I’ve been working on a book since November 2018 that has gone by many names. It’s a science fiction epic following the actions of a group of outcasts living in a transhumanist duopoly far off at the edge of the galaxy. It’s gone through many revisions, and name changes over the last 2 years. First it was Unity/Outworld, then Outworld, and now, finally, I believe I’ve settled on calling the series Unity. The first book, the one I’ve been working on since 2018, will be called Unity: The Lost Conduit.
The story is about Di Monet, a young, aspiring gang boss looking for her next con in hopes of landing enough money to pay off a long standing bounty. But when she met a Unity runaway called Freya, she got more than she bargained for. The people of this world have long lived under a code called the Transhumanist Treaty, an act that quite literally changed the way humanity interacted with each other. The treaty is part legal doctrine, part genetic augmentation, and was inacted many thousands of years ago by a group referred to in legend only as the Founders. It split humanity into two halves: Unity, centered around total equality and governmental authority, and Outworld, built around total freedom and lawlessness. Outworld has thrived, with generations of power struggles ending in war, bloodshed, and countless coups. Unity has maintained an equilibrium, but with Outworld encroaching on their boarders, fear is starting to set in of an unavoidable conflict.
The story came to me in a dream, October of 2018. The dream went through the first act of the story, and then ended. When I awoke, I knew it was something I wanted to discover more about. I began to theorize on the directions the story could go, expanding on characters, locations, and history.
Then, when November came along, I began writing the story. I participate in Nanowrimo every year. It’s the national novel writing month challenge, where writers try to write a 50,000 word novel before the end of the month. Unity was the first story I successfully wrote in a single month. It was exhilarating.
The thing I found most interesting about the process was that there were days when I would absolutely hate what I was writing. Nothing went how I wanted it to, and the prose fell flat on my screen. But when I’d come back to it the next day, and read through what I’d written, I could see how it all fit together. As I continued where I’d left off, I found that what I hated the day before was now the foundation of the next chapters of my book!
That really stuck with me. Sometimes we feel like what we’re working on is just not good enough. But give it time, and you may find it is foundational to your next success. Unity is going to be a multibook series. And it all started with a half baked dream, and so many pages of words that I found failing in the moment I was writing them. Now it’s something I consider my best work so far, a foundational piece to my future work and my hopes of creating inspiring stories for readers around the world.
For me, world building comes like second nature. When I was a child, I spent much of my time either creating world maps for places I’d imagine, or just go into my imagination all together, spinning tales and creating places in my mind palace where fantastical events could occur. It was my escape from the trials of being an introverted youngster with a number of hidden traumas that led to social anxiety and general awkwardness. But I learned a lot from those sessions I spent alone creating fantasy worlds.
Some may think such an act is bizarre, or even insane, but it is nothing of the sort. I used what I created then to make and tell stories. I wrote many of them down, and acted out others in play either alone or with my small group of like minded friends. We would do live action role play, where we became the characters we created, and lived out their adventures in the worlds we designed. And those memories are some of my happiest memories of my childhood.
The act of creation is fundamentally human. We all possess it in some form. For me it manifests in telling stories. And knowing that about myself has given me hope in my abilities to move forward with this as a career. Storytellers are extremely important to human society. Every film, every wives tale, or book, or game are all from the minds of storytellers. They create the first lessons many of us learn as children, carrying the morals and messages that teach us what it means to be human. That’s what I feel Unity points to, in its summation. The tale is about the essence of what it means to be human, and the danger of losing touch with that truth.
Unity should be out this year, before December 31st. I’m hoping to get it out as soon as possible. It’s going to be a bumpy ride for me; I’ve got a lot of anxiety tied up in this story. My hope is that you will read it and find some value in the tale. But even if no one does, it has been of great value to me, and an educational experience in becoming a better writer.