The Fall of a Sparrow (FanFiction): Author's Preface

A Fan Fiction Uru Fantasy

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The Fall of a Sparrow (FanFiction): Author's Preface

Post by Zardoz » Tue Jun 16, 2009 3:01 am

Origins
This story has its genesis in the demise of Myst Online: Uru Live. Late in the fall of 2007, after MOUL had wrapped up Season 1, I wondered how Uru’s history would be written. To be honest, I was lukewarm about the episodic release of MOUL content, and in particular was not a big fan of the much hyped Scars episode, but still I wondered, how will future players learn about these events? As always, there were the forums, and there were the efforts of the Cavern Communications Network and others, but these were either out-of-character summaries or real-time news bulletins. Where was the story of Scars and any other aspect of the events that had transpired in the cavern being told?

There was only one answer, of course: I would have to get the DRC itself to tell the story. By that, I mean that when something momentous happens to a group of people, a good journalist goes straight to the source: the people themselves. And so I decided to take on the role of freelance journalist under a different name (that persona still exists out in the Uru netherworld) and seek interviews with members of the DRC. My thought was to enlist the help of Ryan Warzecha (greydragon) and have him arrange in-character interviews with DRC members, presenting them only with my character (that is, the Cyan people behind the DRC members would not know who was interviewing them). I would then write up a story based on those interviews, which would take place in the cavern so various members could show me around.

Alas, the events of early 2008 snipped that plan in the bud. Nevertheless, the thought of crafting a story based on interviews with the DRC got stuck in my head, and so The Fall of a Sparrow was born. My plan was to gather the various canonical facts about different DRC members, supplement them with facts of my own invention, and weave them all together into a story covering the events of Scars. The form would be what I have called creative or narrative non-fiction. Rather than a strict recounting of a series of events, narrative non-fiction weaves facts and events into a story about those events, using tricks from fiction (foreshadowing, building suspense, etc.) but sticking to facts gathered through research and interviews. One could just relate the events that constituted Scars, or one could try to uncover and tell the story of Scars. The former is simply the events that occurred as scripted by Cyan; the latter would be a a narrative that would contain those events but get much deeper into the people and the place, D’ni. The advantage of narrative non-fiction is that you can jump around in time, placing some of the story in the present (that is, the journalist is talking and engaged with the person being interviewed) and other parts in the past (that is, the journalist presents a reconstruction of events that took place in the past).

Unfortunately, John McPhee and William Langewiesche were unavailable to do the ghost writing, so I had to actually do it all myself. The result was a brief outpouring that appeared over at the MOUL forums, followed by nothing. When something like this gets inside my head, though, it festers. And so, rather than get that brain operation, I decided to unload it all here. JWPlatt kindly gave me my own sandbox, and by publicly blathering all this, I effectively bind myself to finish the darn thing, out here in the open.

So here’s the way it works. The major pieces of the story are contained in separate threads, each devoted to one of the members of the DRC I have interviewed. Of course, I haven’t really interviewed any of them, which is why this is fan fiction, not fictional non-fiction. Clear on that? Anyways, I’ve started each thread with two posts. The first contains a part of the story focused on a particular DRC member (fragments in the beginning) and is IC, of course; the second contains my OOC notes about writing that part of the story. Except for Cate Alexander's story, which is what appeared over at the MOUL forums, each part will grow over time as I actually write the darn thing. This means that you, dear reader (all eight of you), will be able to comment, criticize, even use some of that sharp Zardozian zarcasm if you wish. You won’t get a byline, but whenever I dump the completed project over at MOUL, you will get a hearty acknowledgment such as “But for the comments of [Your Name Here], this would have been done weeks ago.”

Eventually, the story will weave together these separate threads, brilliantly of course (gulp). It will not be (or I hope it won't) a simple summation of the separate parts, but will somehow tell part of one story, then a part of another, and so forth. At which point I’ll try to sell it to The N’w Y’rker or some other grand ol’ rag. Or maybe by that time, Uru OS will be up and running and I can bring my alter ego out into the open and start pestering people for interviews .... But until then, I have created this forum as a way of getting me to finish this darn thing! I need it out of my brain and onto the page. But not the Kindle, I'm boycotting the Kindle ....
Aargh!! Me Pony sez, Aaaarrrghhh!!!

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