I have not given an in-depth progress report on my pet project in a while, so I thought I should let you guys in on what’s happening here.
It started as a novel, and has now morphed into a TV series. I have found that writing in script form is easier for me and it’s not as daunting working on one episode at a time as it is working on a whole frickin novel. My original idea was to just go in chronological order, from Mati’s parents in Siranai and the takeover all the way to the end, but I think it might be more interesting to start with Mati as a 15 year old and have flashbacks to explain what happened in the past. There are a lot of episodes that are going to involve the Kurnalans’ royal past, so I think that will work well.
In case you have NO idea what I’m talking about, here’s the gist of the way the pilot’s going to go.
Mati is introduced as a refugee princess on a secret island in the middle of nowhere. She is living with her mother, her “uncle,” and the queen’s lady-in-waiting and her son. Mati has become an excellent hunter and in the first scene, she shoots a deer. With Darek’s (the servant boy’s) help, she brings it back for dinner for the family. She is obviously being put to work on the little farm they’ve created, and yet she’s still treated like a princess by the servants.
During the course of conversation at dinner, we find out that Mati is turning 15 the next day and that means she’s becoming an adult. Jaimron, the uncle, secretly asks Sarla if she’s giving Mati a certain “necklace” for her birthday and if she knows “what it does.” We wonder what he’s talking about, and then–
15 YEARS EARLIER
King Renton (Mati’s father), younger Sarla, and baby Mati are introduced, and they are living happily at their palace in Siranai. Jaimron comes to visit and tells Renton that he’s heard some “strange murmurings” about a possible break out and attack from the rebels who have been banished by the kings of Benedaea to Maladi. Renton brushes it off as just a rumor, and doesn’t take him seriously. (P.S. Jaimron and Renton refer to each other as “cousins” at this point. Wha…? We thought he was Mati’s uncle?)
BACK TO THE PRESENT
It is Mati’s 15th birthday and Darek ticks her off a bit by jokingly asking if she’s “becoming a man or a woman” because of her tomboyishness (the fact that he feels comfortable enough to joke around with her makes us wonder. Isn’t he supposed to be the servant?). She is upset because she thinks he’s always seen her as just another boy to play with and he has to win her favor back by telling her that he DEFINITELY sees her as a young woman. (by this we see there is a spark between them, and they have obviously been buddies for a while) Then, to further make up for his foolishness, he offers to do her chores because “a lady should not have to do chores on her birthday.” (we thought ladies, and especially princesses, never had chores…?)
Sarla, Jaimron, and Omeyla (the lady-in-waiting) are talking in the kitchen, and we find out why Mati has to do chores. Jaimron injured his knee permanently during their escape from Siranai and Sarla and Omeyla have had to run the farm ever since they got there. Sarla found it to be a great learning experience for herself, so she decided that as soon as Mati got old enough, she would teach her how to run the farm, as it would make her more understanding toward the commoners when she “regains control of Siranai as queen” (so Sarla is training Mati to be a good queen… and believes Mati is going to be the savior. How does she know this? and what happened to make them leave their country?).
I could go on and on, but I won’t because I don’t want to give away too much 😉 I think this setup allows for more suspense and it poses more questions in the viewers’ minds that I have to answer, and I like that. That’s what I like about the shows I watch; wondering what’s going to happen next and why this or that happened. It’s what holds people’s attention and that’s probably the #1 key of storytelling! (and don’t worry, the pace will be faster than what it appears in this description and it will not be dull and mundane. I’m counting on some good dialog to make sure of that)
Have a happy Thursday, readers 🙂 Friday’s coming, and then the weekend!!