For a few years now, I've had this image in my mind of an oracle figure sitting in a dank little cell, and then that same oracle figure on the run, being hunted by pursuers. I think it came about after watching Minority Report (2002) years ago with my dad. These two scenes were the beginning of a story, I could tell, only they were lacking something to truly bring them from the 'spark' stage into 'development' mode.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago. I was talking with my friend Hyba about isekai stories (specifically in webcomics). I have long been a fan of portal and isekai stories, and I love mashing up tropes and adding twists to them. Talking to Hyba got me wanting to dabble in this genre.
For those who don't know and don't want to click on the link, isekai is a Japanese term for a genre of story where a person is transported into another (often fictional) world; sometimes this involves reincarnation. Some of these stories are portal fantasies, however not all isekai stories involve portals.
Some examples of both that I've personally enjoyed include Alice in Wonderland, The Chronicles of Narnia, John Carter (2012), Inkworld, InuYasha, and Fushigi Yugi. (The latter two are manga turned animes).
My conversation with Hyba actually brought about the evolution of two different ideas! The first is my Susan Pevensie short story, which is a Narnia/Lord of the Rings crossover fic (and the first crossover fic I've ever written). I knocked it out in about three days and I'm immensely proud of it, so please check it out!
The second is as follows:
An oracle is imprisoned by a ruler, who uses their power of foresight to crush their enemies and maintain and expand their rule. The ruler's enemies learns of the existence of this oracle and realize that they are the reason the ruler has been unstoppable all these years. They decide to hire an assassin to kill the oracle--only for the oracle to beg for freedom instead.
Here's the twist: the oracle doesn't have the gift of foresight at all. Many years ago, they were transported into this world, which is actually the world of their favourite book series, and joined up with the hero of the series, falling in love with them in the process.
So how did they end up an oracle figure, imprisoned by this tyrannical ruler?
Well, that's for me to know and you to find out. My plan is for their backstory to be revealed as the book progresses, and I'm pretty excited for it! I'm not actively working on this story yet, just letting it grow in the back of my brain, fiddling with it whenever the urge strikes. As a result, certain details will most likely change.
For example, currently I'm envisioning your typical fantasy, medieval-esque setting, but I'm not 100% committed to that. I'm also interested in making my oracle figure male and the tyrannical ruler female, just because you don't often see male oracle figures and I think it would be fun to have an evil queen (especially with the backstory I plan to give her, which will be a play on the Chosen One trope).
We shall see! In the meantime, I'd love to know what you think of this story idea! Also, do you have a favourite isekai or portal story? Are you writing a portal or isekai story? Comment below and let me know, I'd love to chat with you about either.
Until next time, happy reading and writing!
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