The concept of using towers and elevators has always fascinated me. Getting on an elevator pushing the floor number but when the doors open, it’s not a floor but a realm or a series of doors which stretch beyond the physical confines of the tower. I used this idea to create my towers for the story.
Four Towers—Four Elements
I chose four towers, as it was a simple whole number. Any less wouldn’t be enough; any more would be too much. Each tower would represent one of the four elements: Water, Fire, Earth, Air. There are two ways that an individual knows which tower they are in. First, as they approach the tower, a symbol of the element would be found etched into the door. Second, the atmosphere within the tower would be synonymous with the element. For example, The Tower of Water has a damp feel to it; on the walls, the floor, the ceiling, and the air itself. You would get a feeling of dampness wherever you went in the tower. The Tower of Fire would be very warm or hot in some place.
At Floor 75 there are all glass walkways that connect the towers to each other in circular fashion. In other words, to get to the furthest tower you would have to pass through one of the other two towers.
Fifth Tower—Fifth Element
Yes, I did come up with this idea from the Bruce Willis movie, Fifth Element. In that film they describe the fifth element as deity, which would control the other four. So I decided upon a fifth tower in the center of the other four but it would never be seen outside the towers in any of the realms. For most people the fifth tower is simply legend because they haven’t seen it before.
This becomes the primary goal of my MCs: Get into the fifth tower, encounter whatever lives there, and then return home. Being children, they have a habit of being distracted from their goal and end up on several wild adventures along the way.
The Special Key
Being a fan of stories like The Chronicles of Narnia, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and other stories which are called Portal Fantasies; I wanted to make a central object that, when used, could get my MCs access into the fantasy world and a chance to get into the fifth tower. A key seemed the likely idea giving it an old-fashioned look in appearance. That way, to other people, it would seem to be just an ordinary item and wouldn’t think twice about it. Had I used something more modern like a key card or credit card, it might have been snatched from the MCs almost immediately and used.
Floors of The Towers
Now I’ve already mentioned a little bit about the various floors of the towers. Each tower has approximately 100 floors. I say approximately a couple of the towers have one more than one hundred and, as you will learn in book one, the elevator to the Tower of Water only goes to Floor 98. If I say anymore, I’ll give away too much. The number of realms found in each tower will vary depending on the floor you visit. Some floors have only one door leading out into one realm, while other floors have numerous doors hence numerous realms. The reason for this is simple; it shows the immensity of each tower plus it allows for and endless number of stories and genres to be written in connection with the towers.
Before you ask, no I don’t know how many worlds there are nor do I have every single floor mapped out. I realize that may not be a smart move but if I were to map every floor I would tend to get lazy and just make stuff up just to get it out of the way. Instead I have currently mapped every floor and instance in regards to what I have used in all three books. I have also added a few other things in addition to round out certain realms and ideas mentioned in one tower but not in the others. More floors and realms will be revealed as other stories and projects unfold in the coming years.
Someone told me about the Petronas Towers (see pictures). They are located in Kuala Lumpur, East Malaysia. This is an almost perfect design I had in mind for my towers. A little less modern or more fantasy in nature, but you get the idea. So there you have it. As for how or why the towers were built in the first place? You’ll have to read the trilogy to find out.
Don’t forget a new project begins on Tuesday October 14, 2013 located at Floor 17 Café blog. Every Tuesday and Friday will be a new entry in observations of Chuck the waiter!