Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Worldbuilding Wednesday, a Sneak Peak into the Netherscape Realm

Just a thought, but tomorrow is the day my blog book tour class will visit to critique my blog. I have been trying to think of something special to post that is representative of what this site is about. After consideration I thought an excerpt based on my work in progress might be appropriate. I write for kids and young adults – this sets me apart from the rest of the class a bit, as does my genre of fantasy, and I do appreciate the tolerance of my differences from the rest of the class. Tolerance is a strong theme in my book. I hope everyone will continue to bear with me as today and tomorrow’s posts will be slightly longer than usual.

Today’s worldbuilding theme is a little more specific. Today I am going to “set the scene” for tomorrow’s post.

As the scene I plan on sharing is not from the book’s opening, I will try to give you a little story and character background. Ryan (16), his little brother Brady (9), Kylie (15) and Sean (16) attend a renowned private school called the Greenbrier Academy, one of the highest rated schools in the country. It is located in the fictitious town of Wen Melas, CA nestled in the valley of the Alijunga Mountains. A strange new head master, Wiliam Derrnz, has arrived at the prestigious school and suddenly very interesting things begin to occur. The headmaster brings with him new professors and an odd new curriculum that includes classes like dragon training and interactive history. The friends discover they have been assigned to a “directed study” program, which is the beta testing group for the new curriculum, but they seem to be the only ones participating with the new professors and classes.

They have discovered they each have very special innate talents, as everyone does.

Ryan is the leader of the group, a practical “everyman” with organizational skills that play to each of their strengths. He fearlessly blazes the trail on their quest into the Netherscape realm with a quiet strength.

Kylie’s talents lie in writing so she keeps a very special journal chronicling every step of their journey. She’s a bit awkward socially, and relies heavily on what she has learned from books for all her answers. She writes for the school newspaper and dreams of someday having adventures and not just writing about them.

Sean is the comic relief of the group. He is very comfortable at being the laid back, fun-loving practical joker they have all known and loved over the years. As the adventure unfolds the group is surprised to learn of Sean’s natural abilities in science and survival techniques. (After all, who knew he could read, let alone think?!) He is quick witted, resourceful and able to think outside the box in a MacGyver-ish sort of way, a source of continuous surprises.

Brady is the innocent; a kind-hearted and compassionate child who happens to love dragons and discovers his talent lies in the area of language and communications. He quickly assimilates languages and soon finds he is able to hear with more than his ears – he learns quickly to listen with his heart.

What they have learned in the short time they have been back at school is there is an ancient prophecy stating the Destineers will save the worlds. Yes, it is worlds with an “s” because there are many of them…you just have to know how to find them. They are the Destineers and they share strong roots with ties to different factions within the magical community…at least that is what they have been told. Research in the Cybrarie has told them many generations earlier, the magic ran strong in each of their families but that was the time when our world believed in “the old ways” and magical enchantments. But those beliefs and the magical crafts died out in our world centuries ago forcing the birth of the magical realm, a realm fraught with fantastical beings and magic, the Netherscape realm. Once again, magic is in danger of disappearing forever.

One of the classes the students are taking is interactive history. The techno-imagineering professor has invented a machine called an incarnation chamber that can transport anyone to any time in any history of any realm. This device enables them to study history interactively. In this particular lesson the headmaster, Wiliam Derrnz, is taking the group to get an important glimpse from a particularly violent portion of our world’s history – the Holocaust. Wiliam Derrnz has just told the class: “No matter how far you go, history has a way of coming back to haunt you. Keep this in mind as we enter the Chamber for today’s lesson. We shall be returning to November 9, 1938. ”

I am now turning the blog over to 15 year-old Kylie O’Connor who keeps the journals for the class and will be accompanying you tomorrow on your blog tour.

Hi, Kylie here. It is my job to keep the chronicles of our lessons and adventures in a very special journal Professor Sinclair gave me.

Just to set the scene for you: I was nervous about entering the Incarnation Chamber. I knew the headmaster said it was set to replication mode, and these were mere shadows of the past—nothing that could hurt us, but our lesson was on the Holocaust, one of the bloodiest most violent times in recent history and this was Interactive History class. It was still early in the school year and I wasn’t sure just how interactive the lesson would get. Professor Derrnz said the chamber was programmed to automatically translate everything being said so we’d hear everything in our own language. I could hear my heart thumping loudly so I knew everyone in the chamber could hear it too. They’d know I was afraid.

These were just supposed to be shadows from the past…shadows can’t hurt you, right? I kept telling myself this…but last night Sean and I watched one of those horror movies he likes so much. Shadows are never just shadows…shadows ALWAYS hurt you in those movies. Please don’t let this be like the movies…
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Patricia Stoltey said...

A good choice for your critique day post. I've been reading a lot of YA novels lately, and fantasy is a new interest for me. I'm looking forward to your excerpt.

N A Sharpe said...

Hi Patricia! I hope you like tomorrow's excerpt! :D

Nancy, from Just a Thought…

Helen Ginger said...

I'm looking forward to tomorrow's excerpt post. This looks like it could be a great series.

Straight From Hel

N A Sharpe said...

Hi Helen, Thanks! I've been having a lot of fun writing this and hope I can sell it as a series. Hope you like the post!

Nancy, from Just a Thought…

Kim McDougall said...

This is my first time here, but I think your blog is great. It's got all the important elements: Good content, easy navigation and relevant links. It's also not too cluttered. I don't like cluttered blogs, my eyes glaze over : ) Good luck with your crit.

N A Sharpe said...

Hi Kim! Thanks so much for stopping by. I'm really glad you liked the blog, thank you so much for your kind words. I really appreciate it. Hope to see you stop by often :D

Nancy, from Just a Thought…

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

I love your characters, Nancy. Sounds like you're really coming along with the book. I'm way behind on this, now off to read your excerpt.


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