I know this post is incredibly late. Mostly I just forgot about it.
Unmasked is story about Kiao. One that I wish I wrote better mostly just how much crap goes on in this story. A lot goes on for a simple little narrative which it’s all just set-up. However, originally this wasn’t the story I wanted to tell about Kiao.
I had to decided what I was going to do about Kiao. I mean, I went through nearly a dozens of scenarios on how I was going to handle this. I wanted to wait until way later for her to be found out. I mean going into, the character who hasn’t been born yet, stories when the truth is revealed. Problem was that it was a ridiculously long time. And I couldn’t convince myself that with the bond, Kiao managed to hide it. I mean quite a few people know now. Lyndon, Mien, Soletus, Nimbus, Hickory, Oli, Alder, Cordea, Oeric, Briar, and Maelyra all know. I kind of wanted to write it as something that ends up being ignored. In that the Arch Priest found out and just shrugged his shoulders about it. Basically saying, “Be a boy, we don’t care.” However, I didn’t like it so I went with what I wrote. A story about Kiao having to come to terms with herself and originally, I had Kiao struggle a bit more deeply, but that made her more emotional than I intended. The thing about Kiao she is and she isn’t. Mostly the isn’t part.
She internalizes her emotions and I always imagined her wearing a perfect straight face and full of poise while the girl in her is screaming and crying. That’s very much what is held a masculine thing to do and there are other masculine things Kiao does. Then there are a lot of feminine things as well. I designed her like that because I wanted a strong female character who wasn’t afraid of being a woman. Who doesn’t hate being one. Kiao if anything, likes being a girl, it’s just everyone around her that gets to her.
My only issue with the story is the whole thing with Mien. It makes it typical to me that Kiao would be involved with him and the whole, girl can’t be without a man argument arises and seems so typical but, Kiao and Mien aren’t very typical. I can’t say I designed to follow the same path of all the characters before them in terms of their budding romance. The obvious think is the timbre sensitivity of Mien and all his baggage. Then Kiao has no experience with romance and it shows because she is painfully objective. Mien isn’t and I think this is just a taste of just how, ardent Mien can be.
Mien is a rather passionate male character in that he’s very much his emotions. He doesn’t escape that until he older and has a bit more of a handle on it. However, you can tell with Kiao, he’s not so inhibited even when he rather be. I don’t think I explained it well in story that the bond is taking a hold of him. He desires to be close to Kiao. It’s out of his control. However, he’s still self-conscious and still trying to work it out.
Now one may observe Mien’s age here and be like, “Well Soletus didn’t act like that at all.” And that brings me to my next point in that I say, I hope that Soletus being neth come out well. I tried to hint at this particular trait without being overt and dumb about it. I didn’t mention it before in story because it really wasn’t relevant then and he was too young to be aware of it as I mentioned. I mean if you’ve not notices, Soletus doesn’t overthink himself often. It’s usually after something been brought to his attention that he notices. What I still didn’t go into is what is it.
So are Neth elves asexual? Yes and no. Yes part you can call it that as part of the definition, the no part is why because of the context of this world and race. Kiao states it. It’s in relation to Dias. I don’t think I outright mentioned but Dias is a faceless and sexless god. If there are parts that I have used “he” as a pronoun, that’s just me making a mistake and I will be fixing it. And while Dias made males and females for a few reasons that I don’t want to get into right now, Dias also those who were neth for reasons as well. Lenneth is one of Dias prophets. The name spawns from her and kind of why there is a bit of a misconceptions on a society level that only females can be neth and males are rare like unicorns. It’s equal. Females just don’t take a lot of heat about it, their families are much more supportive of it, and don’t really care as is can be good thing. They are a bit more focused mind and tend to have a passion in a certain areas. Many tend to act as advisors. Male on the other hand, family/house name continues with them. Then there the whole, it’s not really seen as masculine so most don’t say anything about it. They just keep it to themselves and get married anyway.
And, no this wasn’t done as a social statement on my part per se. It was one the reasons I withheld this conversation from the end of Mask. I actually didn’t want to mention it. Mask had about four different endings and one of them was Kiao talking to Soletus and telling him she liked him. Soletus was originally supposed to turn her down. I was going to leave it at that. Never really addressing it. However, while I was drafting Mask, I read this blog post by an author telling about a conversation to someone in the publishing industry about an asexual protagonist in a fantasy novel and publishers would never publish a story with one. There wouldn’t be a market for it. And I kind of found it a bit sad, because I would. I’m weird like that. That’s why I went ahead and said something about it in story.
Why not just go ahead and have Soletus and Kiao together and they just experiment?
Because Soletus really considers Kiao a friend. He wouldn’t want to do anything with her out of respect. Even if it was just to help figure things out. And in an earlier draft, I had Kiao offer, but she wouldn’t be that thoughtless.
I am aware the story is in rough shape between the re-writing and me recovering from the death of my father earlier this year. It’s been kind of rough on the writing. I think Unmask was just a fluff story I needed to write. Something with a lot of feel good.
That being said, what am I going to do? What am I going to post?
I’m not sure. I kind of wanted to do webfiction but I’ve been questioning it all as of late. It takes me so long to write a draft and I refuse to post work-in-progresses. I’ve other stories I can post about these character, but they are in the future and I’m trying to decide on how spoilery they are. If they aren’t, I might post them but then, I’m uncertain to go on with one more novel. I don’t know if web fiction is the way to go. Stories like these don’t seem to catch eyes.
No superhero, erotic, romance, adventure or dark or whatever is popular. And I want to write these kinds of story because I feel deep down inside, there is a place for them. However, when I look at the shelves in stores and see what popular in web fiction. I can’t tell. When I read people’s opinions of what they want to read, I can’t tell either. Sometimes I just think I’m forever the oddity.
However, tell you what, I’ll wait until after new year to see if the Archive continues.
However for not, everything is complete.
(please note, a lot of this has been copy and pasted from my comments on RoyalRoad.)