So previously, we shared an incredibly small snippet of a single character from The Twisted World fantasy series. Looks like people have already taken a shine to Kurt Kathan (as expected; he’s kinda fucking cool, and that’s not tooting my own horn. He just seems like an interesting guy).
But where did all this come from? How does it all relate? Where does it all connect? Twisted World? Erons? Fantasy? What the shit is this shit, you ask? Ease down my little tigers, I’ll tell you. First, lets go over the facts BEFORE we go over the fiction. Settle in for a lengthy little read here and you tell ME whether you’re excited or not.
The Twisted World is, in fact, our FIRST book project. Just flipping through my notes and what not here, it’ll have been in development for going on two years come October. Yes, we’ve been working on it that long, quietly. I ended up making the call on putting The Twisted World on temporary hiatus, because I believed in the potential of Rabbit in the Road that much, that I wanted to see that come out first. Simply put, Rabbit got you familiar with us to see that we’re not a blank shot in the dark. I wouldn’t want you to invest your time into us if it didn’t seem worth it. You’ve seen what we can do under pressure, and like UPS, we deliver. Now that Rabbit has been out for a few months, we’ve been slowly but surely edging back to it, getting into discussions about fine details concerning the world again.
So let me answer the first and most immediate of questions: Fantasy?
Yes, fantasy. Currently, I’m still not sure what to classify it as, be it low or high. It doesn’t fit completely cleanly into either of those (there are creatures, obviously leaning it towards high, but simultaneously magic is pretty damn uncommon, pushing it towards low), so… mid-fantasy, I suppose? I don’t know, I reckon I’m making shit up at this point that sounds interesting. I was never one for labels anyhow. Nevertheless, fantasy is a good middle road to call it for now.
The next question would probably be why. Originally, I was going to do a separate post on just this topic (and I still might in the future, it definitely can be expanded upon), but I think I can sum it up fairly well here, especially in regards to this genre:
I fucking HATE fantasy.
Now, before you get all in a twist (heh), let me explain. I have found that in roughly the past 15-20 years, the fantasy genre has just stagnated beyond belief. And let me stop you right there before you mention “You should go read ‘popular series x’! It’s SOOOOOOOOO good!” No. I’m not interested. If I were interested in it, I would be reading it already, wouldn’t I?
That’s the thing. I’ve found there’s just been no real good growth in the written genre. In other mediums, that’s a different story altogether. I have seen some amazingly brilliant things happen in the film, comic, and game spaces in regards to this genre (such as Berserk, Everquest 2, and Demon’s Souls to name a few examples), but in the writing world absolutely nothing worth my time reading.
So rather than sit around and gripe about the genre, it’s better to put your money where your mouth is, so I decided to do just that. If I have problems with the genre, then I need to be willing to step up to the plate and fix what I think is wrong with it. Now, there are two possible outcomes: I will either succeed daringly or fail miserably. But no one will ever be able to say that I didn’t try.
So what is the Twisted World?
The Twisted World is dark. And when I say dark, I don’t mean cloudy. There is blood. There is violence, there are ethically and morally questionable things that happen in the world. But sometimes, in those magical moments between the hardship of life, it is very beautiful.
This is a world of creatures, of men, monsters, and unexplained phenomenon. Sorry vampire and dragon lovers, they’re not here.
What makes the Twisted World unique?
One of the identifying features of the world is the unique eco-systems that are in place for the world of <name redacted>. You will see creatures that you have never seen before in fiction. You will see magic used in a completely non-traditional way, with real consequences and true cost.
What doesn’t the Twisted World have?
I’m glad you asked. Here’s a bullet point list:
- Bikini chainmail armor.
- Glass cannons (i.e. Wizards throwing all kinds of magic all over the place)
- Instant travel. Sorry folks, horses and boats are slow, just the way we likes ’em!
- Idealized Mary Sue characters. Nope, the people here are pretty messed up, just like the rest of us.
How many books are there?
Initially, we planned for there to be 4 books. However, the scope of the first book (which interestingly enough is chronologically the LAST one) was so big, that we’ve decided to split it into 3 books, bringing it to a total of 6.
How long until the first book?!
When it’s done. Oh wait, I’m not a game designer, I actually have to give better answers than that! The first book already has a clean 60,000 words laid into it already, almost double than the word count of Rabbit, and it’s BARELY even started. Yeah, now you can kind of see why we had to split it into 3 books!
Why should I bother reading it when it’s finished?
I don’t know, to be quite honest with you. I can say that it is very different. It will explore the concepts of love in its multiple incarnations, be it romantic, familial, and even of the self. The Twisted World deals heavily in the consequences of actions taken by people with a narrow scope of view and failing to see the big picture, and much much more.
All that being said, I guess I can say this with the Twisted World: I can promise you that you will find a character that you can identify with. If you thought Rabbit was good, honey? You ain’t seen nothing yet.