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Home Blogs Writing Journal #1 - Some notes and facts about Kaiaatsel
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Writing Journal #1 - Some notes and facts about Kaiaatsel E-mail
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Written by Wazz the Snow Fox   
Friday, 18 March 2011 17:41

If that title made you curious then by all means read on.


First off, though it sounds like it may be the name of a species or something else, Kaiaatsel is actually a person... well... kind of.

I created this character for the same story as Xaph, Deleteme, The N.I.P and others.  Xaph was actually the reason I needed another character.  He could really be a goldmine for character development throughout the story, but I needed another important character to bring it out in him and I realized that none of my other characters were compatible enough with Xaph's original personality to start the process.

After analyzing Xaph's character for a while I found that, realistically, the best person to become his friend would be someone who went through a similar traumatic experience.  If you already know what that experience was (it's not like I didn't reveal it many times in different places) you can skip the next paragraph.

Quote from myself describing Xaph
...he was the first person to invent a time machine. He was able to build it by going to a different universe where the laws of physics made time travel much easier, and then bringing the time machine back to Earth. Unfortunately, bringing a working time machine to Earth messed up his personal physics so badly that when he got back, he was a raccoon instead of a human.

To continue...

There was something else I'd been wanting to try, especially given the nature of this particular story.  I wanted to portray a coyote as a good guy, instead of the traditional image of an evil trickster like a jackal.
So Kaiaatsel was the answer to both these issues.
I really like the way he turned out.  I guess I should describe his personality and his origins so you can decide on his merits as a character for yourself.

In case you're wondering this has nothing to do with furries at all, it's just normal non-anthropomorphic, four-footed... you get the picture I think.

Originally his name was Kyle Stevens.  He was a 21 year old human guy at a time in history that could be described as "a few years from now" with a crappy life that he was just starting to try and make better.
But all that changed.
Walking home from work on one particularly crappy day he was grabbed by a strange alien that defied description - this alien was naturally capable of time travel and whisked Kyle off, about 2500 years into the future - this is the same future where the main story takes place.  On the way Kyle's entire being changed dramatically, though he didn't realize it at first because he was unconscious.  I won't tell you the name of this alien yet but I will say he's probably a very important character in the main story.
Kyle tried to ask some questions of the alien but after a long time the only thing he managed to get out of it was the frustratingly nebulous and mocking "You are in DA FYOOOTURE!"  After that the alien vanished and Kyle was left to his own devices.
And he realized something was wrong with him.
Very wrong.
When he was finally able to bring himself to take a look at his body he discovered he was now a tan-furred coyote.  He had changed for the same reason that Xaph had, his personal physics had become very unstable while travelling through time.  It's not scientifically accurate of course, the whole point of saying something like that is to underscore the fact that no one understands why it happened.
You might think he would have been distraught over not being human anymore, but you'd be wrong.  He didn't see it as becoming something less though.  He'd had such a boring, crappy life up until now, the idea of getting a fresh start and doing something new and exciting was irresistable for him.  In that sense, he felt like he had become something more.
He stopped thinking of himself by the name Kyle as well, figuring he wanted a completely fresh start and didn't want to keep anything from his old self that might hold him back - even his old name.  He decided to try and think of a new name.
Using some logic that I'm not going to describe on an unrated website, he figured out that he was pre-pubescent - meaning that he was younger than he had been before.  Judging by the consistency of his fur and some knowledge he'd picked up in a zoology class a long time ago, he decided he was probably about six months old.
Soon after he discovered that many so-called "animals", especially carnivores, were actually intelligent on the human level if not higher.  The only explanation he could think of was that the disappearance of most of the human race - he found out that had happened about 1500 years ago - had given all these intelligent animals a chance to come out.  They seemed to be living relatively peacefully together, barring of course the obvious predator-prey thing.
After that he made a few friends, which surprised him because he'd never made any real friends before.  He learned to hunt animals for food, discovered his favourite prey was rabbits, and eventually, after some research on coyote name styles on the still existant internet (I won't go into detail on how he found out that most of these animals did have names or how he got access to the internet)  and especially the recently resurrected Wikipedia - which was under a different name but exactly the same thing - he decided on a new name that was similar enough to his old one that it felt natural but also distincly "coyotified" -- Kaiaatsel.

