At the thought of the prospect of writing a story and getting it printed, I became pretty excited. Azlan and Adely of Unity Macroverse told me that I can start with a micro story. These are very short stories, about 500 to 1,000 words printed in small booklets. By that time, they already had many micro stories printed. These can be stand-alone stories or serials. I thought that it would be a great way to start for a complete amateur like me.
So then, the question was what will my story be about?
Taking the cue from professional writers, I decided that it would have to be about something I know, and something that I like. For example, Stephen King writes horror stories because he is really into that stuff, and many of his stories were set in New England because I suppose he is most familiar with that region. I thought along those lines, and my story would have to be a sci-fi that happens in the Macroverse’s alternate history future of the Earth, without any element of the supernatural.
After reflecting for days on the matter, I decided to pursue an idea based on the legend of Raja Bersiong, the mythical vampire king of ancient Kedah. To me, all the books and films that have been made on this legend did not reach the full potential of a great story. But the potential had always been there. There are very few Malay myths that can be developed into mainstream media entertainment and this particular one has the potential.
In fact, in 2010 when I was working with MDEC, I was studying ways of promoting this story to become a movie with international collaboration. That was the time when vampire movies were all the rage and I thought the timing was right. I kept the idea mostly to myself but did some poking around to test such an idea.
I made a couple of work trips to Los Angeles that year and met people whom I asked questions about the horror and fantasy genre. I talked to Peter Davis, the co-creator of Highlander about the background of his story idea.
I also had dinner with Barrie M. Osborne, a veteran Hollywood producer who produced The Matrix, all three Lord of the Rings films, but had been involved in only one horror piece, Child’s Play. Nevertheless, I gained much insight about story development from my conversation with him.
Another story idea I was toying with at that time would have a log line that reads: In 2030 Google’s engine becomes sentient and being helpful by nature, tries to help all parties on Earth to become victorious and this plunges the world into chaos and anarchy.
Anyway, I left MDEC in 2013 and thus severed my ties to the film industry.
So in 2020, with the opportunity to write as presented by the Unity Macroverse story canvas, the Raja Bersiong mythology came back to mind. But this story will have to be sci-fi and whatever vampiric attributes of the blood eaters will have the science behind it, nothing supernatural.
Therefore, the log line for my story became: A tired man from Kedah on the Malay peninsula who has lived since the 4th century still has to go back into a battle in the 24th century against a group that is bent to exterminate normal humans from the solar system.