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Hey Avatar Wikians! It's me, Snivystorm, here withto interview him about his Fanon, . Neo Revolution is about two waterbenders being born shortly after the death of Avatar Lyn and being abandoned at an orphanage. Years later, they learn from Mother Leliita that one of them are the Avatar. The duo, along with lifelong friend Erik, journey the land in search of "Haven" supposedly a paradise, meeting others along the way in a quest to restore balance to the world and to find out just who the Avatar actually is. This fanon certainly kept me guessing; I'm still not sure now!
Now, let's start this interview!
Hey Jtwin1, how are you? Enjoy Halloween?
I'm good thanks. A bit busy with Uni finishing but keeping my head on. Halloween isn't a big thing here in Australia but it was good! I went as a praying mantis.
It isn't big where I live either. But let's leave Halloween for another time. Let's press on to your Fanon!
1) My first question. Why did you feel the need to have there be a possibility between two boys being brothers? What made you want to take that approach on revealing the Avatar?
Dover and Sedgley aren't related, I'm just gonna through that out there. They’re both possibly the Avatar, seeing as they were both born after Avatar Lyn and are waterbenders but they aren't possibly brothers. They do however regard themselves as brothers, seeing as they've known each other all their life and have a strong friendship. I wanted there to be two people possibly being the Avatar so that the first book had this mystery surrounding it. It’s a good way to pit the boys against each other, test their friendship so to speak, as well as hopefully keeping readers on their toes. I’d love to think some people are biting their nails over waiting to find out who the Avatar is.
Who's to say I'm not?
I'm kidding. Though I am very curious to find out
2) From the start, you made Erik very conscious about fighting, due to the danger it puts them in. Is he supposed to be the voice of reason on this adventure?
Yes and no. Everyone’s got their strengths and weaknesses in this story. I try not to write everyone as the ‘main character’, ‘comic relief’ or ‘evil bad guy’ because people are always more dynamic than that. Erik is ‘the smart one’ but sometimes he can lose all reason, especially when emotions run high. The thing that drives him is his desire to fulfils the wishes of his mother, and that includes keeping the others safe. I really like writing for Erik, because he’s got a whole other world of problems unrelated to ‘who is the Avatar?’
3) Why did you feel the need, in the prologue, to show us Avatar Lyn dying and suffering defeat at the hands of the Clandestines?
Mostly to present the threat of the Clandestines up front and straight away. I feel that the readers get a real sense of the urgency and dire situation the world is in at the start of the story in the Prologue, and then we start fresh in Chapter One, and eventually revisit that darkness as he story progresses. I also thought it’d be kind of cinematic to have this dramatic precursor to the story. Plus Avatar Lyn’s lovely. I’d love to write some flashbacks when appropriate.
4) How did you come up with the main antagonists, the Clandestines, and the "ruthless" Miss Zaida?
To be completely honest, the antagonists are probably the least thought-out aspect of my story. Or at least the Clandestines we've seen so far. I'm still trying to figure out their inner workings and how they justify their actions. Miss Zaida was introduced as a sort of ‘Zhao’ or ‘Long Feng’ or ‘Combustion Man’ character – as an antagonist for the first book. Zaida means something dangerous or deadly in another language but I can remember right now…
5) This Fanon certainly has been rather...dark, in its themes of death, torture and suicide. What made you want to make it so dark?
I think every Fanon writer wishes the Avatar world was a little ‘darker’. We see all these amazing powers and nations and charismatic characters, and we want them to really utilize these elements to the fullest. I also suppose the darker the story is, the greater the pay off if/when the story resolves.
6) Linking back to the Clandestines, why did you make them so damn evil? Why did you choose to make them, like Zaida, so ruthless?
Again, mostly so that the resolution feels so much more rewarding. I’ll admit it; I feel my antagonists are rather 2 dimensional right now. Perhaps that will detract from the reward of the resolution (again, if there is one), so I really do need to think about them some more. Also, what’s the point of having a useless, incompetent bad guy right? This ain't no Team Rocket! I wanted the heroes to have this real threat, and in real life people are this ruthless. We only have to watch the news to see that people can be utterly terrible to other people sometimes.
7) You expressed Chapter nine being your least favourite chapter. Why do you feel this is, despite the positive feedback? I for one, really enjoyed it! Sedgely seemingly dying throughout the chapter and then the new found belief that he could be the Avatar through the visit from Avatar Lyn was quite clever. You said it may not reflect the time you put into it (three months).
Mostly I was just disappointed in myself for taking so god damn long. I always struggle to find the motivation to write, and I just wasn't ‘feeling it’ with this chapter. I do like it as a chapter though. Writing the spirit world was fun, and throwbacks to The Last Airbender are always fun to include. And Sedgley's arc is really defined by the events in thee spirit world this chapter, so it wasn't a waste of time. I don’t know why really…. Good question!
8) Who has been your favourite character to write? Likewise, who was your least favourite or hardest character to write?
My favourite characters to write for have probably been Anurna and Erik. Honestly, I love writing scenes with them together because their dynamic is just so good (to me at least). I also enjoyed writing for Yuka and Livia, as well as Alphonse. I love it when I can know who’s talking just by the dialogue alone. I love writing distinctive voices that are just so definitive to a character, and when they interact it’s just the best thing to write. So many times Anurna and Erik have bickered or bantered, and it’s just so fun to do. The hardest characters for me to write for are Dover and Sedgley. I have had responses saying that they aren't dissimilar enough, and I wholeheartedly agree. I've been trying my best to make them more unique and different from each other, but it is hard work.