As for his personality:
Kaiaatsel (or Kaia for short) wants to experience everything now.  He's intensely curious about this new world - the air, which is so much cleaner than he's used to; the vast forests that grow where cities once stood, the incredibly clean water - everything.  He has no doubt that this is a better Earth than the one he was taken away from, though he's still angry at the alien for taking him away.
Because of a lot of things he went through when he was human compared to now, he genuinely wants to do what's right, though sometimes his means to that end can be... questionable.  He's not above doing something immoral if the end result is what he feels is right.  The one thing he would never do, though, is betray a friend.  He's so surprised and grateful that he has friends now that he doesn't want to do anything that could cause him to lose them.
Though he knows he'll never be completely in control of his life now, he's happier than he's ever been before.  Physically and mentally he's very fit and cunning, more than capable of catching rabbits, which are his favourite food now.  Though still resentful at what was taken away from him, he manages to put that aside for the most part and simply enjoy being alive...

But soon, he'll find out he can't be a wild animal all the time...

To find out all the unique things about this story, and why humans seem almost as abundant as they used to be even though everyone knows they're extremely rare now... well, to find out you'll have to read the book when it's done.

I'm fleshing out Kaiaatsel's character by writing a short story about his origin - much, much, much more in-depth than the little summary I put here.  I'm writing it in the first person because that really really helps with character immersion, something that's critical for me when my characters are taking shape.  I do these kind of short stories a lot when I'm conceiving of a new important character for a larger work.  Having written the character from first-person and gotten that immersion already helps me to understand the character afterwards when I'm writing them later and also helps me get that sense of immersion in the more distant third-person.
For those who aren't writers and don't understand why I have to go to such great lengths to understand my own characters, I'll just tell you that in my experience, a writer has absolutely no control over their characters.  The experience of writing a story is exactly the same as the experience of reading it - the only difference is that you're writing it down as you read it!  Characters feel more like actual people in a 'sub-reality' inside the writer's mind.  It gets to the point where you're envious of your characters because they lead more exciting lives than you ever will -- and I'm long past that point.
If there's enough interest I may put it here but I probably won't - I'm writing it for a companion anthology with my brother (who will also co-write the main story), the anthology will have origin stories for all the major characters, and we want to make it before we start on the main book.  The purpose of the short stories is for each of us to give the other a real-time idea of what our characters are like - hopefully this will help us write the characters more consistently since there will be two of us doing it.

I also made Kaia as a Descent 3 pilot, that's where his favourite food comes from.  It's rabbits because I wanted to use this pilot against a certain player...


Song of the day:

Today I have two, because I haven't made a new entry in six months.

#1 R.a.M. Land: Firewall - An awesome song from Pumo Mines, in the second level

And now something that fits Kaiaatsel himself:

#2 Vertigo Fox - Clawed Hunters








Seriously, I got this from Wikipedia, but it's close to what Kaia looks like


Okay, seriously, I got that picture off Wikipedia, but it's close to what Kaiatsel looks like.


Last Updated on Thursday, 24 March 2011 23:17
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Discuss (3 posts)
Re: A few notes and facts about Kaiaatsel
Apr 03 2011 22:00:51
We had this isuse before. The CMS doesn't seem to handle more than one edit at a time gracefully.
Re: A few notes and facts about Kaiaatsel
Mar 18 2011 22:28:17
Sorry. Maybe it was because I was translating into French.
A few notes and facts about Kaiaatsel
Mar 18 2011 21:40:17
I was going to change the title slightly but the edit button doesn't do anything. Wierd.