This has been a very busy week for me. Not only am I writing my story, anxious about available time, I’ve also began my research. Since my story’s setting takes place on a world of mainly sea water, I knew I needed to seek professional help. Any story needs to be believable to an audience, no matter how fantastical or strange the plot may seem.
Yesterday morning on campus, I had the honour in meeting Kim Juniper, the university’s professor and BC Leadership Chair in Marine Ecosystems and Global Change. I emailed him about a possible interview to enhance my knowledge about marine biology to use for my story’s setting. You can’t imagine my joy when he answered and planned a day to meet.On the day of the interview, I brought a draft of my story’s outline and a few questions related to ocean ecology and animal behaviors. Once we met and began our conversation, I realized I learned more than I expected, and not only gained simple answers.
He opened my eyes to other questions that I should asking, such as the interaction between bodies of ocean and atmosphere, climatology, ecological roles of zooplankton, volcanic activity that form islands, ocean paleontology, and global change from human activity. We discussed the types of changes in an ocean environment when humans seek resources from it, as well as the harmful effects on the marine communities. I’ve learned the various natural resources that humans would desire from oceans, such as hydro, solar, geothermal, fossil fuels, and even genetics in plants and animals.
We talked of bio-luminescence in certain species of fish, which I’ve heard before, but haven’t got as much details. It’s when an organism generates light from the bacteria in their external tissues. Organisms, such as fish, stimulate light for either attracting prey or fleeing from predators. I haven’t thought of bio-luminescence until Professor Juniper brought it up as one of the many ways that fish communicate to each other. Now, I want to add this fascinating trait to my protagonist! But more details on that when more of the story is written.
Here’s a snippet of how it works:
Since I have giant aquatic reptiles in my story’s world, Kim Juniper suggests I check out the Chicago Field Museum for more information and inspiration from the real prehistoric animals that lived millions of years ago. I will also look into Vancouver Island’s collection of prehistoric sea life. He also recommends checking out The Martian web novel by Andy Weir, which has turned into a movie. The author has a background in computer sciences, but has done much research in “orbital mechanics, astronomy, and the history of manned spaceflight” to portray the realism in his story( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Martian_(Weir_novel)).
Of course, I can’t explain all of the wonderful, interesting aspects of marine biology into my story. Kim agrees that I would lose my audience who might not be as savvy toward marine sciences as me. I would have to find a balance where my story has realistic details and can be easily read by a wide audience.
On that note, I want to thank Kim Juniper for taking the time in meeting me and sharing his knowledge and passion of marine biology. The lovely conversation has both educated me and inspired me with many ideas for the story.
Without further ado, here is the first part of my short story. Please forgive me for any mistakes you might find. It’s still in rough draft. I just want to show my progress so far. At the moment, my friend, Kelly, is looking at it and hasn’t replied yet. Keep watching for more installments! ( click on document below)
As always, enjoy!