AOM Memories

By eugena On February 12th, 2011

May not be appropriate for young readers.

In the midst of writing the second book, I think back to the many memories of the first.

The first is the vow: I’m sure some of you think “what’s the big deal on this kiss” sorry got to say that was when I decided “I should not do any more flashbacks or lessons on history.” It really is a plot device and is somewhat important but it only affects some characters. It will be explained in AOM 2. I think I did a zine article on that one.

I also wrote a great scene with Eleya (taking place before AOM: TA) where she is pregnant (or at least she thinks so — could be a nasty spell) and married to Zaedrif. Now with the ending I think, “Crap! Can’t use that now.” But maybe I can use that as a “prophetic dream” instead. It’s such a great scene that I love, I will be fitting it in somewhere.

Perhaps the most disturbing memory comes actually from a reader. He read parts of the first version of the story, which featured a different herione and a different Zaedrif (though the name remained the same). Although I am very familiar on how to use incest in literature (I read japanese manga and light novels and watch anime — it’s full of incest in the weirdest places. Not to meantion that incest itself is absolutely disgusting.), I never once used that in AOM. Not even for the baddies. But he said something like, “Oh, I get it. Zsastar and Kerris (the protagonist) are brother and sister and Zaedrif is their secret child.”

NO. No way. I realize later — I’m not a doctor but it became obvious — that he had a secret desire of incest. No, I could not pass off this reference to Japanese manga/anime/novels, as he was not into them.

WOW amazing what you learn about people even when you’re not trying to learn about them.

Trivia: I finished the first full version of this novel before I was 18 — wow that’s a long time ago. (And it’s really amusing that at law school and during my externship so many people think I’m really young and I’m older than they think. I won’t say how old I am on the ‘net.)

Merrik’s hair: why did I do it that way? I just felt like it. Why black? Black in literature = death. Also, I think Malik meant “dark king” or something like that though in the first version I did not introduce Malik (King of Sethane).

Sex: One reader complained there was no sex. But he was wrong. It’s like violence in a Greek play — it happens off-stage. Miriam gets pregnant (by John) and obviously sex had to be involved. Use your imagination.

Sexism and women hatred: At one point Eleya might have been a widow — then found out her husband was alive when she married Merrik (I have not decided when/if she and Merrik get married now). This reader called Eleya a WHORE. But cheered on Zaedrif who is definitely a whore.


I’m glad I have gotten a lot of feedback on this. Prepare to have butt kicking. If you are the sexist view of above, your butt is thoroughly kicked in advance.

And why hasn’t anyone figured out WHY all the swordmaster true leaders are FEMALE? It’s my version of kicking the pathetic butt of you sexist people. ESPECIALLY YOU RELIGIOUS EXTREMISTS THAT ENCOURAGE RAPE, ABUSE, AND MURDER OF FEMALES FOR AN EXCUSE BACKED UP BY YOUR SO-CALLED “RELIGION.”

If you really enjoy reading about females being abused, I recommend The Sword of Truth seies. I expected it to be great after watching the tv show, but it really is a playground for those who fantasize about the abuse, rape, etc of women and minor (though the focus is on the women).

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Defining Characters

By eugena On February 11th, 2011

Characters become part of you. You are their creator, their “god.” You define their beginning, trials, end. Sometimes when writing, you amaze yourself in the amount of evolution/personal growth you go through.

I remember when I first wrote The Age of Merrik under the title Crystal Destiny, focusing more on the powers of the crystals. I had three main characters other than Merrik, Queen Zira, General Zsastar, and Zaedrif. I eventually kept some ideas from Zira to keep her as a character of the same name in the sword master past**. She was married to Zsastar I, the namesake of General Zsastar. To a certain extent, Zastar of Crystal Destiny and Zsastar of The Anointing are the same. For Zaedrif, I only kept the name. While genetic characteristics are similar, the first Zaedrif was merely a teenager, adopted son/ward of both Zira and Zsastar, their common bond. Then Zaedrif became a bit older, a noble swordmaster, more like that of Zaedrif of The Age of Merrik: The Screenplay Adaptation.

While Oroco and the other members of The Four have always been part of the story since version one (Kaeya did have development), Oroco became a focal point of version three (final) Zaedrif. Zaedrif and Oroco are childhood friends. They shared in a very naive love, which eventually develops deeper. Oroco can’t let go, but Zaedrif can, because *enter Eleya.* I really like the name Eleya, one of the many that I made up. It’s perfect for her. Merris is ok, and Merris becomes *spoiler* the name of Miriam and John’s first child.

I could have left it at that. But when I began to develop an even deeper history for the sword master characters, I decided that this is really why Zaedrif betrayed his people. He did not cower in fear, he was not incapacitated. He failed them because he chose Oroco. Idiot. Choosing a pitiful love over responsibility for an entire nation.

Compare him with Merrik. Again and again he chose his responsibility as a leader over that of his own love, interest, and family. Yet Zaedrif is supposed to be a sword master and closer to the god character (Serafin).

Who are Merrik’s parents? Two-fold question. His bond/adoptive parents are much like himself. They both chose their positions as leaders first in as their priorities. As for his blood parents, I promise at least one of them will eventually be revealed. Did they make the same choice? Yes, I could answer that question, but I prefer to keep you all hooked.

Reflecting on it now, the Zaedrif/Oroco connection has an impact on many things in the storyline. Cle’an was once a minor character, taking entrance and exit, with Jierin then on stage. Now he became more rounded. He has a past. All characters do, but the more minor they are, the less the pasts are revealed. (Perfect fodder for fanfictions.) Cle’an, native of Nemea, obeyed his lord, Prince Zaedrif, to send Oroco away and protect her; he left his beloved Valerie. While Zaedrif’s love lived, Cle’an’s did not. Neither did Cle’an’s beloved queen escape unscathed. Rise of the New Masters reveals more of her suffering.

Many love Eleya. Mostly courtly love. Look that one up if you need to. They admire her, adore her. Is she god on Earth? No, but that doesn’t stop Zsastar in his “create-a-Serafin” plan.

Another character I enjoyed the development of is Areya, but I will save that for another post.

** Zira later renames herself Kerris, and this is the name recorded in Swordmaster historical records. Therefore, Zira is tagged as “Kerris”. The “Zira” tag is for the main character of version one. Eleya later becomes the main character instead of Zira.

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