Monthly Archives: November 2010

Good Friends and a Board Full of Keys

It begins with a character, usually, and once he stands up on his feet and begins to move, all I can do is trot along behind him with a paper and pencil trying to keep up long enough to put down what he says and does.
William Faulkner

Characters are the bread and butter of any novel.  Especially, in Fantasy and Horror.  As far as Science Fiction is concerned, the science can stand up as a unique character on its own.  I am sure the same is true with the world in Fantasy or this suspense of a good horror, but without a rememberable hero, or a villain, that is memorable, then story seems as just that, another fantasy story.  

Some of my favorite heroes are Drittz, from R. A. Salvatore’s Legend of  Drittz series.  Terry Goodkind’s Richard Cypher and Kaylen Amnell from the “Sword of Truth” series..  I like Kaylen far better than Richard.  Darth Zannah from “The Rule of Two”,  and yes I believe that Anakin/Vader is the greatest character imagined on-screen.  I’ll attempt to stay with books from now on.   Robert E. Howard’s Conan is awesome.

What makes these characters great is that they stay to themselves.  They all have a code of honor, whether good or evil, and stay true to their character no matter the consequences of their action.  I have an arsenal of  favorite characters that I love to write about and I am figuring out the more that you work with your characters, like the more you hang out with your friends, the better you get to know them.  No matter how much I think I know them, the more  they continue to surprise me with each scene I lay down, each situation I throw at them they begin to take on a life of their own. 

I don’t know if this is a sin to prematurely give the names of your children, but you should look for Anawle the Black soon enough.  Anawle is an assassin, who as child was kidnapped by Naz’ Wraith, the dead beyond the plane of the living, so that they may build an army of living suffering.  She is my favorite to work with at the moment.  I have plenty of others; Akina, Draven, Damoth, Mortimus, and Feral to name a few.  These are all characters from the novel that I am working on.  I know that I have posted  any  work in a while for the eyes of my friends and the few fans I have, but lately, I have worked on creating a language that will hopefully be found beautiful. 

I will settle on no less than giving my readers the best. 

On Inspiration: Apathetic Procrastinator and Literary Perfectionist

Hey, Mind Flayers, Zombies, and Ghouls, as well as Elves, Paladins, Death Knights, Dragons, Santa Clause, Elvis and the Tooth Fairy.  I have felt a bit inspirational lately.  However, procrastination aside, school, and family life are keeping me from pounding out every little thought that comes to my mind (and, o-yeah, I do not procrastinate and I don’t believe in writer’s block).   Inspiration is all around us; you and me that is, and if you fell to believe me you are being apathetic. 

 Why do I say this?  Because either you have to agree, that inspiration is always seeping into your brain.  That simple conversation you had with store clerk or that creaking sound coming from underneath your floorboard can be a story in the making.  Now, can I promise you that it will be a great story?  Hell no!  That depends on the elements of craft and your level of skill. 

However, I am going to say that if you disagree with me, you’re still being inspired.  You have been inspired to form an idea or opinion about my own opinions.  Would that make a good story?  Probably to a bunch of old school literary fiction lovers.

If you are felling to see my point, ask yourself this.  Am I the apathetic procrastinator of the written word or a literary perfectionist?   Both of these stereotypes have a couple of things in common.  One, they both are endlessly searching for the perfect story.  Two, neither can put a thought down on paper for differing reasons.  The apathetic procrastinator gets nothing done because his idea is not going to become a major motion picture.  The literary perfectionist gets something down on paper, but fails to finish because he is using too many adjectives or his or her story isn’t, well, perfect from beginning to end as he or she places their thoughts into substance. 

I believe there is no such thing as the perfect story, there is only good writing and bad writing.  The qualifiers of these principles will be a different blog.  Point being, take your idea and put it to paper, finish it, and lock it away and move on to the next idea.  You can come back to it later and make it sound all pretty.

Jack London said, “You can’t wait for inspiration, you have to go after it with a club.”  Good old Jack fails to mention you don’t have to go far to beat your inspiration into something someone, somewhere, will read and enjoy. 

Inspiration is all around us.  It’s in the news, in the sky, on your way to work, in the little quirks your kids say, under your house, and in the walls.  All you need do is be willing to accept it with open eyes and ears and use some imaginative manipulation.

Writing Prompt Numero Tree

That’s right, a tree!  Pick a tree and build your story around it.  Be creative.  What is it about this tree?  Does it have healing powers or turn people into zombies?  Can it be used to talk to God, or is the tree a god?

I came up with this prompt the other day and introduced it some people who thought it a little absurd that a story would have a tree as an important symbol of motif.  Let me prove my argument of how a tree can be an important symbol or motif in a story.

  • Eve indulged in the first sin by eating from the tree of life and knowledge and further disobeying God in the Hebrew Bible.
  • It is common that woodland elves be placed in tree type homes.
  • In James Cameron’s Avatar, trees are an important symbol.  They are used sort of like computers to the Na’vi.  With them they can upload and download memories and communicate with their god. 
  • The Night Elves in the highly popular online game World of Warcraft lived in what was known as the World Tree and this tree has offspring called great trees, which are teleportals to the Emerald Dream. 

Don’t count trees out.  They can become an essential part of a story.  Now what’s yours?

Have Fun!