For 3 years, I tried writing a story about somebody who I had never met.
Worse yet, I never understood him, nor did I take the time to understand him. I wrote The Kingdom: The Quest about a young man named Arman. He sets out to fight evil, like a few other people you could probably name. What makes him special, then? Is anything that sets him apart from Harry Potter or King Arthur? Why should you care about him? Why should I care about him?
As a teenage fanboy, I never asked those questions. I had a vague picture of Arman when I wrote, and it was as eye-catching as an Impressionist painting, but it was never as well-done. Blurs of motion, of heroic deeds and orc-slaying, caught my mind’s eye- not to mention all those passionate monologues and dramatic pauses that every hero needs to have. They all entranced me, but not enought o amke me delve deeper.
For three years I flitted on those fancies. At the end of my high school career I completed The Quest. It was the most vacuous and wordy assault on human intelligence I ever ever encountered.
Before long, I had to admit that I had added nothing original to the canon of literature. Arman wasn’t his own person. I was the man supposed to give him life, and I had given him no unique life. I didn’t know what he had for breakfast. I didn’t know what he liked to do with his spare time. If anyone had asked me about his weak spots, or what makes him angry, I would have been at a loss for words.
It took even longer to do someting about it, but The Kingdom Trilogy would not leave me alone. I had to return to it. When I did, I finally met Arman for the first time. He’s a timid young man. He has fire in him, and talent, but there’s a shell of uncertainty around it that must be broken before it bursts out. When he sets out to warn Upper Nola about the Nameless One, his quest slowly begins to chip away at this shield.
There’s his identity in a nutshell, however incomplete. Of course, my journey in understanding Arman has only begun. It probably won’t end until I die.