A land forged from the fires of strife, blood of heroes, and touch of the gods.
Where deeds of great valor, vile evils, and blazing passions intertwine
to shape the course of elven and human history within.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

It's All About the Voices in Your Head

OK, it's time for my (sort of) monthly blog to thrill your hearts and stir your imaginations.  Or maybe just make you wish you had the five minutes of your life back it will take to read this.
My new website is up (www.ardwel.com), and with it I'm now back to full speed with my online contact base; website, blog, author page on Amazon.com, FB, LinkedIn... I think that's all.  Oh, yes, I actually listed my phone number in the Contact page of the website.
The site will be pretty static, only changing when I have a new book to introduce ("Watch This Space!") or events to list.  And it's got links directly to my author page and the book pages on Amazon.com where you can (gasp!) purchase one of my books, should you have some disposable income and need new reading material.
Which brings me to a totally unrelated point (see how I worked that into the conversation?):
I recently bought a copy of Steven King's "On Writing".  Yes, THAT Steven King.  I read this book some years ago, actually just before I started writing The Ardwellian Chronicles, and I have to recommend it for anyone seriously interested in writing, or just wanting to read a bit about how the Master of Horror does it.  It's a great read, sort-of autobiographical, but not stuffy in any way.  King is such a marvelous writer; so concise, so skilled in brevity and economy of words, so... good at what he does.  I wish there were more writers like him, who can tell the story so simply and so clearly there's really no question about his intent.
And that brings me to another unrelated point.  Well, actually related to the last paragraph, but not the first ones.
My writing is pretty much the opposite of King's; I tell my stories with flourish and sometimes over-the-top style.  Why?  Because that's how they come to me.  I see my characters, I hear their words and voices, I know them like my own brother, and I don't HAVE a brother.  But they simply can't speak or act in any  way other than what they do, because it's their story!
King speaks of this very early in "On Writing"; actually in one of the Forewords, the first one, in fact.  He states very plainly, and in absolute truth; writers don't know where they get their ideas!  Somewhere along the way, something simply connects, or two totally unrelated ideas hit head-on and BAM!  A story is born..
My favorite SF writer, Larry Niven, has many times confirmed this in his essays; daydreams, people you met thirty years ago, personalities you somehow weave into your characters, events you thought you had forgotten (or tried desperately to forget), will sometimes rise in the swells of imagination and it all works.
And its true, I know, because I've experienced it many times myself. When my story is in need of a kick in the pants, BOOM! A new character drops in from nowhere, fully formed; personality, looks, voice, everything.  Or a twist is needed, to give the scenario a bit of pizzazz, and WALA!  And how they heck are they gonna get out of this mess?
So in your writing, don't fret when things are necessarily going the way you think they should (or would).  Give your characters a chance to take the lead and show the way.  In the long run, you just might end up with a better story.  
And that's what writers and readers are really after, isn't it?

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