I’m working through the next installment in the story of Gari Garcia. He is a human stranded as a child on Torthal, an alien world with no obvious connection to Earth. Now that he’s an adult, and free to choose his path in life, Gari is searching for answers. The search he undertakes, and the answers he finds will change Torthal forever.
The world of Torthal is taking shape around him, as I write about his journey. Gari spent most of his life cloistered away in a monastery. The Luminous Monks taught him to read and write, to fight, to be mindful, and learn. The monks also cast him out when he failed an initiation test, teaching him even more life lessons.
As Gari moves further from the monastery, the views he holds about life outside the monastery invariably change. As that happens, I’m consciously creating the world he observes. Is it crowded, or are people sparse? What technology is present, and why do they have one thing but not another? There was magic in this world long ago, but no one believes in that nonsense today.
I’ve made broad categories of these ideas ahead of time, but as Gari encounters new places and individuals, those broad strokes narrow. I have to decide how houses and buildings look. What is the clothing like for the people in the part of the world Gari is traveling through? What about economics, employment, and social interactions in various urban and rural settings? How do torthan people react to a lone human in their world?
I’ll be releasing the first installment of Gari’s story, “Gari and the Pox” later this year. For the moment, I’m enjoying the challenge of building a world as I write the story. Imagine, if you will, a young man adrift in a swirling sea of alien life. His only touchstone to humanity are the few memories he has of his parents and the life he had on Earth.