The Gifted box set cover image

The Gifted Series

The Gifted, four full-length novels that tell the story of a great power created to help the people of Luxatra fight to stay free and to right a grave injustice. Follow this group of unexpected heroes on an adventure filled with mystery, battles, and magic as they seek to know what only the entities of power understand.

C. L. McCourt

The Guardian book cover
Book 1 of 4
The ChannelBook 2 of 4
Book 3 of 4
Book 4 of 4


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…

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…

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…

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 Luxatra and I…

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…

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…

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…

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 this series. 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,…