What is Project: Destiny?

It’s been months now that I’ve been writing here about my baby, my oldest project, and how I aim to finally complete it this year. I’ve been annoyingly vague about what it is, though. The page I’ve created for it still doesn’t have a proper description. I suppose that superstitious part of me worried that if I wrote up a finely-detailed résumé of the project, it would sink my chances of actually getting it done. I think I have enough forward momentum to chance it now.

Project: Destiny tells the story of a young man who has been hidden all his life by his mother, who feared her enemies would try to harm him in order to manipulate her. She travels to the far south on a journey and does not return. When he learns of her death, he is determined to continue her work and find out what happened to her. He recruits a well-read companion before setting out, realizing that he knows nothing of the world and that being a gifted shadeweaver may not be enough.

This much of the story has remained constant since the beginning. In the first version, though, the protagonist had a different name and was not a shadeweaver but a sorcerer, one who casts spells by drawing magic circles inscribed with particular symbols depending on the desired effect. Sorcerers were identified by their golden- or amber-colored eyes. There were also wizards, whose eyes were blue, and magicians, whose eyes were green. Wizards had nearly limitless power and could move mountains at will. Magicians had extremely powerful talents, but their abilities were constrained to one single skill.

Shadecraft has changed all this. It is the study of the natural energies of the world, broken down into eight color-coded categories: four for the material aspects of the universe, four for the abstract. One who weaves the energies of these eight Shades into patterns to work wonders is called a shadeweaver. They view their work as art or science, and do not appreciate having the word “magic” attributed to it by common folk.

I first began writing this story when I was fourteen. Between actual drafts (that would eventually get scrapped before completion), I dreamed up elements of the world, details to lend it more realism, many of which I suspect won’t get used in this book. A book only needs enough detail for the reader to have the illusion of being able to see interesting things in the distance as they follow the path of the characters, like a tunnel painted with elaborate scenes depicting what’s going on beyond, or what has happened before. I don’t necessarily need to come up with a culture for a people never seen in the book, their homeland never visited by the characters. It’s been almost fourteen years since the start of this, though, and I think I’ve done a bit of that, some of it as an excuse to procrastinate and delay writing the actual narrative.

My goal with this is to write an interesting story set in a world with a rich history, a diverse span of cultures and peoples, and a system of magic that doesn’t involve characters pulling instant solutions out of their hats by doing things the reader thinks them incapable of. It’s an adventure, the characters will struggle and face danger, possibly death or dismemberment. It’s also the story of a young man trying to discover who he is as he enters the world for the first time.

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