Saturday, January 29, 2011

Now We're Moving

By the time we get to Chapter 5 in The Fourth Queen, all of the main characters have been introduced, as well as the land of Empryean.

Zandria and Olena have started their journey with Adam on their trail. Werewolves are searching the jungle. The bad guys are preparing their army. Even Fury is on his quest.

This is where Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey comes into play. Zandria has to go through her trials, because she is the hero here. All of the stages are in the plot and I will point them out as we continue.

The first stage is The Ordinary World. Kind of like a prologue where the hero is introduced. The hero is lacking something or has a tragic flaw. We also establish what's at stake.

From there, the hero begins the journey and hopefully a transition from the ordinary life to the special one.

One important piece of storytelling for me is the Character Arc. Following the hero's journey naturally provides for this arc. The character must change (who wants to see Harry Potter living under the stairs at age 30?). It doesn't always have to be the main character, but no story is complete with out someone undergoing some change.

Next comes The Call to Adventure...

Monday, January 3, 2011

I Like Lemurs

A lot of the animals in Empyrean are the same as animals in our world. They have birds, horses, dogs, fish. Some can talk, some can't.

Then some of the animals are culled from our collective mythology, like dragons & unicorns.

Lastly, some of the creatures only exist in Empyrean. I wanted to create some unique animals to make this fantasy world different than others.

That is where the Quzzak comes into the picture. Very monkey-like and inspired by lemurs. Kez is like family for Zandria and Olena. He's old and wise, but retains his playfulness. He is a great side-kick that can sometimes say things that the main characters can't or won't. He gives a different perspective from his own experiences. He tends to be a little cynical, but also very protective.

Easter egg: my oldest son is named Zak. He might not like me saying that he was the garrulous template for this character. Not only did I adapt his name into the species and the character, but also, I wanted the girls to have a big brother-type looking out for them.

Kez helps the girls escape from their village and leads them out of the jungle. They have a lot of history, but they also have many exciting adventures to come.