9) Not particularly related to the actual content this question; but why did you make character pages, specifically before finishing the story?
Haha, yeah, that was mostly procrastination. I had this grandiose idea to create a mini Neo Revolution wiki within Avatar Wiki, with everything Neo Revolution based, but I just can’t be bothered any more. Frankly, it’s the story that matters the most, and I should be putting time and effort into that instead.
10) You included Korra in Chapter 9 (:D), though quite briefly. Why only so brief along with the other most recent Avatars? Prefer to focus on Fanon characters over Canon?
I just felt like it didn't need to be longer really. Sedgley saw the Avatars but just as they were in his grasp he lost them. It’s a metaphor really, for how close he feels he is to being everything he wants to be, but still so far away. He’s in a volatile situation; on one hand he craves to be the Avatar and on the other he’s jealous of Dover’s Avatar-like traits, and feels guilty for being jealous. I do enjoy writing fanon characters over canon, only because I've had more experience with them. I can see myself writing out of character for them though, so I tend stick with ones I've created and know how they act.
11) Where did you get the inspirations for all these names, I've heard similar names for some, but some I have never heard of, Anura's name for example?
I *think* I made up the name Anurna. Jeez, I can’t really remember. I have a feeling I saw this name, and then altered it a bit but I can’t remember. Most of the time I just look up things on Google translate or on some baby name website so to give some meaning to their name that relates to them somehow. For example, Yuka means tree I think in Aboriginal, stuff like that.
12) While on topic with the firebender Anura, you made a one-shot solely being a letter written to Anura, which you wrote due to the WLS staff Anonymous Valentines activity. Why did you feel the need to do this, apart from it being due to the activity? Specifically, focusing on Anura?
I was in a bit of writing rut, so this was a way to inspire some creativity while still building on the story I was stuck on. Anurna has this giant history that we know next to nothing about. It’s so satisfying to let her past and her character trickle out in little pieces – I've got good things planned for her, if I can manage to get there T_T I've said she has an unknown past, but I'm not saying this letter is necessarily from the past either…
13) The Fiancée sounds like a new character, I personally didn't understand who he was related to from your main chapters. Can you tell us who this man is, or when we can expect to see them and the role they will play?
I don’t want to tell you who they are. It would ruin the satisfaction. I’ll say that it should become clear who he might be soon enough.
14) Chapter 8 became a featured Fanon article quite recently just last month. What do you feel made it stand put above the rest?
I don’t know really. I think it was the first chapter I tried addressing the issue with Dover and Sedgley being too similar, and I feel that they had a good time in the chapter. Not a good time as in partying etc, but that their character dynamics were built up more and there were some dramatic elements to their interactions. I feel that the incompetent thugs were a good addition, I liked writing for them, and Anurna and Erik’s separate adventure down the rabbit hole was good for their relationship. There were also a few throwbacks to The Last Airbender, which are always good I guess. I don’t know really, ask the people that nominated/voted for it haha!
15) What do you feel led to the success of Neo Revolution?
Success? It’s successful? I don’t have many readers really, but there have been some really nice words said about it (Thank you to those people!). Honestly, I don’t really know. I try to pride myself on using language well, I revise a lot. I care about my characters and their arcs, I'm invested in their story. I don’t know. I feel like if you really care about the story you’re writing, people will notice. Maybe that’s what’s going on?
16) How far do you think you will take "Neo Revolution"? Do you reckon you will ever stop writing it?
God, I fear that the months between chapters will increase, which I hate to think about. I initially planned on having four books but, hell, I can barely get past the first one. This is by no means a declaration of this story ending. I want to keep writing, but I expect it will take years for me to ever get to the true end of it. Writer’s block, life, work, Korra ending and other interests get in the way. I do love my characters though… I owe it to them!
17) When can we expect the see your future chapters being released? We are all eagerly waiting!
I’ve almost finished chapter 10. This one’s been hard because not much action happens. There’s a lot of talking, discussing and plan making in it, which is good to an extent. Chapter 10 if the first half of a two-parter, and I believe Chapter 11 will be a lot easier to write and will be released faster because that is when the action picks up. I just want to write about them being in Haven already, because that’s when things start to get juicy (and the Avatar is revealed)! They arrive in Haven in Chapter 14, so it’ll probably take me well into next year to get there.
I’d also like to thank you for taking the time to do this. It was good fun, and I liked waffling on about Neo Revolution. Thanks!
However, I have a question for you!
18) Who do you think the Avatar is and why? I’d love to know what you think!
Wait...wait a minute. You are asking me a question? Well this isn't the first time an author has turned the tables on me. Guess I had better get answering this question.
Hmmm...Who do I think the Avatar is. Well Sedgley's has been stated as the better and more willing fighter so I naturally saw him as the Avatar. However, I then found my opinion started to change slightly later in Chapter 1 when Dover seemed just as willing to fight with the fateful encounter with Mckay and Diego and even more so as the characters grew. I'm not sure, though I personally would like it to be Dover, I feel it is Sedgeley due to him being the more willing fighter and the scene when Lyn appears to him. You even ended it with it saying "He was the Avatar. There was no questioning it". Although that may be a red herring?? D:
Well there you have it guys. That's all the time I have today with Jtwin1. If you ever want to check out a Fanon to keep you guessing and with an intriguing journey with friends and, of course, check out Jtwin's amazing Fanon, Neo Revolution.
This is Snivystorm signing off ---