I've been working on the basic idea for about two years. After countless hours of doodling, daydreaming, and planning, and with a fat folder full of handwritten notes on how I want my universe to look/feel/work, I finally jumped in and posted the first installment of this story on LJ last week.
Plots and plans: I've got only the vaguest idea of how this story is going to go. It's completely different from "The Zero Ring" and "The Rose of Paradise" (my previous two stories) in that I haven't carefully mapped out the whole thing in advance. (I did spend a lot of time creating the setting and background, but not the storyline itself.) Also unlike my previous two pieces, I'm making no effort to be "literary" here. Campy is just fine. I want it to be fun to read. I mean, I am taking it seriously, but I want it to be enjoyable.
The story grew, almost immediately, into something much bigger (and hopefully more interesting) than I'd originally envisioned. Original idea just focused on the Kathris/Amira/Joli love triangle. Well, without giving away too much of the plot, I think I can say there's not too many different ways this can end up, and it's not going to be pretty! And originally, that was the story, and I figured I'd probably bang it out in one sitting.
I soon realized I was going to have to add another character, someone not directly involved in the love triangle, for stability and continuity. In other words: somebody has got to walk away from this train wreck. Enter Dess. Suddenly I realized that she was the main character! And then I needed another mature character, some kind of "teacher" or "mentor" figure, plus Dess needed more friends; so there was Atubis. And while the story is obviously drama-based (i.e. conflict between characters), I wanted to add an adventure element (external threat) ... so we'll have to wait and see what happens there.
Who is Atubis? What is she frightened of? And what are the Fao up to, anyway? Right now, dear reader, I'm as much in the dark as you are ... but I think we'll both find out before too long.
I've been posting this story as I write it, but I may want to add some background information later; so I might end up adding stuff to the story that hasn't appeared here at LJ. In particular, I want to add more visual details; mostly I've been focused on the inner landscapes of the characters, but I realize there's very little in the way of physical description so far. I'm planning to change that. Also I want to add some more information on how the Gilkesh universe works. (How does hyperspace travel work? How do the Gilkesh reproduce? and so on.) I'll post updates as I go.