So I decided as a writing exercise that I would challenge myself to the weekly writing challenge. What better way to work on my writing than to write on a subject that does not come from my own cranium.
For the current week, this was the challenge: to write about perspective…..
- For our fiction writers, cultivate a character. Through your imagination, pinpoint a common theme in his or her life, and show us how your character’s perspective changes as he or she grows older.
What actually came to mind was my first real fleshed out character: Rei Ettowa.
She is one of the main characters from The Rebirth Trilogy. She is the reincarnation of a Micaela Roya. Both women have very rich and unique back stories but one thing I touch on in Rebirth is that while one is the reincarnation of another, that does not mean they are the same person.
But this is not what I want to talk about.
I first came up with Rei when I was about twelve or thirteen; I also made her the same age. I have always stuck with the old addage: write what you know. I knew what went through a thirteen-year-old’s head because I was thirteen. When I did my second re-write in college not only did I grow up but so did Rei. I increased her age to twenty where she remains even though I am twenty-seven now.
As I was growing up, I realized that I needed Rei to grow up as well. In order for her to realistically face the hardships she will face in her adventures I needed her to be more mature. I still have her to be young and naive thus twenty being a great age for the first book.
Rei lost her parents when she was young and was raised by a woman called Hotara. Rei may not have had biological parents but she was never lacking in parental figures. She did have an older brother, Niklaryn. She loved him dearly but rarely got to see him because he had become a knight and was off in the civil war. He also died when she was thirteen and she never completely recovered from that. By twenty, she had worked in the family bar and dealt with ruffians and bedouins in her travels a cross the desert. She will also dabble in what will be the great love of her life but (like myself) she does not truly understand the seriousness of it all until she grows older.
In the second book, I let age a few more years pass to where she is 24. When I look back at how I was at ages 20 and 24, I was completely different people. At twenty, I had just reached adulthood and I was in my second year of college. I was more mature than a freshman but I had never quiet experienced love but I knew how to have fun. But by twenty four, I had had my heart broken a few times and faced difficult stresses in life of finishing college (as long as I didn’t fail genetics) and finding a job and living on my own for the first time.
There is a chance that I may make her older still but while I am not working on that book I am nothing thinking about it. As a twenty seven year old, I have gained even more wisdom than when I was twenty four. I have gained more experience living on my own and have finally experienced a great love; such experiences will help my writing. Again, I still write what I know.
I do most of my writing with a playlist in the background. I have always had a thing for soundtracks and when I was younger (actually I still do this today) I would listen to a song an imagine scenes played out. In fact there have been a number of songs that have really inspired some scenes. Currently the ones I have been listening to the most are the following:
The Fountain original soundtrack by Clint Mansell
Civilian by Wye Oak
Last of the Mohicans original soundtrack by Trevor Jones and Randy Edelman
La Concha Perla traditional song of La Marinera
Viento de los Andes a CD of various traditional Andean music
Songs by Loreena McKennitt
Songs by Nuttin’ but Stringz
Wuthering Heights original soundtrack from the Masterpiece Theater version by Ruth Barrett
What about you guys? What songs inspire you? As you can see, my list is sort of all over the place and these are songs that help me in my current project. I have a list for Volocio but since that book isn’t out yet there is no point in telling you that list until then.
I may revisit this post later once the book is out there and then I will give you a more accurate list of what songs help inspire what scenes.
Well, that’s all I have for now. I know it’s been awhile and I promise to write more!
Until next time,
So I have put aside my Volocio trilogy for a bit because I have had a HUGE influx of ideas concerning other projects. When I was originally writing, I was planing to pull a George Lucas. What do I mean? Well, my saga so far will span 6 books and I wanted to start with book 4. Then work my way back to the beginning.
But here’s the rub…
While Volocio is finished, I am having a hard time getting an agent for such a complicated piece of work. It is a very complicated world with a lot of the groundwork yet to be laid out. So now i am just biting the bullet and going all the way back to the beginning.
Where the Volocio came from.
Well…I am not going to tell you everything here, but here is a hint as I went about doing some location research yesterday with a friend:
I think that’s a damn good hint for now.
Until next time,
His name came from the movie: The Medicine Man. Sean Connery plays a doctor in the Amazon who is joined by another American Doctor. Our Scotsman decides that he will not call her by her first name. He wanted to give her a tribal name, a nickname. She came from the Bronx, New York…thus her nickname was Bronx.
When I was first writing the story, I had another name for the Underworld. I had called it Styx (after the River Styx in Greek Mythology). For a sense of symmetry, I wanted to give my Death Volocio a name that would fit….essentially a name with an ‘x’ in it: Bronx.
Obviously, the Underworld is still the Underworld, but Bronx is still Bronx. His physical appearance has always stayed the same: pale skin, dark hair and dark eyes. The reason for it? I figured that anyone whose power was death would be dead-like, as in lacking color of any kind. Thus the pale skin but dark hair and eyes….like someone who walked out of a black and white movie.
A few years ago, I went with some friends to see “Prince Caspian.” I didn’t think much of it at the time…but near the end of the movie it dawned on me: the actor playing Caspian looked EXACTLY how I imagined Bronx to be.
I had to look up this actors…who was he?
I know he may be very different than your idea of what Bronx looked like. I think Ben is pretty enough 😉 If my book ever becomes a movie (preferably a tv show) I would want him or a younger looking version of him playing the role.
I came up with his power around the time (note that I was about 14-years-old when I created this character) I had another wild obsession: Sailor Moon. Along with Sailor Moon – I loved to read fan-fiction. Mostly on Sailor Jupiter (whose power was lightning…sound familiar?). I found a fan-fic that someone wrote about a new Sailor Scout: Sailor Styx. It was a Sailor Scout who controlled death and was a love interest to my Lita. Make your own judgement on the story but it inspired me to create a love interest for Rei who controlled death.
On this recent draft, I decided that I wanted Bronx to have angst…however, I wanted to give him a reason to be fucked up. Thus I gave him a craaaaazy background. The story of his birth (the whole mother having an affair with her father-in-law) was inspired by a family member while the mother abandoning him at such a young age was from the parent of a friend. Then I decided to insult to injury by having him thrown in a mental hospital. Put all that together and you have one fucked up character. Take that Edward Cullen! Now whenever Bronx broods…there is a reason behind it…in fact, you can be amazed that he is still a somewhat functioning creature in society.
Anyway, that’s all I have for Bronx for now. But I wanted to give a little insight into his creation.
until next time,
So one of my dear friends from High School (and inspiration for the character of Hotara) is going through Volocio. She has an English degree and studied publishing laws. She’s awesome and I’m ever appreciative of her feedback. She’s been sending me several e-mails over the last few days with positive reviews….but then again, she has admitted to being an unbiased reader. 😛
This lead me to remember how Hotara came to be where she is as a character:
When I first started to write Volocio (which was called So It Begins at the time), I originally had all thirteen Volocio die and be reborn. Imagine that. Thirteen characters, each with their own plot lines. Yeah, I couldn’t do it. When it came down to the re-write, I had to make an awful decision: cut characters.
I couldn’t do it. I loved those characters, but I didn’t know what to do with them. Then I came to the decision that I didn’t have to cut them, just change their roles. Hotara is no different. I’m not gonna say what she was before…or what her role is now, but she will play a bigger part in the story to come. I’m glad that I made her Rei’s mother. You may not know her now, but trust me. She. Is. Awesome. 🙂