Thinking about rewrites and sequels

I’m thinking about rewriting The Land of Two Moons. I’m also thinking about writing a sequel to it. And I’m also thinking about writing a sequel to The Book of Immortality.

These aren’t new thoughts. I’ve been thinking about writing sequels to The Land of Two Moons and The Book of Immortality since I finished the first drafts. Every once in a while, the thought pops into my head. I don’t actually have plots that could be used for sequels, just brief scenes and snippets, but plots are something that take quite a bit of work for me. If I wanted to write a sequel, I’d have to spend quite a bit of time outlining a plot.

As for rewriting The Land of Two Moons…there are a lot of things that didn’t make it into the story. And since it starts off as a comic and makes the transition to prose after chapter 6, it’s inconsistent. There’s no real way for me to make a collected version of the story if I wanted to.

But is it worthwhile to do any of these things? I have so many other stories I want to tell, and time spent on these is time I can’t spend on others.

I think I’ll re-outline The Land of Two Moons and see if I can stuff everything I had to take out back into it. That’s the first step of a rewrite anyway, and once I’m done with that, I can see if I still actually want to rewrite it.

The Land of Two Moons: Initial Ideas & Inspirations

How did I first come up with this story? Aside from wanting to reuse the characters from The Gate at the End of the World, and Veitlen & Nymue…I don’t entirely remember. Then again, it takes quite a while for most of my stories develop. Most of this happens in my head, and I don’t start writing down notes until things are much more concrete.

I do, however, remember some of my initial ideas.

The very first idea: A boy (Veitlen, though he had a different name at first) discovered he was a witch, which was a very bad thing in his society. He fled into the forest to join some other witches. One of those other witches was definitely Morgaine, but I don’t remember anything about the others.

This Veitlen would have ended up a lot more similar to the Veitlen in The Gate at the End of the World. The story would have been a lot darker, too.

Eventually I settled on something resembling the characters & plot of The Land of Two Moons. Originally, I didn’t know what kind of setting I wanted the story to take place in. I seriously considered a high-tech cyberpunk city at some point. That would have made things very different, as it would have been more about investigating & opposing the Avatar & government.

I had two choices with the character’s ages: teens or adults, and I went with adults because teenagers with magic powers is a bit too large a genre. Also, I’ve lost interest in YA literature as I’ve gotten older.

At some point, there was flower symbolism along with the spirit weapons, which I dropped because that would have been too much going on.

I spent quite a while deliberating on what I wanted the spirit weapons to be made out of. Veitlen had a sword made out of glass, and that was something I really didn’t want to change. I hadn’t come up with a theme, and had no idea what I wanted anyone else’s spirit weapons to be made of.

Then I watched Land of the Lustrous and thought about gemstones. There are hundreds of them, and that also gave me the ability to use the Seven Treasures. Then I realized there could be seven Avatars instead of one, and have each Avatar correspond to one of the treasures.

This was a very last minute decision that ended up driving the whole story. And then there ended up being more Buddhist influences, because they ended up fitting the story really well. Sometimes that’s what happens.

Speaking of Buddhist influences, the demons in The Land of Two Moons are essentially hungry ghosts, and it took me until about halfway through writing the story for me to realize exactly what I’d reinvented.

The Land of Two Moons: Final Thoughts

I finished writing The Land of Two Moons in mid-February. It hasn’t occupied very much of my mind since then, so there are a lot of fine details about the story I don’t actually remember.

There are a lot of things that got left out of the story. Some of them got left out because they ended up not being relevant to the finished story – this is something that happens with every writing project. You can’t use every single idea you have. There are some things that got left out because The Land of Two Moons was originally envisioned as a comic (and was a comic for a prologue and six entire chapters), and I would not have been able to draw them. Since the entire script was written by the time I was finished drawing chapter 1, I didn’t put those things back in when I transitioned to prose, largely because I wasn’t thinking about them. And then there are things I thought about putting in, but then didn’t write them down and completely forgot about them.

I scripted out a bonus chapter where the readers would learn where the name “Tyvokala” came from. There were multiple pages removed from the end of chapter 1, where Nymue would already show suspicion toward the Avatar & the government, which were taken out because the chapter was already too long.

I don’t exactly feel disappointed with the finished product – I’m more content, if anything. The story is done and I’m happy it’s done. It took up enough years of my life. I’m not 100% satisfied with the way the story turned out, but I don’t think any writer is.

If I ever get the time – and I doubt I will, I’ve got tons of other stories to work on – I’d like to rewrite The Land of Two Moons as a proper novel. The prose version of the story was directly based on the comic script, and there is a lot that I did not describe in that script. A lot of stuff that was going to be shown in artwork that I didn’t bother describing because I was just going to make a couple of reference sheets when it came time to draw things.

I’d say what I produced was decent, but there is definitely room for improvement as well.

The Land of Two Moons: Languages & Cultures of Tsurennupaiva

I did quite a bit of worldbuilding when I first started developing the world of The Land of Two Moons. Most of my attention was focused on the Rennuryhpa (rennu “moon” + ryhpa “people”), who are the majority ethnic group of Tsurennupaiva. Originally, they were referred to as “Selenians” in English – just like Tsurennupaiva is called “The Land of Two Moons” – but after writing the entire story, I realized that I never actually used any of those words to refer to them.

When you do a lot of worldbuilding, not all of it makes it into the actual story. In this case, I’d say that most of it didn’t make it into the actual story.

Now on to the actual point of this post: the languages and cultures of Tsurennupaiva.

500-ish years ago, the moon Ellinen blew up and destroyed 90% of living species. This was later called the Cataclysm. The remnants of humanity spent ~250 years on Sairren, another moon, and returned back to the planet. Then they founded Tsurennupaiva.

During that time on the moon, most of humanity (who came from all over the planet, not just one country) developed a new culture and started calling themselves Selenians (in Rennukat: rennuryhpa). Their language, Rennukat (rennu “moon” + kat” language”), is not a creole or mixed language like you would assume, but a lesser-spoken language that was chosen to be the language of the new Selenian people and adopted en masse.

Selenian culture was, to a large extent, constructed in order to deliberately avoid the mistakes made by the Old Humans – the people who lived before the Cataclysm. The Cataclysm was and still is seen as a punishment from the gods for the behaviors and lifestyles of the Old Humans.

The Ciniáne and Miryani people are two of the largest minority ethnic groups in Tsurennupaiva. Brithan Thiosciare is Ciniáne, and Ren Fennel is Miryani. Both of those characters (and their cultures) came from the second version of The Gate at the End of the World.

Both the Ciniáne and Miryani people existed before the Cataclysm, and have largely managed to keep their cultures & languages intact despite everything that happened, including the pressures to adopt the Selenian culture and language.

While the Ciniáne language is a naming language with slightly more fleshed-out grammar than usual and I’ve thought about the culture, the Miryani language and culture are…nonexistent. This wasn’t going to be the case, especially when I was working on The Gate at the End of the World since Ren was actually a main character there. But in The Land of Two Moons, she’s a secondary character who’s primarily out of focus.

I definitely did not get a chance to explore everything about these things that I wanted to. A large part of the problem, I think, was the (necessary) switch from a comic to prose. There were a lot of things that I planned on showing through visuals that simply that did not make the transition to writing.