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I experience the story with my characters. It’s fun wandering around with them and getting to know the world as they do. I don’t go into the story with any kind of plan. I just write. For me, world building can be looking at fantasy, horror and dark fantasy artwork and trying to picture that scene, that character, that creature in my story. Cool artwork of a floating island gives my muse a nice kick to wake it up.
That’s how it worked for Visible Through Darkness. Jade starts off in this dystopian city. Since she doesn’t spend too much time there in the story, I didn’t do a lot of world building for it. I focused on the culture because it’s the reason Jade feels like she doesn’t belong. At first, Jade was supposed to be a normal girl going on an adventure, finding her light but as I wrote the story, I realized she wasn’t human. She had magic she wasn’t aware of it. Her parents had a life they never shared with her. Serin helped her find that out.
He and Jade travel to Jura, their homeland, just as it’s dying, the magic is leaving it. In the book, the characters don’t use the term magic. They refer to it as Bai Ron. People born of Jurian blood can produce this power. Jura is an old land where power runs through everything. It’s an island protected by a barrier so non-magic people can’t stumble on it. Kind of like Hogwarts. Since the Bai Ron is leaving the land, Jura doesn’t have the protection it used to. Without the power, the land has become infertile. People’s powers can feed the land but that’s not enough.
I built Jura in my head using images and anime as inspiration. That’s pretty much how I’ve been tackling this series. Make things up as I go along while keeping track of what I’ve already written. Without me realizing it, Visible Through Darkness, and The Jura series, became a story of Jade and Serin growing together as they search for a safe place to settle down.
Enjoy an Excerpt
Jade lunged at him. He fell backwards. She straddled his chest and beat her fist and her frustrations into his face. No one would care what she did to him. He made her relive everything this world represented and everything she couldn’t have. Her fists burned. No one would care. People were supposed to care. He wore a wedding ring. He had a wife and maybe children. This world didn’t raise people to honor such commitments.
What Mom and Dad had was beautiful. She once wished for something like that. People like him turned that dream to ash.
She punched and punched. He stopped moving. Why was she born into such an ugly world? Why couldn’t she be selfish like everyone else?
His face caved under her blows. Finally, something bent to her will. Her fist drilled though his skull. Jade’s blood sang. His head became bloody ground beef flecked with small hard pieces. She punched concrete. She needed to stop. Her body wouldn’t listen. Sharp pain slid up her arms. Stop. Gore splashed into her face. Stop. Her body froze.
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