Monday December 9th, 2013

The exercise:

Today's writing theme is: that's a wrap.

Use the prompt as you will, but I'm going to do a little look back on the yearlong journey through Mejaran. I hope it's of interest even to those who did not participate in the collaboration.

Plus there's a little surprise announcement at the end.


When I first wrote the introduction to Mejaran back in January I had absolutely no idea where the story would go. I intentionally left it as open to interpretation as possible, as I just wanted to provide the setting and allow the story to grow from there.

And grow it did.

Characters and relationships were created, twists and turns materialized. At many points during the year I truly had no clue what was really going on, nor what was coming next. Reading back over every entry was vital before attempting to write the next one.

Some things I wrote were misinterpreted or misunderstood, others were taken in directions I never considered. I'm sure I'm not the only one in that category. It all made for a very compelling experience, as far as I was concerned.

Allow me, if you will, to end with a couple of minor trivia notes and a little announcement.

Since I was creating the world we would play in, I took the liberty of naming a few things after people in my life. The first, and perhaps most obvious, was the village itself:


I think at some point I had come up with something for what the ran stood for at the end there but I've totally forgotten it now. Mostly it was just an ending that seemed necessary to make it sound more like a place name than Meja did, to my ear at any rate.

Well, maybe that wasn't the most obvious name origin. I imagine Doctor Maximus Jaycox could take that prize. Fun fact: Kat and I didn't care for any of the longer versions of Max when we were naming our son (Maxwell, Maximilian, etc), which is why we chose what we did. The only one I was pulling for was Maximus, but I was aware I never stood a chance with that.

Finally, a place name origin that none of you could have guessed: the mountain range looming over the village.


That would be Max's only cousin, inspiration for the Nadaga Mountains.

I hope those of you who participated in the monthly installments enjoyed yourselves. I know I certainly did. So much so that I would like to do it again next year. But with a little twist to get things started.

In the just over two thousand day history of this blog, there have been a grand total of zero guest posts. All the writing that has appeared on the main page has been my own. That's going to change in January.

Because I have asked Greg to write the introduction to the setting we'll be paying monthly visits to in 2014. I am looking forward to what he comes up with, and I hope you all will join me in exploring the world he sets out for us.


Greg said...

It's a wrap
I confess I hadn't spotted that Mejaran began with Max's initials, and I'm annoyed about that since I'd previously commented that you'd nearly given him MEGA as an acronym! But I did spot Dr. Maximus Jaycox and that's ultimately why I didn't finger him as the final bad guy in the ending yesterday.
I've really enjoyed our monthly trips to Mejaran, with the anticipation of seeing where it would all go next. Like you, Marc, I was often surprised by the events that transpired, and left wondering what would happen next.
I suppose, looking back, that I've probably written my fair share of the dramatic events, but towards the end I tried to kill Shotek and then blew up the village (at least in places). This wasn't done out of any particular hatred for characters, simply to push the story towards a conclusion as I thought we were getting close and then shying away again. It's hardly surprising in a place as interesting as Mejaran that none of us really wanted to leave it, but sometimes a story needs to end so that the next one can be told. I have no regrets :)
I've also liked watching how everyone has picked up the various characters from time to time to move them on. No-one's stuck to a single character, refusing to write from any other view-point, and that's really helped bring the collaborative nature of the world to the fore, I think. It's hard to get attached to someone when you're also not the only one pulling their strings! Which is not to say that I don't have a soft spot for some of the characters; Azmar, that Morganna introduced, turned out to be such a complicated, devious rogue that he was impossible not to like, even if he probably was up to no good. And Jocelle's slow revelations about herself and her family life made her deeply appealing... when I tried to kill Shotek the first time, she was my second choice.

And now... now I have the dubious honour of trying to live up to the high standards that Marc's already set, and being a guest post to boot. Suddenly January seems far too close!

Marc said...

Greg - yeah, that's also part of the reason I couldn't bring myself to hang the good doctor. I've gone soft I guess :P

I really enjoyed this insight into your perspective on things. Killing Jocelle certainly would have taken things to another level! I'm... I don't know actually. A bit torn that you didn't. Both glad and disappointed.

And I can't wait to see what you come up with for us. No pressure at all, I'm sure it will be great fun :D