What makes for an amazing epic adventure story like Fire and Ice or Lord of the Rings? The easy answers are, plot, great characters and action. But how do you get those all into one book or a series of books? It's not as easy as it sounds. An author can have the story in their mind and it can be as epic or better than anything Tolkien put to paper, but if they cant get it onto paper it is nothing.
I heard a quote recently and I can't actually quote it but it went like something like this, 'all of the beauty and imagination that the world has lost for lack of courage.' It refers to an artists courage to put their imaginations onto paper or onto a canvas... whatever the medium the artist must first put it down. In the context of words it is difficult because what I write and want to say may not be what you the reader actually reads. I think that we've discussed that before. I imagine that all of the arts are like that. An artist attempts to put their imagination into a tangible medium that others can enjoy and they are trying to get a specific something across, but they are not alwasy successful. It's like a proud child showing their parents a masterpiece and the first thing out of the parents mouth is 'what is it'. That is terribly damaging to their artistic savy. (If you are a parent and you are in that situation try 'can you explain what you were thinking when you did this?')
Back to our epic story, as you might recall I have been reviewing The World Gambit. I wanted to pitch it as a long story to DAW books. But they only take books that are 150 thousand words or better. I thought I could combine my four book saga and come up with something. But now I think that I went about it the wrong way. Each book should stand alone as it always has.
Remember how I told you that I think I rushed the first book to get to the end? Well I committed a horrible sin on my first book. I made it an intro to the other three instead of telling a stand alone story. I didnt give the characters enough meat and I let the story just ride along and I even bunched stuff together instead of pulling it out and letting it develope as a part of the story. In short I made a mess of it. But this week I have been re-writing the re-write. I'm hoping that when I'm done a complete story will emerge.
So far I have written two new chapters about characters that I let lag. I need to develope them expecially if they are the center of the story. I cant believe that I had not seen it before. They were not intended to be the center of the story but they really are and they should be. I was trying to force someone else into the center and it wasnt working. It couldnt work.
Book Agents will tell you that if you plan on writing in a genre then read that genre. I have given the same advice but for some reason on this book I did not take it. So I am going back to the drawing board and I am going to pattern The World Gambit after Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series. I will move the story along by focussing a chapter or three on a set of characters and what they are doing and then move to the viewpoints of other characters in subsequent chapters, thereby leapfrogging characters with chapters. It is harder than it sounds. I think that I might ask an author that does this regularly for some advice. Any suggestions on who I should contact?
Okay, gotta go my stomach is complaining. Be good to each other.