Avatar: The Last Airbender
Book 4: Air
About the Story/Foreword:
Warning!: WALL OF TEXT – READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!
This always seems to happen to me whenever I'm upset about something. It happened to me when I was obsessed with Twilight (no longer – I kicked the habit – lol), after I finished Cassandra Clare's City of Ashes, and it's happening to me now, after watching the finale of Avatar's Season 3, Sozin's Comet. My sister and I had seen the whole series before, back in 2008, but because we were horrified at the live-action remake of Season 1 by M. Night, we decided to watch the entire cartoon series over again as a cure to the eye-sore we were forced to watch for two hours at the theater one afternoon (WTH – 5 bajillion Earthbenders to move one rock?). But when the series was over, I couldn't help but think, "Nooo! It can't end there!" – couldn't help but think about the fact that, even though it was a sufficient, impactful ending to the series, so many questions were still left unanswered, so many things still left in the balance that it might take a whole other season to leave me totally satisfied. Such questions as (without revealing anything about the following tale my mind has spun), "What happened to Azula? Where is Zuko's mother? What will happen to the abandoned Air-Temples now, with no Air-Nomads left and the war finally over? What will Toph's family think of her adventure? Are there animal Waterbenders? What kind of implications does what the Lion Turtle taught Aang, have on his role as the Avatar? And, doesn't Aang still need help mastering all the elements?" So, as my mind rang with these questions and as my sister and I basked in our collective sorrows (again) about the end of one of America's best-made cartoon series, she turned to me and said, "You know what time it is?"
"Time to eat our weight in chocolate?"
She paused, reflecting. "That too, but what I'm talking about is… fan-fiction!"
I shook my head. I didn't want to get mixed up in another fan-fiction tale – especially after my story "Gravity," that I can no longer look at without shuddering. Besides that, I was afraid of totally destroying a series that touched me on many levels: humor, the balance between good and evil, the nature of familial relationships, and even the importance of innocence and childhood. How could I possibly compare with that? Moreover, extrapolating on the series may very well come out bland-sounding and ineffective. Without the genuine threat of the Fire Nation to unite the Aang-Gang (AKA, Team Avatar), what or who would be the antagonist of the story – the external conflict? It would end up like "Aladdin and the Return of Jafar" – an unnecessary sequel to a movie that was already perfect the first time around.
But it was too late. Goddamn my sister because the seed was already implanted in my mind – I really think that she entered my dreams and placed the idea there and it slowly festered (I blame this on Inception)! That night, I couldn't stop thinking about what would happen if there was a new season, if all the questions still ringing in the mind at the end of Sozin's Comet WERE answered… And before long, a story began in my mind – a story, not so much about the external battle of good and evil, but the internal battle within each of us – if, when we are faced with the situation, whether we can make the right decision even if it means taking the hard road. The story itself, I realized, was more of a character-analysis than anything else, but don't get me wrong, there's still going to be battles and action, I'm sure! ;D
Granted, this is THE HARDEST thing I've ever written fan-fiction for. Several problems presented themselves immediately: mainly, the fact that I was writing what I thought would be the continuation of the series, a television series, as it would look as a narrative. I had no reference point to draw from, like I did from Twilight and City of Ashes. Having those books available, it was easy to copy the style and feel, and, therefore, easier (for me) to write the fan-fic. Furthermore, on TV, you can concentrate on everyone simultaneously – the camera reveals the action and dialogue of a scene as it happens, and, therefore, you get everyone's emotions and can imply what everyone is thinking easily and quickly… Unless I was to write a screenplay, this would be nigh impossible to do in a narrative. Yes, I could write in the third-person omniscient, but I didn't for a couple reasons. One, to concentrate on everyone's thoughts and feelings in any one scene (especially one involving everyone in the gang), would be, not only taxing for me to write, but for you, the readers, to follow. Two, the omniscient viewpoint, I felt would be too awkward and disjointed – in effect, I would be trying to sound like the TV show but failing because reading and imagining something on paper is a very different experience than watching it on TV. Finally, the last problem I encountered before I sat down to write was a stylistic one: pretty much, my style is quite unlike the style and the atmosphere of the Avatar series in general. The Avatar tone is a very light, humorous, and sometimes uplifting one that I am unaccustomed to (it is, technically, a "kid's show"). I usually deal in the dramatic, dark, and introspective (at least I did in my creative writing class last semester). I thought to myself, "How could I possibly pull of the correct tone without sounding too forced or serious?"
I was surprised though when I started writing. As a writer, I realized I had to take certain liberties with the show in order to translate it into writing, even though, initially, the concept of doing so concerned me. I discovered the best POV was third-person, limited – connecting with one person instead of all was much better than the jilted omniscient or a very un-Avatar-like first person (I mean, who would sit there and talk about their struggles anyway – except, maybe Sokka, who I suspect enjoys the sound of his own voice. XD). Most chapters, I think, will be from the POV of Aang or Zuko, who were the main characters of the series, but I do expect some to be from Katara's, Sokka's, and Toph's, as well as a new character, who's going to be very important to the story. Additionally, the tone and style of my writing sort-of fixed itself along the way, mostly because of the characters themselves who, by that point, I knew so well and loved that I could hear and see them talking in my head. The dialogue came easily while the descriptions of places took on a more adventure-like feel than a dark or –cough- romantic one. . .
So, without further ado, I present my version of Season 4 of Avatar: The Last Airbender. This last book is entitled Air and, based on all the information I've gotten about the Avatar cartoon sequel taking place 70 years later, this will introduce some plot elements which may or may not be referenced in Avatar: The Legend of Korra. Plus, we already had books Water, Earth, and Fire, and it always irked me that they never finished with the last element! Anyway, in keeping with the series, each new chapter is an "episode" and I'm going to try to see if I can make the Book about 20 episodes long (I have no idea if I'll accomplish it, but here's to trying!). Before I start each episode, I will indicate whose limited POV we'll be in.
Anyway, hope you enjoy and thanks for reading!
(AKA, Kinara or Kin)