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Monday, September 30, 2013

Dark Crystal

Starting tomorrow, the Jim Henson Company will be accepting applications for the next Dark Crystal novelist.  You can read all about it on their website, linked above.  They will continue to accept applications until the end of December.

Now, I have to admit, I have not written anything down yet, but I have been researching.  The world of Thra (the name of the Planet that the stories take place on) has a history far beyond what we see in the movie.  For instance, Thra is never mentioned by name, the Mystics are actually known as the UrRu, and the creatures that the Skeksis and UrRu make up are known as the UrSkeks.  Each of the Skeksis and UrRu have a name and a job.  Aughra is more than simply an astrologer.

In order to write in the world of the Dark Crystal, or in any world, an author must have mastery of the world itself.  S/he needs to know everything - even if that knowledge is never used directly in the novel.  The knowledge in and of itself can lend subtle additions and change word use and diction.  The author will gain confidence that would not otherwise be there.  It may well be the difference between a great novel and an astounding one.

Towards this end, the Henson Company has filled the Dark Crystal website with information intended to fuel would-be authors with all they need.  And I will admit, it has certainly been a large help.  But I realized right away that some details, important ones, were missing.

One of the central characters in the history of Thra is Aughra's son, Raunip.  He is, of course, quite absent in the movie, and, as far as I know, this absence is never explained.  There are no examples on the website of how he speaks, which is something we we should be aware of considering that his mother does not follow the standard rules of grammar herself.  So, I decided to take it upon myself to purchase The Dark Crystal Creation Myths, vol 1.  This book has been truly eye-opening.  I am, however, realizing that I need to know more than this volume allows.  I have ordered the 2nd volume, but the 3rd is not yet available, which means there is a part of the history of Thra that the authors will not know.  There are other books as well, but I fear that I will not have the time or money to purchase them and read them before I must have a good portion of the 10,000 word minimum story completed.

Thankfully, I have gained a lot of confidence, and there are other sources to consider.  I have begun to form some plots in my mind, but forgive me if I do not indulge you with specifics.  This is, after all, a contest, and I will need every edge that I can find.  Wish me luck!

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