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started: March 1, 2001
chapter 9 finished: February 20, 2004
projected number of chapters: over 20
At first, I wanted to write a novelization of Ocarina of Time, but that idea didn't seem original enough (no offense to those who have written novelizations, I've read some pretty good ones). However, I wanted to do something different, something new. So, I came up with the idea of Vindari. It gave me an opportunity to take the Ocarina of Time storyline and mess with it.
The origin of the name Vindari is shrouded in mystery (i.e. I can't remember, though I think it was something Latin). I went through such ideas as Timewarper, Tawarpa, and Worve before settling on Vindari.
From the start, I knew that this was going to be a big undertaking. Therefore, I decided to plan it out first. On sheets of notebook paper, I wrote out the basic idea of what would happen. At first, I was very vague, but then I began to get more specific (when talking about dungeons). I have yet to finish planning everything out, though I do have a general idea of how the story will resolve. I have written over twenty-three pages so far of what will happen.
When I originally planned everything out, I projected that there would be 21 chapters. However, in the course of writing, I now fear that some chapters will be too long and have to be split into two chapters. One example is Chapters 6 and 7. Therefore, the number of chapters could go up further. However, rest assured that I will eventually finish it.
One side effect of writing a story over such a long period of time is that my ability improves over that period of time. This means that later chapters are better than earlier ones. Before writing Chapter 7 (Green Music), I re-read previous chapters to refresh my memory. I was startled by how bad they were. So, since the Net is a flexible medium, I decided to revise those chapters and fix them. The result is that Link is portrayed much more strongly and the relationship between him and Saria has had more substance added to it. I will likely have to do that again before I'm finished, but I'm prepared for that now.
An experience while writing Chapter 7 has greatly educated me, and I will pass that lesson on to you. When your computer says, "the data has not been saved", it hasn't. I was about two-thirds through Chapter 7 one afternoon when I had to leave in a hurry. I saved the file and the computer popped up an error message. However, nothing seemed wrong, so I turned off the computer without any doubts......When I went to work on my file again, it was all gone! Everything I had done was erased! I had to start all over again. However, I feel that it was slightly helpful, because writing it a second time allowed me to do better. Still, it's an experience I'd rather not repeat.
Chapter 8 began with a technique that I'll probably use several times during this story: the time jump. Instead of plodding along as Link goes over to Castle Town, buys a shield, and then walks over to Goron City again and plays Zelda's Lullaby again, we start right away with Link inside Darunia's chamber. Not only did this avoid a lot of boring stuff that I couldn't make interesting, it also started the chapter off with a bang, which was good because I hadn't written anything for it for almost two years.
In Chapter 9, I experienced quite a bit of writer's block over just how I wanted to portray the Great Fairy. I wanted to do something different from the game (correction, I wanted to actually give her a personality), but I couldn't decide on what. At first, I toyed with a more sarcastic, almost bitter Great Fairy (with the voice of Whoopi Goldberg for some reason). At first, this is what I started writing.
“What were you doing in such bad shape?” she asked.
Link hesitated, remembering the pain that he had felt. “I was inside Dodongo’s Cavern,” he said. “I fought the Dodongos.”
The Great Fairy laughed uproariously, her voice filling the entire room. “What were you doing that for?” she asked. “Trying to get yourself killed? Maybe I shouldn’t have saved you. You have a death wish.”
The mention of death brought Link’s worries back to mind. “I’m…I’m trying to save Hyrule,” he said.
She laughed again, a shorter, more derisive laugh. “What would you want to do that for?”
“It’s a great and noble mission,” Navi cut in.
“But for what end?” the Great Fairy asked. “He’ll either fade into obscurity or be so pestered by requests for help that he won’t be able to stand living among people.”
“How can you say that?”
“I’ve seen it happen before. Too many heroes regret their actions later.”
“But without those heroes, the world would be enslaved by evil rulers.”
“Things come and go. I’ve lived too many years, seen too many rulers rise and fall. The pursuits of mortals don’t worry me.”
“Why not?” Link asked meekly.
“Don’t listen to her,” Navi said. “She has no heart.”
“Watch what you say,” the Great Fairy commanded. “I took in your friend and nursed him because, as fairies, we shall a small bond. My graciousness extends so far.”
“But why are you here?” Link asked.
“Of what concern is it to you?” she said.
“Everything has a place,” Link said. “The Great Deku Tree would say that. Your place is here in the mountain, but why? Your powers should attract many visitors, but you sound so lonely and angry.”
Her expression saddened. “I didn’t want to help them anymore.”
“Who?” Link asked.
Then she goes on to talk about how the constant demands of the Gorons wore her down after a while and something involving the war with Volvagia (foreshadowing!). However, I didn't like that story. In fact, I hadn't even thought about her backstory much before I started writing. So I took the war story, cast it in a different light, and made her more sad and lonely. Will Link visit her again? Maybe...
Darunia hiding the Spiritual Stone "in his heart" was a way to explain just how Darunia was able to give the Ruby to Link in the game. I mean, he doesn't have any pockets! The thing just sorta materialized. That's fine with someone like the Great Deku Tree, but not with a physical body like Darunia. So I took the basic idea and adapted it into something both reasonable and mystical. Darunia's the leader of the Gorons; he gets special perks.
Another thing I wanted to explain was just why Link so readily accepted Darunia's offer to be his brother. So, I came up with an interesting concept that wasn't expressly stated in the story. Consider where Link grew up. In the Kokiri Forest, Link grew up with a bunch of fellow children. The environment is almost like that of a family. It's a much looser concept of "family" than we're used to, but there's still that connection. So, Link viewed being a Goron "brother" as meaning that he was considered part of their community. The idea of how Link's upbringing affects how he sees the world will factor into another case in the future.
More when more is written.
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Is there anything else you wanted to know about that story? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Link and all related characters are the property of someone else. No copyright infringement was intended. Vindari is my own creation.