The Winds of Zephyr

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by Stephen G Parks

In the distant future interstellar war has isolated an unsustainable colony. Growing up in the deteriorating city of West Zephyr, our narrator recounts how he has survived both Human and non-Human threats to his existence.

The following highlights one of the challenges and joys of writing Winds of Zephyr:

Writing Linearly, in the First Person - the "Winds of Zephyr" challenge

I don’t write linearly. I don’t write the first chapter first, the second chapter second, etc., until the last chapter last. There are writers who write that way. I'm not one of them. I start at the beginning, write the end, then work out what has to happen to get from point A to point Z. I go back and add a detail or a piece of information that will become important later. I worl- build as aspects are revealed to me, and I incorporate them as I go along.

So I set myself a challenge. As part of a writing exercise, I would write a story from start to end. To add to the challenge, I would write the story in the first person, a style of story telling that as a reader I personally don’t like. How better to understand it than to do it?

The story, The Winds of Zephyr, is told form the perspective of a young man born on an abandoned colony somewhere out there. Slowly, inexorably, the planet is killing the colonists, who are struggling to survive. The remanent weapons from a war have made their solar system unnavigable — there is no help coming — and the local fauna are persistently lethal. This is just the backdrop; there’s more going on than that, and although I know roughly how the story will end, even I’m not sure what will happen along the way — the joy of linear story telling.

For those who are interested, an excerpt of the work in progress can be read here, and if you wish, you can add your email address to a mailing list that will only contact you when one of my stories is published.