Archive for August, 2010

Intermission

Starting tomorrow I’m going to be without my own internet access for a few days, though I will still be checking stuff from other locations. So if anybody tries to contact me and I take longer than usual to respond that’s why.

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My story “Twilight Meetings” is now in the second round at New Myths. I should know something in a month or three.  Pretty optimistic about it, I think its a darn effective story.

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who likes fight scenes in stories anymore?  I don’t want this to come across as just me complaining or being narrow-sighted about my own work…but on several of the crits for “A Destroyer, A Protector” have made it relatively clear that the people in question just don’t like fight scenes, especially not those with any length or detail.  And thats fine of course…we each have our tastes. Elbesem knows I enjoy stories with understated magic; Tolkien’s work and the Earthsea cycle are among my favorites and also prime examples of low-key magic. Both sets of stories are all but devoid of detailed combat.

But sometimes, one gets the urge for some serious mystical butt-kicking. At least, I do. Now in the case of “A Destroyer…” the action isn’t, in fact, the main thrust of the story, but Zerieth and Aigus’s duel is the thing that leads to the main thrust of the story.  And really, if two powerful mages are going to fight, would it really be a brief battle, lasting only a couple of spells?

So tell me, dear readers, am I crazy or are there others out there that enjoy a good magical battle with some proverbial meat on its bones?

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The always-lovely Ann Lynn has bestowed upon me the equally as lovely Versatile Blogger Award! Many thanks, Ann. Ann’s blog, Shadows in Mind can be found in my blog roll (this thing doesn’t want to let me do links in a post.)

According to tradition the recipient of this award is enjoined to: Thank their presenter. Share 7 things about themselves. Bestow the award on 15 other bloggers and lastly stop by and acknowledge those bloggers. I’ve already thanked Ann, now I shall proceed to the 7 things about myself, although most of the important stuff is in my “about me.” The rest will come later.

1) I was “homeschooled” my entire life and have basically no “formal education” as most people understand it and yet I’m frequently asked to “not talk college talk” or similar by people that have trouble understanding me.

2) I believe forced/compulsory schooling of children is an abomination and that our “education” system is the source/propagator of many of our cultures problems and look forward to the day when we return to the old ways of children being raised/educated by their parents, families and the actual living of life.

3) I didn’t learn to read till I was eight and a half. My mom tried to teach me at the “normal” age and it was awful. But then, at eight and a half, I learned to read in about a week. I proceeded to spend the bulk of my time for the rest of my childhood and teenage years reading.

4) I love tea.

5) I believe in magic, dragons, fairies, unicorns, elves etc.

6) I believe creativity is one of the major purposes of conscious existence and that it should be encouraged and also that to try and judge creativity and works of art of any form by objective criteria (in other words, to say that its “good” or “bad”) is a bit silly.

7) I draw a huge amount of inspiration from Japanese storytelling and asian storytelling in general, especially in the form of anime which I feel is a sadly underrated and misunderstood artform (its more than just Pokemon people)

So that’s it for now, I will be fulfilling my other awardee responsibilities as time allows.

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I just added a character profile for Meteos, a minor character in “A Destroyer, A Protector” who will become a major character in my Road-world novel project.

I’m currently working on creating and fleshing out the cast of characters for the novel(s) as well as conducting deeper worldbuilding for the Road World (which maybe needs a name) such as races. Eventually, I will tackle the dreaded geography and political/economic aspects. Those are the things I personally dread the most.

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Continuing my novel development project, I’ve developed the basics of one of the non-human races of my “Roads” world, the Argran. I’ve added a page for Races and a sub page for the Argran with the info I’ve come up with so far.

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I’m a huge fan of the television series Babylon 5, written by J. Michael Straczynski.  In the show, there is a set of questions asked by certain groups or individuals that are of great importance and interest.

The Vorlons, a race of ancient flying incorporeal jellyfish who believe in order, discipline and regimentation ask: “Who are you?”

Their counterparts, the Shadows, a race of also ancient out-of-phase mantis-spiders who believe in strength, chaos and conflict ask: “What do you want?”

Later in the series, Lorien, the first being in that universe to gain sentience asks: “Why are you here?” and “Where are you going?” (I think one of the technomages asked one of those sometimes also.)

Besides their various philosophical underpinnings (“Who are you?” reflects the Vorlon focus on identity and “What do you want?” similarly shows the Shadows fixation on desires and goals), these questions may also be used as a useful tool for writers, for developing characters, plotting stories, and perhaps even to help us understand our goals or natures as storytellers.

Developing characters is maybe the most obvious use. Who are you? What is the characters nature, identity, etc? What do you want? This can be answered by overreaching character life-goals, or day to day desires. Why are you here? What does the character believe is his or her purpose, or perhaps in more specific cases, what is the reason for their being in a particular place, say, at the begining of a story? Where are you going? What is the characters goal, in this particular story? Where, in fact, is the story going?

Now obviously not all characters or stories necessarily have these things. But, for me at least given my connection to the source material, I feel this questions may help me get in the right mindset for learning about/developing my characters particularly.

 

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