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Guardians of Destiny: Backstory

Posted: Sun Aug 20, 2017 4:54 pm
by Phill
After having gone through (and to some extent, are still going through) health issues and the closure of my business because of them, I took a long hiatus from writing. The spark was out for the time being. But as the health issues got better, it began to glow again, at least a bit. But my interest in continuing writing on other pending projects was still lacking. Once I convinced myself that I was ready to write, I was stuck on what to write about.

Having gone through a lot of life-transforming events in the last few years, I decided to write about something very different than what I've done in the past. I decided to write about what I know, as opposed to what I only imagine. Most, if not all, of my books tend to follow "rules" even when dealing with magical and fantastical things. But there's a lot of "magical and fantastical" things out there that exist, if not in reality, then at least within the confines of what is called "the standard model" in physics. Wormholes, time travel, genetic engineering, geniuses, human nature, eugenics, AI, psychology, physiology... They're all part of REAL LIFE, one way or the other, and not in the imaginative sense.

So my "rules" for the book I started were simple: "Keep it real."

Superheroes, vampires, zombies and unicorns were so not going to be seen here, except, maybe, the unicorns...

Writing on the book began at the beginning of June, 2017 and it was completed before the end of the month. The second book started in early July, while I was editing the first book. I paused on the editing to complete the second book, and got it done around the beginning of August. I then leapt into the third book, and as of today, I'm about 34,000 words into it - a little under half way for a first draft.

The books are actually hard for me to describe, because they're so unlike what I've done before. For the most part, they follow the life of an unusual man named Ryan Matthews - an unassuming, B-average high school student with an exceptionally unusual gift. So unusual, that of the billions of people on the planet, he's one of merely a few hundred. His gift is a unique combination of extraordinary genius, an unusually stable personality and an even stronger tendency to remain rational in the face of chaos. He doesn't seek fame or fortune. He simply wants a challenge worthy of his abilities.

High school isn't it.

Then one day, he sees a new student, an Asian girl in a school of mostly White and Latino students, who seems to be observing him. Being the kind to keep to himself, he simply observes back, until he's convinced his observations aren't just wishful thinking. When he confronts her, she confirms that she's been observing him, and doing so for a reason. She offers him a challenge, and he accepts the challenge, sight unseen.

He recognizes the level of genius the girl displayed in trapping him into confronting her and knows that what she offers is legitimate, all based on the scantiest of consistent facts.

He's recruited into "the Family" - a cooperative of geniuses who have one purpose: Preserve and promote the human race. He's assigned to a smaller "family" - a group of other similar geniuses within five years of his own age - and given a task to be completed within five years: Discover what calamities will likely befall the human race in the next two hundred years, and when they happen.

After a short discussion as to ways and means, the five decide the only practical method of doing that was to create a time machine and see what the future held directly. But physics has an issue with that, to some extent, and to get to their goal, they had to be innovative. They learn a lot about the nature of space-time as they do this. What they also discover is that a hundred years in the future, all human life on earth suddenly and inexplicably vanishes.

For a group of adolescent geniuses, this presents them with even more challenges.

The story line then proceeds from there, mostly centered on Ryan and those who come into, and drift out of, his life, all the while as he works to preserve the human race as best as he can. It's life experienced through someone who has the ability, and will, to change the course of human history.

The current series and book titles are still tentative, because it's such an odd way to do a book for me. It has hugely adult themes in it, including child abuse, sex, incest and other real life things that happen a lot more often than people tend to see in their "entertainment". I drew these from people I know, love and care about, so in a lot of ways, this is an intensely personal book series for me. The personalities in it come from people I know or knew. Every personal element draws on real life experience, and on real life lessons I've picked up over the decades.

I've also taken themes from other stories I started that never went anywhere, AI being one of them. It taught me that in order to stay interested in writing, I need to focus on more than just one thing in what I write.

I've also debated whether or not this book will ever get published. As a vehicle to get be back in the writing saddle, it's been an excellent ride. But from an entertainment point of view, I'm not sure how well received it will be. It's almost too much like real life - at least to me. And for me, I read to ESCAPE real life. I'm not sure how many readers will be interested in seeing my vision of "what could be" reality. Then again, I wouldn't be the only author out there publishing a vanity piece, so I've taken the next step to put this on my "coming attractions" list here.

That means I'm publishing it.

WHEN remains to be seen, but I'm hoping to do it around the first of the year - at least getting the first book out there by then.

And as the furor scribendi over this series fades (it's beginning to, mostly because I need to keep it going and am running out of ideas at the moment), I expect to turn my attention back to those neglected, unfinished books folks have asked about. This endeavor is tentatively labeled a series, but it may end up being only a trilogy. It's still hard to say, even though I already have about 2 1/2 books of it done. If I can think of some more entertaining material, I'll take it to four. If not, it will be capped at three, with the potential for more later should the spirit move me.

Either way, getting a third of a million words written in that short of a time frame has put me back in the writing mood. So over the next few years, I expect to be a bit more prolific in what I get out there.

Re: Guardians of Destiny: Backstory

Posted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 3:17 pm
by Phill
For now, this trilogy is on indefinite hold.

While it got me back into the writing game again after a too-long hiatus, it's probably not something very publishable. It doesn't have quite enough conflict or action. When I get bored, I may finish it, then dress it up a lot more. But for now, I'm rather burned out on it and want to move on to other options that are better at engaging my attention.

[edit added 1/6/19]
Having moved it to the book graveyard, I'm definitely suspending any notions of publishing or finishing this trilogy. It served me well for inspiration for other books and ideas I subsequently wrote. But as it is, it's pretty bad because the story isn't very compelling. It did serve as an excellent primer to get me back to writing, and back up to some kind of speed (as the 6 or 7 books I've published since I began this one can attest), but beyond that, it's pretty hopeless. So I'm officially burying this one for good.