, sooo… I can’t actually say very much!

1 – Fii’dezrhu’s main conflict in Book 2 is… this is really hard to discuss without spoiling anything… learning how to dance in the rain… (Not literally. That would kill him). That is, learn how to make the best out of a problematic situation. And problematic it sure is! 😉

2 – Nax’s main conflict is… rather convoluted. It is, I suppose, himself. Dun dun DUUNNNNNN. So dramatic. Well, not really, but it is mighty deep!

3 – Elizabeth’s main conflict is learning how to believe in herself, which, given the circumstances leading up to Book 2, is far easier said than done. Especially for this sensitive little protagonist. She needs to learn to live with conviction!

Q5) What is the personal goal of the character?

I am answering this with the same reasoning as Q4.

1 – Fii’dezrhu’s personal goal is home. And where is his heart’s home, I wonder? I am saying nothing more.

2 – Nax’s personal goal is… far more complicated than Fii’dezrhu’s. He doesn’t have a merry old time of it in Book 2. I suppose his goal is, rather morbidly, to just make it through the day. To find a way to fill the hole in his heart. I actually feel really sorry for Nax in Book 2 – just throwing that out there.

3 – Elizabeth’s personal goal is to attain more self-belief and self-confidence. To get some fire in her belly! 😉

Q6) Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it?

There is a working title for this novel (Book 2), but I am not telling you 😉 Not yet, anyway. And no, you cannot read more about it, because I haven’t shared anything for it at all. I am waiting until it is nearer completion.

Q7) When can we expect the book to be published?

Hahahahaha. Oohhhh, never, most likely.

In all seriousness, I honestly can’t tell you. The original plan was to have it out in 2014, but that royally cocked up due to life *shakes fist*, so now I have no idea. And I wouldn’t like to say another time again, just in case I have another personal/emotional catastrophe which messes everything up for a second time. I fear that would crush my spirit once and for all, if it such a thing did indeed happen again. Book 2 will say hello to the world when it is ready, whenever that may be.

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(1) – IlimoskusThis is the name for the entire race of elemental beings (fire, earth, air and water)

(2) – Flamikus: This is the name for the fire elemental folk in particular

(3) – Holid: A holid is the Ilimoskus’ equivalent of what would be a city, and even more specifically, the capital.

(4) – Akenlazree: An akenlazree is a Flamikus creature. It is basically a fire-lizard. With wings!

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So, there we go! Thank you very much for taking the time to read. I don’t actually know many on WordPress who are currently working on something, and most of those I do know have already been tagged, but I do know that Alex at Valourborn and Kayla at Concerning Writing are writers and are working on things! So I tag you two 🙂 I hope to see your posts on 16th!

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 May the light from your heart always guide you.

😉