Tag Archive for fantasy

Emotion Field

American Mythology: superhero underdogs

I saw a question on Twitter: Can readers become emotionally invested in a story if the main character is interesting but not sympathetic? My answer was that I need characters that I can care about. A superhero that has all kinds of cool and interesting superpowers is ultimately boring unless there is an emotional narrative that I can care about. I think the most important answer an author can give to their readers in the first few pages (or paragraphs) of their book is why they should care enough to read more? And that answer is always why the reader should care. I find that caring about sympathetic characters is easier than for villains, no matter how interesting those villains are. I can go for a story about a young kid who grows up to be a villain because the world forces him to become one — he wasn’t born evil, he was made to be. Villany was forced on an innocent soul in order to survive. But this just means that I’m reading a tragedy. There are lots of different types of stories. It’s never about the genre. Science fiction is just fantasy wrapped up in fancy techtalk. Romance…

Mothers on The Hero’s Journey

Hero's Journey Illustration

A Common YA Fantasy Novel Plots: A bunch of kids lead perfectly ordinary lives. One day they learn that the universe is full of magic (or strange science) and if they don’t put down their homework right now (like right now!), everyone they know and love will suffer horribly (or the universe will come to an end, whichever happens first). Hard as they argue, their parents just won’t let them go out after bedtime to save the universe. So after endless texts back and forth, the friends decide to just finish their homework and go to bed. It’s a school night, after all. But in the middle of the night, they wake up and realize that it is up to them to save the world. They sneak out of their house, leave their parents and homework behind, and go out into the night. While wandering at strange times and in unfamiliar places, the friends meet a stranger that tells them he knows the way. The friends, sleep-deprived as they are, believe him and follow him to destinations unknown. The stranger makes the friends do more and more dangerous and crazy stuff. And these young adults do it just because the…

Strange, Slightly Creepy, Mystery SciFi: My New Book is Out Today!

Art by Sophie Prestigiacomo

The paperback version of “God of Small Affairs” is out everywhere (well, mostly in online stores) today! Here’s a link to “God of Small Affairs” on Amazon. In about two weeks, the ebook version will come out as well. The story already earned three 5-star reviews from Readers’ Favorite! You can read the first few chapters here. Like for all of my books, I’ve created a Pinterest mood board for this story. Check it out. I think illustrations really help the readers to see inside my head…a little. The illustrations for this particular story are more evocative than most. Something about gods that walk among us and help guide humanity into the future… And while there, look at my other mood boards, for other stories. I find that “collecting” imagery while writing is very inspiring. Some writing is very visual, and some art is very lyrical and story-driven. As you might have guessed, I am not a big fan of an empty canvas or flat, one color artboards. I want details. Descriptions. Illustrations. I like that in art as well as literature. SPFBO 5 Competition As I’ve mentioned last time, this year, I am also participating in a little friendly…

Searching for the story…

Stain Glass Window

I’m in the middle of two books now — one finished and ready for the fifth round of editing; and one that requires me to finally write an ending. Endings are hard… even when you know how things are going to end. But here’s a few insights from the book I’m finishing right now: God of Small Affairs. (No it’s not the first title I came up with… not even the tenth. Names are hard.) The Beginning I’ve started this particular story thinking it was just a short story, 5000 words max. By the time I got to about 17,000, I knew it was a book. But that was a surprise. This is not a first time a book surprised me into making me write it. The FATOFF Conspiracy was originally a short story too… and Twin Time. Short stories are very different from novel-length works. From the structure point of view, there are fewer characters, no subplots, and a lot less description of the setting and the characters populating the story. A short story simply doesn’t have room for world building… obviously. You grab the story with the first few words and don’t let go or digress for a…

Sci-fi and Fantasy Novels: Download One or Every Single One!

Innovation: Sci-fi anf Fantasy

Have you taken the reading pledge challenge yet? No? I didn’t — seems silly to limit myself to some arbitrary number of books. I read voraciously and across many genres, although sci-fi is my guilty pleasure and a goto place for when I’m feeling blue. Science fiction and fantasy are interesting genres. People have such strong opinions about them: “I only read literary fiction.” or “I consume only non-fiction.” And yet, what is literary fiction but a socially-approved book? A classic? Shakespear had written a lot of fantasy books — Macbeth had witches, A Midsummer Night’s Dream had spells and magic, The Tempest was set on an enchanted isle, Hamlet had ghosts. Go back farther in time and read a few Greek plays — gods, witches, medusas, magical beasts of all kinds… And what’s the Epic of Gilgamesh if not a fantasy novel?  Fantasy is a great way of transporting a reader into another realm and showing real emotions and complicated social dilemmas without getting trapped in a politically incorrect or culturally inappropriate minefield. Fantasy allows us to talk about our prejudices and absurdities of some of our beliefs by taking away trigger words and situations. What a powerful genre. Science fiction takes fantasy one level…