Keys of Eden . . . The Basics

Pokemon

Probably not the best idea to use that picture, but people are going to jump to the comparison anyway.  Keys of Eden is the story/series where the main character is going to be collecting 100 unique monsters.  Wow.  It’s really trippy that the picture above looks like it keeps moving to the left.  Where was I?

Oh, yes.  This is the story where . . . I’m actually still toying with the overall plot.  The first idea was to have a prince going around a kingdom (putting it in the Cerascent Archipelago of Windemere) to gather the 100 royal spirits.  They were spread around the kingdom due to an accident and only the one who finds them all can claim the throne.  Maybe other princes will be on the hunt, but I’m leaning more towards him having been trained for this since youth.  Maybe his father being assassinated and the castle being destroyed is what caused the disaster and he was the only survivor.  He would be aided by a few friends and learn to use the creatures as summons to . . . do something?  I really don’t think a big climactic battle would work here unless I put a final threat that requires such power to defeat.  Maybe an evil dragon since I haven’t really used one of those in Windemere yet and there has to be one or two roaming around.

Anyway, another issue I have is that I’m not sure I want a prince alone.  Part of me considered having him with a female partner and both of them gather the spirits with each one gaining the favor of 50.  This could mean that each of the creatures has an opposite, so they’re always in pairs.  Do I have them be found in pairs or are those separated too?  Maybe it can differ?  This will be a bunch of short stories, so I don’t even know how many creatures should be found in each one.  100 stories could mean 5-10 books depending on how many I put in each volume.  I could switch it up with some found in groups, but will it get boring if I always have them gain a creature?  Once they miss one, it’s all over, but is that even possible?  I’m aiming more for kids here, so maybe the repetition is necessary when compared to an adult series.  I really don’t know.

Characters are another issue since I currently only have:

  1. A prince who seeks the 100 creatures.
  2. A female companion/betrothed who helps him.  Maybe have them raised together to skip the ‘get to meet you’ stuff.
  3. A third companion that may or may not be human, but will not be gaining spirits.
  4. Some kind of rival . . . villain . . . I need a group that they run into.
  5. Perhaps someone who wants to steal the prince or female companion from the other?
  6. Some recurring characters.

I’m also wondering if I should pilfer the Monster Maker posts for creatures.  Really not sure about this for two reasons.  First, I didn’t come up with the names and I don’t like the idea of suddenly using them when that wasn’t the original idea.  Second, they were never made with the intention of being used in a story.  So, they really don’t have a lot of what I need, which would be a unique power or significance.

Sudden idea:  What if the prince and female companion need to work together to gain the spirits who travel in pairs?  They can only gain them as a team.  Perhaps the big thing at the end is a 101st spirit, which is a solitary.  This could drop the short story amount to a minimum of 52 (1 opener, 1 finale, and 50 monster quests), but I still need to think of couple themes here.  I’ll run out of elements fairly quickly.  Maybe there’s a magical significance of 50 that I can find for help.  We’ll see.

How does all of this sound?

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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19 Responses to Keys of Eden . . . The Basics

  1. It sounds pretty interesting to me.

    First, let me say: in stories for children, repetition is more acceptable than it is in stories for older readers. So if you’re thinking middle grade, as long as you make sure there are differences in the monsters and the way they’re found and claimed (or however it’s working) you should be good to go.

    As for themes for pairs, you could use anything that could be considered a balance to do pairs. Opposite elements, colours at the opposite end of the spectrum, gemstones with associations that are opposites, etc. And maybe they need to have those opposite items – the girl needing the one, and the prince the other – so they can work together to do something at the end.

    Alternatively, you could have 25 monsters for each of the four main elements, with that final one at the end – that extra 101st monster – being a spirit one, and maybe some kind of abilities the Prince and his female companion have compliment each other, and have to be used together to capture the creatures, and they need the elemental strength they get from capturing each one to be able to use that to aid their abilities so they can capture that spirit one at the end.

    Or maybe it’s just objects, not creatures… Kind of like pieces of a puzzle. And either just the Prince and the girl, or possibly them and another person, need a certain amount of these puzzle pieces to build something that will help them defeat the dragon – or whatever other creature you decide to use – at the end.

    Don’t know if I’m helping here. Just sort of typing whatever comes to mind as I think it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Middle grade was kind of where I was aiming. My only concern is that I tend to attract a teenage and adult audience, so I want to give something that they can enjoy as well. Then again, I know of a few adult series that are entirely dependent on using the same formula for every adventure. The characters, settings, and window dressing change, but the story is always the same at the core. Maybe people in general like some repetition if it’s fun.

      Opposites might be what I do for some, but I don’t know if i want to go for the opposing forces thing too much. I could run out of stuff fairly quickly there. For example, I could have fire and water be opposites as well as earth and air. That reduces the classic elements from 8 monsters to 4. I’ll have to see how many I can come up with to see which way gives me more flexibility and a deeper pool to draw from. I need to do more than just the four main elements because that can get extremely boring and drawn out after a while. One thing for certain is that I want to keep this with monsters because that has always been a core part of the story. It’s harder to capture and find something that moves around. Once you find a puzzle piece, you just grab it, but that isn’t possible if the thing is able to scamper away. Takes more thinking to get the monsters and I don’t have to come up with 50-100 traps/puzzles/dungeons.

