The Guardian from The Gifted series

 

The Channel from The Gifted series

 

The Dark Healer from The Gifted series

 

The Keeper from The Gifted series

The Inspiration

When I made up my mind to write a fantasy novel, I asked myself the following questions: Will it take place in this world or another world? Will the characters in the book be one of the typical supernatural beings found in fantasy novels? The answer to the first question was both this world and another. The answer to the second question was no. Now all I had to do is define the other world, how to access the other world, and decide what type of fantasy being I would create. And the challenge began.

Writing a Multi-book Story

When I started to write my first fantasy book, I had no idea whether it would be one book or multiple. Given the fantasy genre lends itself to multi-book stories, I had hopes that my imagination would last ... and it did. Unlike the type of series where each book is a standalone chapter in the main character's life, The Gifted is one story broken into four parts. That's alot of content and details to remember from book to book; even I can't remember all the details I finally decided to include from one book to the next. What did this mean for each book? Carry over.

Defining Rules for a Fantasy World

Rules are the 'way of things' in the worlds where stories take place. They can influence the who, what, where, when, why, and how of a scene. For instance, if a scene in your story takes place in Virginia in 2011, your reader is likely to assume the characters have access to computers and cell phones with cameras. However, in 1988, people didn't have smart phones with digital cameras and computers weren't the staple they seem to be now. Okay, this is a simple example and basically common sense. Let's take it up another notch.

Building a World

I attended a Meetup once and one of the topics was world building. The level of detail that went into this one person's world was incredible. His challenge was the story. For me, I had the story but the world was a blank slate. Of course, I knew how to get to the world (via the moon shadows) and I knew the people of that world lived by the sword, but that is all I knew.

Scott Card's MICE Quotient

Orson Scott Card wrote a book called How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy. In this book he talks about the MICE quotient. He says, "All stories contain four elements that can determine structure: Milieu, Idea, Character, and Event." I found this concept interesting because I was trying to follow the three act structure talked about by James Scot Bell in his book Plot and Structure.

The Opposition Exercise

James Scott Bell wrote a book called Plot and Structure. In this book, Mr. Bell talks about many things that helped me move my premise forward into a series of events and characters that constitute the story in The Gifted series. In this blog, I'd like to talk about something specific in his book that just blew my mind when I read it.

Managing Multiple Story Threads

When I wrote the first version of The Channel, I wrote it in first person. This meant, the story had one story thread that was visible to the reader, the one from the main character's perspective. Although there are some challenges associated with writing with a first person point of view, one of them isn't keeping track of what all the other characters in the book are doing when they aren't in a scene. Yes, you do have to know what the other characters are doing if you send them away and then bring them back but you don't have to worry about all the details.

The Anatomy of This Story

John Truby wrote a book called The Anatomy of a Story. I turned to this book, and others, to help me shape my story. It's one thing to have an inspiration and something else to shape that inspiration into a story. In Chapter 2 of Mr. Truby's book, he talks about the premise, the design principle, central theme, and moral choice. After reading the chapter, I took the inspiration of the story and tried to define these four elements (BTW, element is my term. I am not sure what Mr.