Sphinx- Part 5
One of the first things I need to decide is when in Egyptian history does this story take place? I want this to be an origin story and seeing the sphinx is an ancient creature, I want the story to take place in an early period. The first known depiction of a sphinx is from the 4th dynasty. I think my character should be at least that old. However, I am strongly leaning towards the pre-dynastic period—before Egypt was even unified. I am kind of imagining the sphinx playing a pivotal role in the unification of the kingdom and this is where the legend of the sphinx begins.
As I said, I’m going to have the sphinx join with a human host, which will be a young woman. I’ve been thinking about this character a lot. Becoming one with the host really changes her life and sets many things in motion. I’ve been thinking what that change would be. It should be painful. I had originally thought about making her a young woman, just about ready to marry. But really—what would such a young woman have to lose? Little. A better idea would be if she is married and has a child or two. This opens up all kinds of interesting story lines when she becomes the sphinx. How does her family react to her becoming a sphinx? What if she is taken away from her child by force? If she is immortal, how does she cope with her family growing old and eventually dying?
I am still piecing together the story’s content and looking for ideas. While researching, I rediscovered the story about how Thutmoses IV fell asleep in the shade of the great sphinx at Giza. At the time, all that was visible was the sphinx’s head. The rest was covered in sand. The king had a dream where the sphinx told the pharaoh if he restored him, the sphinx would make him a great king. I thought, I might be able use that. A cool opener might be to have Thutmoses restoring the sphinx and come across an ancient chamber. When he opens it, he finds the main character inside, having been locked away for centuries. The story would be her fulfilling her promise to the king. I then looked into what Thutmoses IV did during his reign. Pretty unremarkable, actually. I’d have to start making stuff up.
Choosing this storyline has other issues with it as well. As stated, I really want to make this an origin story. If I start with Thutmoses, which is in the New Kingdom, I have to start doing a lot of backstory. It would probably be best to have two stories running parallel—one with Thutmoses and the other on the origin. That sounds pretty cool, but there is a major problem with that. I’m a new writer and am still developing my craft. Writing a story that runs on parallel storylines and has at least two POV is something that is just beyond what I am capable of doing right now. This is not even mentioning the research I’d have to do for two different time periods. One thing I learned from video game development is the importance of scope vs. resources and experience. In the mean time, I am still looking for a story line. For those who are following this blog, do you have any ideas to throw at me?
This entry was posted on April 20, 2011 by danbracewell. It was filed under My Manuscripts, Sphinx and was tagged with African Girl, Ancient Egypt, aspiring author, author, beginning writers, Egypt, Fantasy, fantasy writing, Sphinx, women in stories, writer, writing.