      Something I might do is have the pairs be one male and one female. It could be 100 monsters that are really 50 pairs of couples. The prince can only bond with the males and his companion with the females. Not sure how that would go over with audiences though.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I have to agree with your comment about us all possibly liking some kind of repetition. Just mix things up a bit as to how it happens, and make the monsters different, and you should be good to go. I mean, adults are just as likely to care about collecting Pokemon as kids are, and then there’s things like trading cards, which are just different versions of the same thing. There are other things for both kids and grown ups too. I mean, look at your jigsaw puzzles. They’re all puzzles, you put them together in the same way, but each image is different, so each one is different, and it’s worth doing them. So, yeah. Nothing wrong with repetition, as long as you change enough of it to keep it interesting.

        The bonding thing could work, though you’d need to give a reason why they can only bond with their own gender if you want people to accept that. Mind you, you need a reason they both have to be collecting them anyhow, whether they can only collect spacific ones or not, and whether they’re working together or competing to catch their 50 monsters first.

        Fair enough re the preference for monsters. Makes sense.

        For the record, if you do want to use some of the words I contributed for monster names, and the monsters you created for them, go ahead and do so. All I did was make up some words. You did the hard work with monster creation anyhow. So if any of them work for what you’re trying to do, go ahead and make use of them.

        Whatever you do, I look forward to seeing how it works out.

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      • I thought I mentioned in the email that the Prince needs to bond with the spirits to claim the throne. They’re supposed to be working together, which is why I thought of changing her from an assistant-type to a necessary partner. It shouldn’t be too hard to explain the gender thing if I go for it that way, but I’m on the fence about it.

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      • Yes, you did mention his reason for needing to collect them. But I meant a reason it can’t be just him. As in, he needs to collect them to claim the throne, and she has to help him because he can only bond with the males, and that’s the case because the creatures don’t trust anyone of the opposite gender, for example. My comment about you needing a reason regardless was that no matter the direction you go with it, anyone who joins him on his journey – as a companion or fellow collector – needs a reason to be there. It was more an observation of you needing to come up with reasons anyhow than anything.

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      • I’d have a reason in general for anyone who does it. Maybe it’s waiting to see the world or a life debt. It also depends on if I have these characters meet for the first time or be friends already. One possibility is that they’re betrothed since birth. I don’t think it has to be that complicated if I’m looking at children as the audience, right?

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      • No. It doesn’t need to be a complicated reason. I mean, it can be, but it doesn’t need to be. There just needs to be one. Sooner or later there’s going to be at least a few kids who want to know why the prince isn’t just doing it by himself, so it’s easier for everyone if you give the reason up front. Especially the parents who will have to deal with the inevitable, “Why?”

        It can be as simple as she’s his best friend, so when he says he has to go on this quest, she says she’s going too, just to support him, and then it turns out she’s more help than originally expected. Kind of like how Ron and Hermione were only involved because Harry befriended them, but he actually wouldn’t even have seen his 2nd year at Hogwarts if it wasn’t for them. Or it can be more complicated.

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      • I was considering the friend thing. Not sure if I want her to stumble onto her true role or know right away. Could go the other route and they start as rivals, but learn they’re both needed in the first story.

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      • Sounds good.

        Well, whichever route your going down, I think you’ve got something really promising here, and look forward to seeing what you do with it.

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  2. L. Marie says:

    Love the idea!

    The middle grade category in publishing stretches from fourth grade to freshman year in high school, so you’ll pull in kids and teens. But considering how popular the Harry Potter series was with kids and adults (a series that was acquired for the middle grade audience), you’ll pull in readers from all ages. Many adults read middle grade books. And many adults, like myself, love Pokémon because of the monster collecting. So you’re good there.

    I can speak for all who contributed to your monster maker series, but as far as I’m concerned, you’re welcome to use in your books any of the monsters based on the made-up words I contributed. In fact, I would love for you to do so. You took the time to create the creatures. I did nothing to aid in that creation. I hope you’ll use them however you see fit.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Don’t think I can compare this idea to Harry Potter, but I see your point. This might closer to the elementary and middle school ages.

      I’ll be looking over the monster maker stuff to see if anything works. I made them with no foresight in mind, so they might not fit what I want now.

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  3. You can use any or all the monster names I contributed, Charles, after all, you gave them their characteristics 😎

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  4. I think the idea has legs. I’m not technically equipped to offer any suggestions but I like the idea. Like Chris, you can use anything I sent you.

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  5. Question: will the prince and his female ally each find the spirit beast of the same sex, or the opposite? So the prince could be seeking the pair that matches his own, and that might be how he meets his future ally.

    Also, it would be very true to anime to have these two come from rival factions. They could start out by trying to snag the spirits away from each other, but quickly decide they’d rather work together. Meanwhile, various people in their faction would be urging them to stay rivals, might try to take over their creatures and “do it right,” and so on. If they become a couple in the end, it could be seen as an alliance that brings the rivals together.

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    • I was thinking of having them start out together. The new rivals turning into friends thing seems to be fairly common to the point where it doesn’t interest me. A rivalry that has been going on for a while being forced into a partnership or omitting the rival thing entirely is what I’m leaning towards now. Haven’t decided on if I was going to create a bunch of factions going after the prize too. One issue I’m having is that I don’t know what to do if another faction gets some of the beasts since the heroes need all 100 by the end.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I guess it would partly hinge on how bonded the creatures are with the people who discover them. If you can beat someone up and take their creatures, that would be a totally different situation than if the creatures would refuse to change their loyalties and the person who’s trying to snag them would end up fighting them, instead.

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