Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Origins Part 2: Literary Trios

Three's company, right?  Everybody loves Los Tres Amigos?

And then, don't forget Harry, Hermione, and Ron.  That's the most recent literary trio I've read, but there have been plenty over the years. 

Let's face it, I spent a lot of time writing Return of the Gods to be a fairly linear, solo Hero's Journey.  Yes, I left some of the elements out, more or less on purpose, but that book series tells a story in which Crystal learns and grows and pulls teachers to her side so she can learn some more, and she ends up--well, where she ends up.  Part of the journey is taken with others, but that's just part of the journey, and they're just secondary characters. 

(as a quick side note: that's also why I've had the fourth novel of that series on the back burner for so long.  Crystal learned what she needed to and got to where she got at the end of the third book.  It took a while to come up with a compelling story line to push beyond that, though I've got it now and you can expect to be able to read it sometime, for certain, in 2015, and this time it'll be dedicated to the real-life Phoenix and Birch, who have both unexpectedly passed away in the past extremely sorrowful year.  But that's another story.)

That writing experience then led me into the Elf Queen series wondering who the cast should be.  Alyssa, of course, who must bravely face her fate as the beloved and despised Dragon Queen of prophecy.  Her father, and her mother, and of course the queen.  But who else?

As my beloved bride Heide and I discussed it, a plan germinated and took hold and built the story that you will now read in Prophecy.  It wasn't me, to be honest; Heide deserves this credit.  She's the one who pointed out that Harry Potter had been so captivating in large part because we got to watch not one, and not two, but three characters grow up, each within the others' shadows.  Of course, Harry is the star of the show; heck, his name is on the book covers.  But ask any group of readers who their favorite character was, and you're just as likely to hear the name Ron or Hermione as you are to hear Harry. 

Besides, writing three coming of age stories at the same time, intertwined as one, is a challenge.  I like challenges.

So who to include in the trio?  One, of course, was Alyssa, who I'd already characterized out.  I'd run a contest early on, and a dear friend of mine had won the right to name a character in my coming book.  Sue, my friend, had asked me to name the character Sephaline, after a D&D character she'd played in our tabletop games.  To tell the truth I took some pretty dramatic artistic liberties, pulling some of her character Sephaline into the role and adding some of another couple of characters she'd created.  I wanted this character to be the equivalent of Ronald Weasley, after all, which meant there had to be a significant amount of charming, bumbling humor there, but Seph also had to have an inner core of competence.

Anybody who compares Prince Charming--Keion, First Prince of the Realm--to Hermione is getting my original intent dead on.  He's supposed to be perfect at everything the elves consider important, at least in his own mind, just as Hermione is perfect at everything the wizarding world considers important.  Granted, this is playing out in a male figure instead of a female one, and so I've had to work hard at making him princely arrogant instead of just a jackass. 

And then there's the romantic thing.

Just like most coming of age stories, nobody in this story really knows how to deal with the whole business of romantic interest.  Nobody, that is, except for the Adults in Charge, who in this case are in quite interesting (and fun to write) positions regarding that bit.  And trust me, it's only getting started; I have so many plans for interesting things to happen in the future episodes.  The cool thing for my position as the author is that I have a trio to play with.  The--well, the other cool thing is that it's not the primary plot line; it's got nothing to do with what the Cult of the Wyrm has planned for Alyssa and her reign.  It's just a whole lot of fun.

Anyway, so that's how the trio in Prophecy was invented.  If you haven't read that book yet, you'll probably want to get it and read it.  Northern Lights, the second part of the story, is coming out very, very soon!



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