Hey, everyone! Boy, do I have some groundbreaking news! I’m so excited!
First off, I want to apologize for the lack of updates here on the site. Between my political work and college, I have had to put writing on the back burner for a while. But secondly, being on the back burner means it’s at least still on the stove, and even while I’ve been focusing on other things, ideas have been simmering away all the while.
So, as most of you have likely noticed, my two primary projects involve the same theme, essentially. Well, it’s more of a motif, I suppose. Both of my central characters are very strong women who overcome obstacles dynamically, powerfully, dramatically. In their demeanor, they are not all that different from typical male ‘action’ movie heroes. In short, they abide no bullshit, they kick serious ass, and let the chips fall where they may. The two characters ARE different, though, in how they came to be that way and in how they interact with the world around them, but they do have those core traits in common with each other.
So, where does this lead?
Recognizing this, particularly recognizing the striking similarity of traits between Zsaka in Mortality, Interrupted and Kara in Royal Redemption, I don’t want the two stories to start to mirror each other. I don’t want Zsaka to become ‘real world Kara’, or Kara to become ‘fantasy world Zsaka’. So I’m taking steps now to avoid that, and the more I’ve thought about these steps, the more I’ve become convinced that it will make both stories stronger.
The changes I’m making to Mortality, Interrupted are several: First, I’m moving the story about 200 years forward, to the 1600s. Secondly, the central character will be a known historical figure, Countess Elizabeth Bathory. If you don’t know her by name, feel free to use your favorite search engine to look her up. She is a very interesting character and as a strong, independent woman, she fits my ‘motif’ perfectly. I intend to tell her story in the same way I was planning to tell Zsaka’s story, fitting Countess Bathory into the same paranormal back-story I had planned for Zsaka, telling the Countess’ story as if she were a being of the same sort as Zsaka, living from the dawn of time and appearing to live one life after another. My intention is to remain as true as possible to Countess Bathory’s actual life story, but adding that contrived context will certainly put her in a very new light. I can hardly wait to write her. Thirdly, in light of all that, the working title will need to change. I’ll let you know when I come up with it.
As for the changes to Royal Redemption, they’re also pretty exciting. I’ve been bothered by a couple of issues with the story so far. One, I’ve been struggling to find secondary storylines from the beginning; and two, I’ve always felt a sense of disappointment that my first attempt at writing, The Jezebel Diaries, failed, as some of my better writing is in that draft which I had to abandon. With the changes to Mortality, Interrupted, however, I think I can address both of those issues in a way that helps Royal Redemption a lot.
I’m going to combine Zsaka and Jezebel (who were never really very different in my mind) into a single character and bring her into the Royal Redemption story. I’m not sure exactly how I will do this yet, but the very thought has my mind jumping up and down with glee. Yeah. I said glee. However I do it, it will expand the story, provide more storylines, and allow me to explore more of the fantasy world I’m creating.
Among my literary influences have been Raymond E. Feist, as many of you may know, and now I need to add another: George R.R. Martin, the author of the Song of Ice and Fire series, which has been made into the HBO television series: A Game of Thrones. The number of characters and storylines Martin weaves into a story is absolutely dizzying, and from him I’ve learned just how far that envelope can be pushed, which is much farther than I ever would have thought possible. I have no intention of trying to match him on that, but he has taught me that I can reach a lot farther than I previously would have dared, so thank you Mr. Martin, for opening my eyes. Hopefully, that will influence my plotting and make it better. And best of all, I don’t have to get rid of anything I’ve ever written, as it will likely find a home somewhere, with a bit of tweaking for consistency.
So, to sum up, the historical novel will no longer feature an imaginary character of my creation. ‘Zsaka’, as much as I loved her, will be gone and the story will now feature the real person, Elizabeth Bathory. The fantasy novel will welcome ‘Zsaka’, reunite her with ‘Jezebel’ in terms of character, and she will now have her own part to play in the world. How I decide what those parts will be and how she interacts with Kara remain to be seen, but George R.R. Martin has given me the confidence to dream big, and hopefully that will make for a great story!
I look forward to your comments.