So I was invited by friend o’ the blog Scott Whitmore (I call him that because he wrote a pretty rad review of my book) to write a chapter for the 444 Project, which I did. Basically, the project is a game of telephone, wherein a person writes one 444-word chapter, then finds someone to write the next chapter. I am number four. Go read it. The come back here so I can talk about it.
Oh, good, you’re back. Hope you enjoyed the thingy. Let’s talk about it now, because it matters for huge and important reasons.
First off, I’m really glad to write this story, and not just because I think the concept is really cool, but because of a story that has been kicking around forever in my head. It opens with basically the exact same premise as this, guy on the beach with no idea how he got there (in my version, he has no memory of his past life at all, though). I always hated how, in a lot of fantasy literature, there is some prophecy pointing to the hero or whatnot, and my idea was that this was the guy who wrote that prophecy. But it never really went beyond that, I never even outlined it.
Now I don’t have to. I threw my two cents into this story, and I don’t have to come up with the ending.
Moar storees liek this pls.
The fourth chapter, more or less, is always a bit of an adventure to write. You’re past the introduction, for the most part, but still in the first act, so it can amount to the time right after you’ve met someone, shook hands and exchanged names, but aren’t familiar enough for small talk. So it can be a bit of an awkward silence, in away, where someone has to say “so… what do you do?”
And that’s about what I tried to do with this story. The Man mostly spends the first three chapters wandering around, trying to figure out where, exactly, he is, as one likely would after waking up on an alien world. He could continue to do this for all eternity, if he were not interrupted, so I figured I’d interrupt him.
Which is where The Judge comes in. Somehow or the other after reading those first three chapters, I imagined this guy. I wanted to communicate that the Man was there for a reason, whatever that may be, and he isn’t the only one. What that reason is, I leave to others (lord knows I have ideas, though). I wanted The Judge to be a guide of sorts (be that for this moment, or for the whole arc- this is also up to others). I also wanted it to be clear he is far from human. We might never find out what he is, I kind of hope not, because I know what I meant him to be, and that ambiguity is fun, but for the moment, I hope he helps this story to a good place.