Forming a New Story

Hey everyone! It’s been a crazy couple weeks, so I apologize for posting a day late.

Quick update: I’m now a week into my senior year at Pepperdine. I’m loving my classes so far, but have a sizable amount of writing and reading to do each week. I’m also applying to grad schools and working two jobs.

Needless to say, my time for leisure writing is far less frequent than I would like. I don’t plan on stopping altogether, though! You can’t get rid of me that easy. I’ll keep up my once-per-two-week posts, so you can expect a new short story, poem, or blog post at least that often (occasionally more frequently).

Furthermore, I finally feel that it’s time to embark upon a new writing project that I have been considering for two years: a serial fiction story.

What is Serial Fiction?

If you’re not familiar with serial fiction, think of it as a literary TV show. Once I have drafted enough of the story, I will begin releasing “episodes” every week or so. While I aim to write in such a way that a casual reader could jump in at any point and enjoy the story, the narrative will of course be richer and more rewarding to a reader who starts from the beginning.

I have seven ideas for serial fiction stories, and perhaps eventually I’ll write them all. For the time being, though, I want to give a quick teaser intro to each story. Please read over them, then comment below and let me know which one you’d be most interested in reading!

I will determine which story to write based on comments below, email communication with my patrons, and discussion on Facebook and Twitter. Once I have decided which story to write, I’ll spend the semester outlining, researching, and drafting the story. I aim to begin releasing episodes in the format of short stories beginning next spring.

Again, please let me know which stories you’d most like to read!

Tides of Change

Fantasy genre (low-magic), heavy on action, crime, and espionage.

Living in the port city of Dysperos, Spry Oaklore tries to maintain a covert identity while catalyzing an organized resistance against the oppressive imperial regime of his best friend’s unstable older brother.

In a haphazard, crime-ridden city full of denizens as untrustworthy as the streets are filthy, Spry must discern who he can trust and who might try to plant a knife in his back as he searches for means of gathering enough numbers to make a difference in his hidden battle against the empire.

In order to further his resistance movement, Spry must question how far he is willing to go. If he becomes a murderer and thief, is he any better than those corrupt individuals that he fights to overthrow? While scrambling to provide for his mother and siblings, Spry must come to terms with himself in order to propagate change in this tyrannical kingdom.

Shadow of Astine

Fantasy genre (some steampunk elements), heavy on action, crime, politics, and romance (including LGBTQ+).

Kleptomaniac Obsidian Rex thrives in the massive city-state of Astine, but he struggles to navigate a tumultuous romantic and criminal lifestyle.

Artavan Glass, enigmatic guild spokesperson alleged to be a powerful wizard, seeks to unite divided factions and guilds to present a strong political entity capable of opposing the oppressive Yettrian Empire to the northwest.

Unwilling politician Inawynn seeks to honor her family name while pursuing a life of meaning and purpose that she has found to be so elusive.

These three protagonists, accompanied by a wider cast of colorful characters, each pursue their own goals in a vastly complex and diverse political and socioeconomic environment. Ultimately, these three characters form an unlikely alliance in the face of an unprecedented threat.

Some of my friends and I have written a collection of short stories featuring some of these characters before. To read them, check out Tales from the Heart of Astine.

The Fractured States of Koten

Fantasy genre (high-magic), heavy on espionage, politics, and romance, with some medieval/magical warfare.

The city-states of East Koten are constantly at war with one another. Lords and ladies bicker among themselves as they try to acquire the most wealth, resources, and status. Nations form and break apart faster than the weather can change.

Cosaimi Damoren, the recent widow of a lordling with a respectable amount of land, finds herself in the middle of an intense political squabble that could easily turn into open warfare. She must navigate the road of constantly shifting alliances in an effort to secure peace for the land and power for herself in a misogynistic environment.

The Vanguard

Superhero/Sci-Fi genre, emphasis on action and politics.

New York City has always been home to greatness, and can proudly boast itself as the home of the first superheroes to make public appearances. Heroes come in all ages and demographics, and there’s no greater representation of that than the diverse team that makes up New York’s “Vanguard,” a group of super-powered individuals that seek to protect the city from any internal or external threat.

However, heroes are not above the law. What does this mean for the future of legal systems? How can humanity remain safe from supervillains without heroes to fight them? And if there are heroes, how can they be held legally accountable? The Vanguard is a team of superheroes in New York City that struggles with these questions. They clash with supervillains and with the federal government as they try to walk a road of justice and protection.

Seawatch

Superhero/Sci-Fi genre, heavy on action, multi-demographic interaction, and religious and philosophical discussion.

Like New York, Los Angeles also attracts many super-powered individuals with both selfless and power-hungry personalities. A ragtag team of superheroes in the greater LA area try to cooperate to protect their city from dire threats despite strong personality differences, vastly different socioeconomic backgrounds, and a lack of federal recognition.

Members of Seawatch include a Catholic illegal immigrant, a pothead beach bum, a Jewish businessman, a college student studying philosophy and religion, a washed-up Hollywood star and scientologist, an Islamic ex-cop, a social media influencer into veganism and body-building, and a rancher. Needless to say, not all of these personalities mesh well with one another, though they all share a common love of their city and their fellow humans that serves as a banner around which they can tenuously rally.

Limitless

Superhero/Sci-Fi genre. College drama, heavy on world-building.

College freshman Blake Turner discovers a strange utility belt one night in a field. After this discovery, unexplainable things begin to happen in his life, and he embarks upon research to discover that the belt is in fact alien technology. He slowly learns how to exercise control over the abilities that the belt gives him. However, his discovery does not go unnoticed, and a powerful crime syndicate tries to relieve Blake of his new possession.

Blake has to figure out how to maintain a semblance of normal life while trying to discern what he should do with his newfound powers derived from the belt, as well as how he should react to the criminals that are out to get him.

Dark Crusade

Superhero/Sci-Fi genre. Emphasis on crime, drugs, and homelessness.

After Hurricane Katrina left high school graduate laborer Daniel Terrel and his younger sister Osheena homeless and orphaned, Dan struggles to provide for himself and his sister on the streets of N’Orleans. When she falls ill and he can’t afford medical care, he turns to the malevolent assistance of witch-doctor Felix V. Envoûter. Felix agrees to restore Osheena’s health in exchange for a favor. The tense agreement launches Dan into a series of criminal endeavors, and he quickly realizes that he may be in way over his head as Felix’s true prowess with witchcraft becomes apparent.

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