Behind the Prism: Take 1

Welcome to another Monday! In this week’s topic, I will be taking you behind the scenes of “The Prism.” Where is this story going? What can you expect? Where did my inspiration come from? I will be answering those questions and many more.

Before I get into these questions, I want to give another huge shout-out to James Singer for editing my blog and making it the best it can possibly be. In addition to that, I want to thank him and his fiancée, Kelly, for really encouraging me and giving me a plethora of topics for my blog, this subject being one of them. I encourage you all to send in your ideas for topics as well. As you can see, I do take them into consideration and write about them! Without you, there would be no blog, so I want to make sure that you are heard.

I plan on doing this sort of behind-the-scenes post every few chapters thanks to an awesome suggestion from James. There are currently six chapters to “The Prism.” I’m not sure yet how often I will do these “Behind the Prism” posts, but you should expect one every 5-8 chapters. There may a couple spoilers in this post. If you aren’t caught up through Chapter 6 already, you might want to come back here once you are. I’ll try and keep the spoilers to a minimum and warn you before they come.

So what makes “The Prism” so different? Well, there are a lot of things. Aside from the unique world and plotline, its writing process and structure are very unique as well. Remember those books that were like, “Flip to page 37 for this to happen,” or, “Flip to page 75 for that to happen”? Well, this story has the potential to be like that, except your decisions matter even more because there will be no alternative endings. Right now, you’re probably thinking, “What? Zach, what possibly could you mean by this?” Well, what if I told you that even I don’t know what is going to happen next week? Well, I don’t. I have no idea. I have a few milestones in mind that I will guide the story towards, but almost everything else is up for grabs. There may be a few things in the story so far that have left you dying to find out what happens next. I assure you, I’m right there with you. I won’t tell you what I know and don’t know, but just be aware that anything can happen. With that being said, I want all of you to influence the plotline too. I will read everyone’s comments, emails and discussions on “The Prism” and consider them when making important decisions in the story. Your predictions and theories may just turn into reality. Well, fiction, but you know what I mean.

Let’s talk about my inspiration for the series. The entire concept came from a dream. I will explain that dream in another “Behind the Prism” post though, as the dream itself was the actual program they will be testing, which we haven’t yet gotten to yet in the story, but the moment I woke up, I just knew I had to write about it. It was so vivid and clear, and it was like the story already existed and it just chose me to write about it. That’s how I feel about most of my work. So why a prism? Well, that question may or may not be answered in the series, as I haven’t quite decided if I want to expose the significance behind that. Regardless of whether I do or not, prisms look cool, and it’s a cool name. But again, that may be an answer for later in the series. Quin, on the other hand, I would like to take a few moments to discuss.

Quin is a very special character to me. I think he is very strong and relatable but, at the same time, not very relatable at all. Quin, if you haven’t gathered, is a transgender male. He grew up a female, Quincy Adams, and changed his name (not legally, yet) to Quin Adams. I never once in the series stated that he was a transgender man. Why? Because it doesn’t matter. It’s unimportant to label him. He is who he is. I feel it’s very important to avoid labels and just treat everyone as an equal. He has struggled with his family because of his transition. He also is taking medication, which I actually did research for by speaking with my transgender male  friend on the process about what they go through, which shows Quin’s current struggles that he goes through just to be happy in his own skin. Those past and current experiences are what defines him. I didn’t need to use a label to tell you anything that you didn’t already know, and I think that’s super important for fostering acceptance in our community. I also thought it was important to create a main character who is LGBTQ without making the story about being LGBTQ. Our community needs more roles that don’t just represent us as a stereotype. We are generally portrayed as parody, and I wanted to incorporate a member of our community into my story without any focus being on their sexuality, and I think Quin was the best way to do that.

Kelly asked me a great question:

“The Prism has such strong visuals. How do you come up with them?”

My answer may be a bit underwhelming, but it just comes to me as I write. I don’t plan anything. I don’t sit down for hours and design the building nor the characters. I just sit down and write. When they stepped off the bus, I just closed my eyes (while slightly peeking through to make sure I was typing correctly) and described what I saw as if I were there and experiencing it for the first time myself. I did the same thing with the introductions of characters, especially Karen. I didn’t know what she looked like until she walked into that room to meet the group. Like I said before, my stories write themselves. They just choose me as a vessel to put them into words. Sometimes I just let my fingers move and see what comes out at the end. I know that seems super exaggerated, and you’re rolling your eyes like, “Yeah, okay, but you definitely sat and planned this stuff out.” I can honestly say I haven’t, especially with “The Prism,” where I don’t even plan the plot. The only things I planned from the beginning in this series were Quin being transgender and what the Prism itself would be like and how they would transition through it.

Another good question, from James, was, “Was the acronym for PYKSEL planned?” That’s a tricky one because the answer is both yes and no. I had intended on using the name PYKSEL for something completely different long before I even had the dream that inspired “The Prism.” Then, after I’d had the dream and conceptualized the series, the idea to use PYKSEL as an acronym came to mind, and it was perfect. So yes, the acronym was thought through before I started the series. However, that name was originally for something very different, and it was a regular name rather than an acronym.

So now you have a bit of a backstory as to what “The Prism” is about and why I am writing it. I also hope that you as readers are enjoying it and have some ideas for what you want to happen or think will happen in the story’s future. I know I’m excited to find out. Thanks again to James and Kelly for their amazing questions and topics. I also got through this whole blog without any spoilers, so that was a surprise. You’re welcome. Don’t forget to catch up on “The Prism” if you haven’t already. Also hit that like button and use your email to follow the blog. You can also follow my Facebook page which is linked below (or to the right on a desktop).

Hasta La Pasta,



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