Friday, October 22, 2010

My Passion and My Obsession - Part 2

As a bit of a recap of last week, To Reclaim the Throne, The Speed of Dreams, The Mystery of Planet Wer, What Future, Slave, The Trials of the Youngest Princess, and The Lord of the Land are the shorter of my books. They are not the shortest of my stories. ARE YOU BRAVE ENOUGH, ONLY YOU CAN SAY FOR SURE, is a collection of my shortest stories.

I have had a hard time finding the real definition of exactly what a short story is. How many pages or how many words seems to fluctuate and most of them are shorter than most of mine. So, for me, a short story is anything that takes a day, or two at the most, for me to read. Currently, I have eleven stories in this document ranging in length from six pages to a hundred and eleven pages.

Ninja's Love - 6 pages
Wings of Freedom - 8 pages
System Nautilus - 21 pages
Secrets of the Mind - 32 pages
The Forces of Darkness - 41 pages
Learn What Was Lost - 46 pages
The Box Opens - Living in a World of Silence - 47 pages
Follow a Dream - 47 pages
Sara's Diary - 56 pages
Arthur - 74 pages
From Out There - 111 pages

These stories are all dreams where the story was in it's entirety, or nearly so. They did not go into the document in the order listed here. The first was Follow a Dream, which the entire book is named after. The idea of grouping them together came about when I realized that many of them were stories about someone being brave in some manner and willing to go beyond the norm. Later, when still a few of the stories didn't really fit the bill, they were included anyway for lack of a better place to put them. Maybe someday someone will be interested in them, but until then, they are among the few short stories I like to read. I could write an entire post about these eleven stories so if any of you are interested, feel free to ask and I will. Your wish is my command and my greatest desire.

As some of you have already discovered, THE FORTUNES OF MAGIC is coming into being for you all on it's own blog, a chapter a week. I picked this book for a blog novel because the chapters are short. It is also my first experiment with first person. With no one to tell me the rules of first person, it was really quite fun weeding out actions that took place out of Liam's line of sight and of course thoughts not his own.

Like most of my stories, this one also started with a dream, that being the fight between Liam and his over-sized friends, and like in many of my dreams, some background information was known. This was not Earth. Liam's friends, though very human-like, were not human. And this society was really quite primitive by modern standards. Outside of that information, the story told itself. Every day of writing was every bit as much of an adventure as any of you are having reading it. I love it when a story does that. This book is 401 pages long (103,536 words)

I got the idea for THE GUARDIAN from a PlayStation game my husband was playing at the time. Final Fantasy VIII had, I think, a very nice story line, though the only resemblance between the game and my story is the fact that memories had to be sacrificed to make room for the magic. The list of spells also came from the game, though I took a little leeway here with spelling and some descriptions. I also standardized some of the spell ranges, and by the second part of the book, resemblance to the game was even less. Quite by accident, mercenaries for hire was a legitimate job and volunteers to become guardians came from these ranks. Like in the game, these special people fought monsters, so in my book I had to create monsters too. One of my many odd dreams supplied the adversary. Not unlike the movie Starship Troopers, the bug was that enemy though it was far more ant-like. Ultimately, five different dream scenes were molded into the body of this story. The ant enemy, a small ferret-like creature that accompanies Reed throughout the story, providing a bit of animal cuteness. A helicopter pilot who discovers a sample of a new evolution of bug, the identity of Reed's closest companion, and the xenobiologist who supplies needed information to Reed about the bugs. And of course there is the dream that fueled this story. A bug queen wanted to study the enemy, and the only thing she could think of to do was create one of her own. She hatched a human baby. Yeah that was an interesting dream. I love the way I think. My husband teases me about what movies we watch. He doesn't want to make my dream any weirder. haha This book is 442 pages long (117,297 words)

As many of you may already know, and for those of you who don't, KING BY RIGHT OF BLOOD AND MIGHT, my one published book, is the first of a planned collection of three. They are not however a series. They take place in the three different major sections of our country, the east coast, the mid west, and the west coast. In this world, the mountain ranges are capped with glaciers and are all but impassable. TO BECOME WHOLE IN LAND AND IN SOUL is book 2. For this story, I decided to do a little gene splicing and see what would happen if today's scientists, in their infant wisdom wanted to create the ultimate soldier by mixing the genes of humans and wolves. What my imagination birthed was humans with many strengths of wolves, and wolves with many of the weaknesses of men. Both, however, were stronger than their root stock. The experiment didn't work out as planned. The wolf half of the experiment was largely ignored; they were there only for their DNA. The human half all died by the age of 12 or 13 - puberty. What the scientists, in their infinite ignorance refused to see was that the human-wolf hybrids needed each other to survive.

Over the ice age that set the stage for these books, these people learned to live like humans and hunt like wolves - they learned to survive and prosper though not all that well. Somewhere along the line they rescued a human girl and welcomed her into their clan. She, however wasn't happy so she ran away back to the world of humans. It is her son the book follows as he struggles to make it as a handicapped human in a world of little mercy. His handicap, like all of his kind, none of whom he has ever met, is the inability to speak. Though he was quite intelligent, stringing words together was impossible. That is until his companion found him. This book is 507 pages long (142,584 words)

This brings me to my biggest book of all. THE MAKING OF A MAGE-KING is a single story that fell into three parts all by itself. Like Lord of the Rings, if I had my druthers, it would be published in a single volume, but I can't find a publisher who will take on the task and agents won't touch it with a ten-foot pole. That doesn't mean I don't keep trying.

This is another story that wrote itself. It took control of my dreams like none others have. Throughout the writing of this book, I was plagued with bits and pieces of dream scenes, and since they all seemed to fit well into the story, why not. My character began to have serious problems sleeping at night. Each short dream was like a piece of a puzzle where the whole picture wasn't known. I allowed this to enhance his confusion and drive him forward. I love this story. I hope you get to read it someday and follow Sean as he goes from the average high school boy to the strongest mage-king in generations.

That's the extent of my completed manuscripts. All of them are in need of polishing. I'm still learning this writing skill, and though I have poured out hundreds of pages of writing, though I can tell a pretty good story and though I have a fertile imagination, the skill of writing to be published is still something to be attained for me. Wish me luck. I will conquer this mountain.


S.M. Carrière said...

You will conquer this mountain! You don't need luck, but I'm wishing it for you all the same!

Anna L. Walls said...

Thanks you, S.M. Well wishes are a feather in my wings. They help me fly just a little higher.

Jacqui said...

I've been tempted to try first person. I actually started a novel in first, but went back to third. There was a lot of action that occurred away from the main character and I'm not clever enough (yet) to figure out how to communicate that to the reader in 1st person.

I commend you on trying it in Fortunes of Magic.

Anna L. Walls said...

Jacqui, that's what was fun about writing this story. Actions that happened elsewhere were to be encountered when he got there, or learned about in some other manner.

So you think The Fortunes of Magic would be better in 3rd person?