On Air in General, the Intro and Chapter One

Greetings! This is wordbender, here to talk about my fanon Air. I’ve decided to use my blog as a kind of running commentary on my series; the author’s thought process is something that’s always intrigued me, so I thought I’d share my own. *Spoiler Warning* I will be talking about some things in the Intro and Chapter One, so I advise you read those first.

To start off, Air was originally written in 2009. November 2009, to be exact. Back then, Legend of Korra was just an unnamed myth in an Avatard’s heaven and no one had even heard of The Promise. Air does not line up with any of the events that take place in either series (like, say, Republic City), but would be considered in continuity with Avatar: The Last Airbender. Because I was on the verge of rabid obsession trying to write this fanon as close to canon as an outsider could, I seriously debated tweaking the storyline to mesh with the juicy tidbits that have been revealed from Korra and Promise, but I eventually decided it would not be true to my story. <Air: 1 - wordbender: 0>

What most inspired Air was a list of unanswered questions I jotted down after watching the epic series finale. (I now suspect most of these questions will be answered in The Promise graphic novels, which I eagerly anticipate as only a true foaming-at-the-mouth Avatard can. I’m especially curious to see if any of the answers I developed hit close to the mark.) The biggest of these questions was, obviously, ‘What happened to Zuko’s mother?!’ Worst cliffhanger ever. ;) There were more, of course, but if I mentioned them now that would be giving away the story, wouldn’t it?

Writing Air is probably the biggest, most fun, at times totally aggravating side-project I’ve ever undertaken. Yes, side-project; you heard me right. I am an author in addition to being a die-hard Avatard and spend my days writing original novels and short stories. At first, I never actually intended to write this fanfiction. The ideas for a continuation just kept popping into my head and I jotted them down to help fill the void inside left by the sudden realization that Avatar was over. It is my best friend’s fault this story was ever written. She’s responsible for getting me hooked on Avatar and one day I shared with her my vague thoughts on a continuation.

She told me that I had to write it. Period.

So November 2009 was designated ‘Write Air Month’, which I undertook during NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month. I wrote the entire first draft of the series in 30 days. (Bear with me; I don’t get to impress many people with this feat and I’m particularly proud of it.) It ended at approximately 200,000 words, or 400 pages. The good news, dear reader, is that you have a lot to look forward to. As you may imagine, by December 1 I was sick of looking at the thing, haha. It took a lot of editing, revising, rewriting, and several necessary sub-plot injections –all of which were applied during my ‘off’ time– but now I see the light at the end of the tunnel. Here we are, January 2012, and I am finally posting it online. Yay!

I sincerely hope you enjoy this story as much as I have enjoyed writing it.

Now, a couple of notes on the story so far:

Jeong-Jeong, despite his vow to never return, is back in the Fire Nation. It just seemed to fit. Who better to re-train an army of war-hungry troops at the dawn of a peaceful era? Zuko obviously needed all the help he could get and an ex-Admiral, master firebender, and member of the Order of the White Lotus is more than he could ask for. He is part Admiral, part advisor and one of Zuko’s most trusted allies.

I also decided to bring Kuei back. Ever since he disappeared into the horizon astride Basco, I’ve wondered what became of him. His underlying reason for traveling the world was to become a better leader and it led me to wonder if it really did. And if so, what difference would it make? After all, he’s a leader without a people. He escaped Ba Sing Se as it fell into enemy hands and left its citizens at the mercy of the Fire Nation. Would he ever return to the city? How would the people react? Besides, I’ve always liked Kuei; such a nerd, with his tiny glasses and his analytical thinking.

As for Basco, rest assured he also survived their globe trotting adventures. Who knows, maybe he even learned some true bear skills. All to be forgotten, of course, the minute he returned to the pampering Palace. Unfortunately, Basco does not appear in this story; he just never really fit in. But rest easy, my friends; he’s doubtless living his same life of luxury in the background. I wonder what Kuei’s wife thinks of that…

A quick call out to Emmafish, who is responsible for inventing the nickname ‘Roh-Roh’. (Best. Ever!) Emmafish –you are brilliant and beautiful and so entertaining. May you always have goldfish and sushi.

For all you critter fans out there, don’t worry! Momo and Appa have not shared Basco’s fate. In fact, Momo will appear in Chapter Two, coming next Tuesday, so stay tuned.

And that’s it for now! Hope you enjoyed my rambles and, by all means, if you’ve got questions about the story, ask. Oh, yeah, and read Air!

Thanks and goodbye!

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