I’m looking for any and all advice on this one. It’s got my hands tied and I don’t think my source material is going to help the decision go any easier.
Here’s the issue. In my Arabian inspired story, I want it to mimic Arabian Nights in a way. Each chapter will be “The Tale of…” or some derivation of the phrase. I have one small issue. In Arabian Nights, there is a tale happening around the tales told as a woman tells stories to save her life. There is an entire story leading up to why the stories are being told. There is a story after the tales are told. I like it. But I’m not sure it will lend itself to me.
I have three options presented to me. I need help deciding which one to write. Chances are the two options including a storyteller will both get written out. Maybe I’ll include the prologues in the future and you can decide. But here’s the summary:
First, the story. G’desh is an ancient city built on a massive lake in the southern desert. The Followers of the One and the Purifying/Eternal Flame have fought for centuries over the bronze city itself, the others being exiled to the desert, living a nomadic life until the next shift in power. The Purifying/Eternal Flame currently hold sway, however the Followers have recently gained some questionable aid, and a way into the bronze city without much resistance.
Meanwhile, a rebellion and cult known as the True Flame are placing coals under the Purified. The Khalif’s inability to deal peacefully with the people brings the south close to a full civil war, with a shadow on the outskirts looking to swoop in.
This will pay into the Scrolls of Ji Wei (or something), where four separate nations come together to set the fate for their world. (South is Arabia, North is Norse, West is India, and East is China)
Now for the options:
1) It takes place thousands of years in the future, as an old man tells his many times great grandson the story of G’desh. For the most part, magic is only a part of old stories, but the grandson has magical abilities and is exploring them. He does this recklessly, and while he is told by his grandpa the story, he’s learning about control and corruption. In the end, he’s to figure out the path he’s taking in life and with magic and how that will shape him. This will affect a series that’s a long way off, but the character would be eventually important.
2) Takes place around a decade in the future. It would tie in with the east story, as a master teaches his pupil. The pupil is training and would be the center piece for the fourth novel and the series overall. If I do this, the other two novels might have an prologue and epilogue teaching us more about the master and student.
3) None of these. I don’t play it off as a master telling a story to his pupil, but just as a line of tales written down which happen to work together, about a very tumultuous time period in G’desh’s history.
Seriously, any and all comments really are truly appreciated. I have no idea what to do, and it’s part of the reason I’m having issues moving forward. It truly changes how I write it, and I’m not sure if having layers to the story will simply confuse, or if it will add. All input welcome.