INSPIRATIONS FOR THE CHOSEN

The Chosen is a pretty complicated story. It can go from looking  like a pretty messy story, structure wise, to complicated, depending on which angle you approach it from. But for whoever attempts to read and understand the world of the Chosen, this will be undoubtedly helpful. However for those who haven’t attempted to read and hate spoilers, please do not attempt to read any further. At least not until you’ve been introduced to Nascar and Eva.

FANTASY
The original idea started when I wanted to write my own fantasy novel. Fantasy novels allow for a great deal of freedom and exercise of one’s imagination. You aren’t bound by the laws of mere mortals. You can create anything and sometimes even mess with already existing mythology. Ask anyone who’s read Rick Riordan’s books. It’s also a way to create thought experiments. What would happen if? The only other genre which allows such breadth is sci-fi. (That will come later) It admittedly started out with an experiment to see how many mythical and fantasy creatures I could cram into one story. But that would have been too cluttered. So I let it recreate itself. To date it’s the work that has taken the longest  time to complete. 5 years.
One other thing was, I was inspired by C.S. Lewis’s books,The Chronicles of Narnia. Whilst other fantasy series including Lord of the Rings (and debatably Harry Potter) have been proven to be metaphorical and include hidden messages from its authors, it was C.S Lewis who first introduced me to the concept. I’ve come to believe the best way to communicate is through story. After all, isn’t that how we understand our own lives? As one long story?

ANIME
To people who aren’t anime fans, please skip this session. Anime is known for having a large cast of characters. I haven’t seen many stories attempt to handle the development of as many characters as I’ve seen in manga and anime series. And admittedly not all of them handle this very well. However I was still intrigued. In most western stories, all of the character development goes to the main characters. However, the Japanese try to spread it across. Making it more life-like, allowing each character to have their own personal story and develop along with the main character, though not as much.
And another thing is the fights. I first entered the Animesphere through bleach. And after that, it made me wonder why books had relatively few action scenes. Maybe it’s because it’s written(text-based). Either way, I tried to change that. Which is why you might see a lot of fights in the Chosen.

SCI-FI
First on that list is Nascar. Classic mad scientist. One who falls victim to her own creation. With a twist. I will leave that to readers to find out. Nascar is a proponent of biological determinism. The belief that we are our genes and we can’t be anything else. And with a lot research which seems to insinuate that we are controlled by our brains more than we realize, the implications are scary. She also brings up the question of how far should humans go in trying to change ourselves? Plastic surgery, gene-editing, cloning? How far is too far?
There are many other scientific concepts of course. But many of them are actually by accident. Things I just added into the story only to find out they existed or would soon enough. For example energy based weapons will be available by 2020. Check Wikipedia. Bye bye bullets, hello, light and sound based weapons.

PHILOSOPHY
Every influential character in the Chosen has a philosophy. The way they see the world. And it’s the same way in real life. Although philosophy is seen as a useless academic subject, it’s far from that. In fact, everyone is a philosopher. Everyone has a view on life and when we disagree or share ideas we become amateur philosophers. Even when things happen to us and we change our behavior because of these experiences. So the Chosen involves characters with clashing philosophies who try to win others to their side. Example; Jason vs Shawn which is introduced as early as chapter 4.

PSYCHOLOGY
Anyone who gets to really know me knows I’m a fan of psychology. From personality types to psychological disorders, I’ve been exploring as much as I can. It baffles me that its cousin, neuroscience is still not yet in my bookshelf. Anyone who has read Predictably Irrational, the 48 laws of Power, influence or watched and enjoyed a conman movie understands the appeal of psychology. It’s basically about why people do things the way they do, and how some people trick others and get away with it. Now there’s a lot more to it than that, but for simplification purposes let’s move on.
Shawn is an assassin who suffers from insomnia ( can’t sleep), Jason is a sociopath, Lisa…Lisa has issues and Thalia keeps losing time. It’s only time that tells that these are symptoms of much more serious issues.
When something is wrong with our bodies, pain is its way of communicating that to us. When its our mind, psychological distress is the answer. In short, understanding psychology helps in soul-searching and understanding one’s self better.
It also makes you a better philosopher.
Psychology, Philosophy, Sci-fi, Fantasy and Anime. Those are the broad inspirations for The Chosen. My hope is that as you read the Chosen, you take into consideration some of these things. Many things in the Chosen go beyond the surface. However, if you don’t really care about that and just want to enjoy the story, at the very least try to enjoy the fight scenes.

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