Wednesday, January 10, 2024

A few more concept sketches for that novel idea I've been tossing around.

Pashta is Arun's kid sister. High-spirited and a bit mischievous, she is curious about the culture of the simplefaces (the Plainsmen's somewhat derogatory term for non-Plainsman humans), and is excited to have a simpleface join the tribe so they can both learn from each other.

Liu is a most peculiar simpleface from a small, remote village who learned to read and write from traveling merchants, and is always hungry for more knowledge. She hated her life in the village, so at the nearest opportunity she joined the Plainsmen, and upon discovering that they transmitted all of their history and culture orally, she invented a writing system for them so they could keep things documented better. She wishes the Plainsmen and simplefaces could get along better, but perhaps the key to peace between them can be found in the mysterious origins of the Plainsmen.

I actually came up with the idea of Pashta and the Plainsmen waaaaaay back in high school. Back in my initial concept, Pashta was the main character, but I struggled to come up with a plotline other than "Pashta doinks around". It wasn't until very recently that I realized the sort of narrative I wanted to tell involved an outsider from another culture finding her place among the Plainsmen and helping them resolve centuries of conflict. It may have relegated Pashta to being a secondary protagonist, but her effervescence adds some levity to the plot and it amuses me when she messes with Arun just to see him squirm. She's a good little sister like that.

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