Some questions by fellow WDC author Tadpole1 about my WIP novel
|Here are some brilliant questions about the worldbuilding in my in-progress fantasy story put to me by talented WDC author Tadpole1. She has helped me tremendously with learning more about writing craft, and I highly recommend checking out her fantasy story 'When Dragons Lived.' I found her points thought-provoking and answering them has added a lot to my story.|
For context, read the draft first chapter of my novel 'Princess Eledy and the Goblin'.
The text in bold is the questions that Tadpole1 had after reading my chapter.
Maybe Eledy is a bit apprehensive about the change, and because she is apprehensive, she thinks about it.
Yes, she is very apprehensive about being changed into a Sky Skiff and does’t want it to happen. There are a few references to this in the first chapter, but I’ve now added more.
Maybe she wonders how it will feel to feel to have a metal skeleton implanted.
Eledy fears it will be strange and painful and she will no longer be herself afterwards. Although the elves would use magic to put her into a sleep during the operation and heal her body, she would still ache afterwards. I mention this later, and added some explanation to the first chapter.
Will she have to worry about magnets or about electricity?
What a great question! This hadn’t occurred to me before. However, it offers a solution to one of my questions, which is how a flyways are made. I think that a magnetic line might form the basis of a flyway. Perhaps the magnetic field of the planet where Eledy lives is channeled into lines in the sky. Sky Skiffs connect to the magnetic flyways and this is the safest and smoothest way of travel, although there are points in the story where the Sky Skiffs are in danger, or in less frequented terrain, and they leave the flyway and fly in turbulent air.
I looked up about planes and cars getting hit by lightning for the electricity question. Electricity hasn’t been invented as a power source by people in my story yet (although it might not be long coming as there are some clever folks on the planet)! Most sources say that the bodies of planes and cars acts as a Faraday cage (a container that blocks electromagnetic fields) and that adaptations are included for them to protect against damage, although some damage, like holes burned in the metal, may still occur.
Eledy is very protective of her Sky Skiff and worried about flying him when there are storms. I wonder if the lightning storms might affect the magic communication system though as I could use this later when Eledy gets into trouble flying her Sky Skiff…
Will she still fit into her clothes?
When a Sky Skiff is in the form of a person, they are no different from before. The only difference as regards to clothes is that they have an attachment in their back which needs to be visible through their clothes if they are likely to need to transform. I will add this in later when Eledy sees the Sky Skiff people.
Would she be heavier?
The magical metal, Talibereth, is very light, so anyone made into a Sky Skiff will actually be lighter! One of Eledy’s Sky Skiff friends gets blown over by a storm gust at one point. Again, a great question.
And would it hurt?
I imagine becoming a Sky Skiff as more like a magical projection of an energy field, and so requires more concentration than physical pain. The Sky Skiff’s body doesn’t alter, they just project the flying ship from their body using magic.
Will implanting a metal skeleton be different for her than for her mother because her mother was a full-bloodied elf, but she wasn't. As well as being half-elf, she was half-human. Would the human part make a difference.
In my story any race can become Sky Skiffs with equal success. I have humans, elves, Forest Goblins and hags able to transform into flying vessels.
She could think that she would have to talk to her mom more about it.
I’ll mention that she will keep trying to convince others that she doesn’t want to become a Skiff. She has expressed her concerns and fears to her mother before. Although Gerstermini is kind, she tells Eledy to accept her responsibilities as a princess and that being Skiffed is what her father wants for her, as he wants to have the most powerful Sky Skiff fleet on the planet. Eledy later talks to a new friend, Loyfti, who is more understanding, and they hatch a plan so that Eledy does not become a Sky Skiff.
Did anyone every die from the implant?
Yes, especially at first when it was experimental. The operation is still dangerous, which is why Eledy is afraid. Her fears grow worse in the next chapters when she uncovers that Geddak is plotting to sabotage her Skiffing operation with potentially fatal consequences.
Was it a rite of passage?
The operation can be performed on anyone of any age. For humans and elves, it tends to happen once they are fully grown, although Eledy’s brother Kai is the youngest to have undergone the transformation aged 13. In Forest Goblin culture, someone is only Skiffed once they have bonded with a mate who will fly them as a Bowmaiden, so this is a kind of rite of passage.
Did she have a choice?
It wasn’t Eledy’s choice. The operation was planned by her father.
What does her father think?
Leading on from the last answer, Eledy’s father wants to build a strong army of advanced flying vessels. Having his daughter transformed into a Sky Skiff is something he expects and he feels proud that most of the other members of his family and the elite of his country have already undergone the transformation. He has won renown for his skills in battle and for uniting the Nine Kingdoms of the planet into an alliance with him as High King.
I guess that her father is human. Does he have an implant? Did it hurt him?
Eledy’s father is human and one of the first in her country to have been operated on to become a Sky Skiff. Yes, he would have felt some pain but to him it is worth it for the ability to command battles from the air that the transformation gives him.
Did her mother's elven magic help with the implant?
There are two elven races in my story. Eledy’s mother is from Sylfyria where the elves are a more spiritual race who makes their homes beside lakes and streams. The Daione Sídhe are more interested in crafts and technology, and are the more war-like of the two elven races. They invented the implants to transform people into flying ships and live in Rybelheim where Eledy is heading in the first chapter. I didn’t add this to the first chapter as I didn’t want to overload readers with info, but I explain this later on.
Does she think that it would be cool to be able to fly?
Mostly she is terrified, although some aspects of the Sky Skiffs strike her as exciting and beautiful. I think she’d prefer to fly one rather than become one. However, many other people she knows, such as her two brothers, think that being able to fly is amazing.
To be able to eavesdrop like her mother does? Could she eavesdrop on her mother now?
The walls of the cockpit are thin, which is why Gerstermini can hear her passengers from her bow compartment. The Sky Skiffs also have a communication system (some magic involved here) that allows them to broadcast their conversation to each other. I guess Loyfti isn’t too bothered about her listening in as he chats to his friend after rescuing Gerstermini, so doesn’t bother to make the conversation beams private.
Would she be able to keep secrets?
Not if she is sat inside a Sky Skiff in flight or has the communication system turned on!
Maybe she could share her worries in a conversation?
Good idea, I’ll have her talk more about her fears as this would be a good way to make them clearer for readers.
Maybe Eledy had to fight for the implant because she's not a full elf, but only half elven?
This doesn’t apply so much, although I guess Geddak might argue that being a half human, half elf might make the operation more dangerous to cover his tracks…
Maybe Eledy is with her mother and watches her mother attach to the cockpit?
I wanted to start the chapter with Gerstermini in flight, but in the next chapters Eledy sees lots of people becoming Sky Skiffs in this way. I hope this will explain, plus I guess readers will want to see and understand this so might keep reading on to find out…
There are so many ideas! Lol!
Yes, thank you so much for all the helpful input. It’s exciting, if a bit ambitious, creating a world with such novelty in it, so it is interesting to see what you think.