This will be longer than normal. But you should read it anyway. Seriously, read it! READ IT
*cough* anyway so yeah. 510 words for Sunday. Just a bit more on a scene I began on Friday.
I’m still enjoying writing stuff for SA (a quick refresher on what SA is, as well as my other stories, one of which will be relevant in this post, can be found here; I haven’t linked back to that page in a while, and this post seemed like an obvious time to do so). Even though I may or may not ever try to publish any of it, or even release it for public consumption, I still feel like I’m getting a lot out of writing it. Possibly this is in part because it’s writing practice – even something that you intend to write for yourself, and not share, is still worthwhile because all writing is progress. But also, it IS written for me, in a way, which is another core tenant of Nano. Enjoy what you’re writing. Have fun with it. Want to write it, even if it’s not that good (and, since we’re talking about Nano, chances are it still needs some work!). Because ultimately, even though I “should” be trying to make progress in stories that I am fairly certain I’d like to try and publish someday, it’s important that whatever you’re working on, you enjoy it. Otherwise, what’s the point?
That said, I’m not going to force myself away from SA out of any sense of obligation, but ideas for Crafters have been assaulting my brain a lot lately. I feel like I’m right on the edge of being able to dive back into that world and write for it again. I’m not quite there; when I tried to add some more to it over the weekend, I ended up just letting more ideas swirl, but unable to produce any actual narrative. But soon, hopefully, I’ll be able to continue with it.
On that subject, I wanted to expound on something regarding Crafters… originally, it had pegasi in it. But it doesn’t anymore. See, I originally wrote what I have so far in 2012, for Nano. And that was not long after I’d discovered, and fallen in love with, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.
Yes, I am outright admitting that because of my love for MLP: FIM, and my enthusiasm for pegasi, and maybe because of a certain awesome blue pegasus, I stuck pegasi into a fantasy story without really giving it a lot of thought. It was Nano! I was writing fast and having fun, which is what counts when it comes to Nano so whatever.
But after Nano 2012 was long over, and I’d decided that Crafters was definitely one of those Nano projects that I wanted to continue working on seriously, I realized they were completely unworkable. For one thing, I’d always know that FIM (and more specifically, Dash) was the reason that they are even there at all. Even if I’d never told anyone else, I’d know, and that would always make it a little weird. For another, I really like Friendship is Magic pegasi. Specifically. In my head, when I was writing Crafters, I pictured this character (and any other pegasi) as actually looking like an FIM pony, instead of an actual horse/pony or more traditional depiction of a pegasus.
So what was I going to do? Try and convey to the reader that they should basically be picturing Rainbow Dash, but without the multicolored mane, when they see Zera (the pegasus character who meets the other main characters a bit into the story)? That was obviously not going to work, for a number of reasons. At the same time, the idea of having pegasi in the story that didn’t look like FIM ponies (but instead looked more like the other options noted above)… that just didn’t have any appeal. Take a look at some – any, really – of those image search results for “pegasus”. That is not, at ALL, what I envisioned, and there is no way for me to reconcile the character I’d created with the look of an actual horse or traditional fantasy/mythological pegasus. It’s just not happening.
Finally, if I really want to write about FIM pegasi, I’ll just work on the FIM fanfics that I already have.
All of the above led to them being not pegasi. Really, as part of their FIM-ness, they were kind of coming across as “pegasi that basically function as humans in many ways when it comes to how they interact with their environment”. So I’m going to instead go with a humanoid species, but one that has wings and is capable of flight. These will be bird-like wings with feathers, instead of fairy-style wings; there are, by the way, fairies in Crafters already, who are in the range of 5 to 7 inches in height. This pegasi replacement race will be a bit smaller and shorter than humans on average, but not drastically so like a fairy, and they would still be proportioned pretty much like a human (i.e. they wouldn’t be stocky like Hobbits – in fact, if anything, they’d probably be notably thin and lightly built). Obviously, in terms of real physics, a basically human-sized organism would need absolutely massive wings to be able to fly (and even then, real humans still probably couldn’t because we’re just not built for it). This race will have wings that are fairly large, and would certainly be considered a defining physical feature, but they won’t be enormous. For a visual, I’m thinking maybe a little bit smaller than the wings on Nina here, from the original Breath of Fire. They fly via a combination of being light and streamlined in form, having some internal physiological aspects that are different from humans (and are no doubt more like birds), and finally – the key ingredient, really – magic. The Crafters world is inherently magical, and every race makes use of magic – in conscious and unconscious ways. A significant portion of the internalized magical capabilities of this race would go toward allowing them to fly, despite the fact that even with some considerations in place (lighter weight, some physiological changes, etc), looking at their weight-to-strength ratio and the size of their wings, in the real world, they still would have no chance of actual flight (at best they might be able to glide under ideal conditions). Whereas in the Crafters world, they can do so ably; they can take off from the ground after a scant few feet of running, they can ascend without the aid of wind or updrafts with some exertion, and are extremely agile and maneuverable in the air. In fact, as a species, they are known for it. I’m also picturing them with non-realistic coloring (i.e. blue skin and the like), though just what color combinations are possible is something I’m still working out. Not that the last bit of info has anything to do flight, but I thought I’d mention it anyway.
So! Why is all this in this post? Because a) I felt like it, and b) I need help! I’ve been trying to come up with a name for this race now that they aren’t pegasi, but haven’t had any luck coming up with much. I want something that sounds like it denotes a race that is at home in the air. Back in the original version of Crafters, when Zera was introduced, it was revealed that pegasi have really elaborate, long names (the majority of which is dropped in most everyday communication, especially when interacting with other races; hence, “Zera”). Part of her full name was “Peregray”, which was sort of a play on the word “peregrine”, as in the falcon.
Something along those lines is what I want for this race. In fact, maybe Peregray itself (or some slight variation of it) might even work? Something that does sound like it relates to air or flight or a bird or something in that general range of subjects, but isn’t incredibly obvious. i.e. I’m not going to call them “Windarins” or something. If anyone who happens to be reading this comes up with anything good that they wouldn’t mind giving to me, let me know!