Tag Archives: heroes

Writer’s Quote Wednesday – Heroes & Monsters

7 Oct

Happy Wednesday everyone! Welcome to my blog. Colleen Chesebro is a writer, poet, and book reviewer. She hosts an inspiring event every Wednesday on her blog, Silver Threading, called Writer’s Quote Wednesday. Anyone can participate by choosing a quote by a favorite writer and posting it on your blog. Check out her weekly wrap-up and be inspired by all the quotes.

theseusperseus

“Heroes need monsters to establish their heroic credentials. You need something scary to overcome.”

~Margaret Atwood

theseus_and_the_minotaur_by_kolokas-d30sj9n

What scary thing have you overcome lately?

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The Evolution of a Novel

11 Jul

the-evolution-of-the-book

Hello! Welcome to my blog. My name is Vashti Quiroz-Vega, for those of you visiting for the first time. I am a writer of Fantasy, Suspense and Thrillers. I do, however, have a tendency to mix a little Romance, horror or humor (among other genres) into my stories.

I love art, creativity and beauty, and I know these come in many forms. In my quest to build my author platform, I have met and befriended a group of incredibly talented individuals. Writers, poets, artists and even singers who are masterful at what they do. I feel blessed to have found them, and I would be selfish if I kept the beauty, artistry and creativeness of their craft all to myself.
So for the next few weeks I will be featuring their art, writings and music along with my own work on this blog. I guarantee you will enjoy every bit of it.
In today’s post I will feature the witty, creative and talented writer Chris Andrews.

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The evolution of a novel

Hi Vashti! Thanks for having me over.
I’d like to share my novel’s story with you today… not the story within the novel, but the story of how it came to be.
So… A long time ago on a continent far, far away (from other continents at least), I saw a movie called Star Wars and dreamed of growing up to be Luke Skywalker.

Although the force wasn’t with me, I did retain a love of epic heroes.

Episode_4_Luke_Skywalker_3

Fast forward a few years and I began writing a horrible, clichéd thing derivative of every heroic story I’d ever seen and read.
Recognising it for what it was, I went to university, got qualifications, and began rewriting it, but no matter what I tried the story just wouldn’t come together in a satisfying way.
It got reworked, broken up, changed, added to and rewritten again, but nothing seemed to work. Readers didn’t react the way they should have (you know, with enthusiasm!).
I thought I knew a lot about writing, but writing and storytelling aren’t the same thing, and for a long time I didn’t understand that.
So what changed?
I found that readers have certain expectations, and if you don’t meet them you’re likely to fail.
Screenwriters figured that out long time ago, and screenwriting knowledge translates well to novels.
For example, an earlier draft began with: Princess Caroline rode along in bored silence, shivering against the cold… and continued on like that for several more chapters as I slowly built the situation.
I thought I was setting the story up. What I was really doing was boring people.
Now it begins with: Princess Caroline duFandelyon stared in numb horror at the luminous outlines on the insides of her wrists. She lay on her hard bed, bare arms above her, appalled. She’d come to the abbey to birth an illegitimate child under the pretext of piety, and now the Goddess of Healing had marked her for her temerity.
While some of it breaks one of the first rules of storytelling (show, don’t tell), I did it for a reason.
In three sentences I’ve:
• Set the scene.
• Introduced internal conflict.
• Defined the genre.
• Introduced the main character in very real and personal terms.
In an earlier attempt to fix things I mistakenly cut the story in half.writers-block
It was long (over 220,000 words), and so I attempted to shorten it into something more vibrant and manageable.
Halving it introduced a whole new range of problems; what began as a stopover on a quest to retrieve a sword had to finalise a story.
It needed a new purpose, and so it evolved into the story of a girl being hunted by assassins.
It also had to lay the groundwork for the sequels.
And there’s another problem – when do you say ‘it’s done’?
I figured it would only be done when someone read it and asked, “Can I read the next one?”
That happened a few months ago, and I’ve had more positive feedback since.
Do I regret spending so many years figuring out how to tell stories? Not at all. The entire story will be far stronger for it, and so is my writing and my knowledge of storytelling.
With a bit of luck, more than just my beta readers will love it too. In the end, getting someone to love it as much as you do is what it’s all about.
Thinking back, that’s why I wanted to grow up to be Luke Skywalker, after all.

I began my writing career when I boldly and ignorantly announced I could write a better novel than the one I’d just read. While I’m no longer ignorant about the challenges of writing novels, the dream remains.

ChrisAndrews

You can connect with Chris on twitter: http://twitter.com/ChrisAndrewsAU or visit his website: http://fandelyon.com