When to Introduce the Story

So I realized with Adrienne’s story, I have a question for my readers. So far, her story is set after she has already developed a good deal of skills. Her story is not a coming of age story. It is not about her become a stronger what-have-you.

Not that there isn’t any character development. It is as much character-driven as plot driven.

But. Perhaps I’m too used to writing fan-fictions.

I almost feel as if I -can’t- introduce her, introduce the story, at the point I intend to, because she would seem to powerful.

So, after all the preamble…

Do you have to introduce your character before they become ‘powerful’?

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Desarmement Teaser

London is a cesspool of the “supernatural” as if the entire fae realm and all those surrounding decided that the city was perfect for their own devices. It sat very near one of the largest gates to the fae realm. It didn’t help that corruption and chaos ran rampant through the streets, attracting the otherkin like moths to a flame. The whole of the world had been changed. Innocence became an antiquated term for the masses, those who still treasured the attribute isolated in hidden alcoves of the world. Far away from the desecrated grounds of London. It had been five years since the gates had opened and the world had shifted, slowly falling into madness. Five years and Adrienne knew that she had played a role in these events.
The entire month of March had been wiped from her mind. Not a single image would drift past her eyes. Not a single memory of any sort came from that time. Her only recollection at all was when she ‘awoke’ on the last day of the month, a mere moment before the first of April, covered in blood. Dried, crusted and a rusted brown, it had entirely ruined the elegant dress she had been wearing. No bodies, however, none that she could find, at least. Just blood and the heavy emptiness in the pit of her stomach that she couldn’t quite name. The night was quickly pushed to the back of her memory as she went on as if everything was normal. Which, of course, it wasn’t. Not anymore.

Plot Types

Short post today lovelies.

While working on my novels, I’ve been going over the plots. Especially the plots for Alyse’s story and Adrienne’s.

Mairwen’s, as I said before, it already pretty well established. Much of the short stories are coming of age type of plots, while the novella is a quest plot. I am going to be organizing the stories in her series soon, preparing all of them for publishing and writing. (Since not all of them are currently written, after all, only some.)

Alyse’s story has the beginning of a plot, a shaky middle plot, and no real ending. The whole story is rather loose at the moment. I have scenes. Lots of scenes. Her story needs the most work. I don’t want to do the traditional fantasy plot of epic quest, but it’s hard to avoid it when it comes to fantasy.

Adrienne’s is a quest, but not the usual kind. Her story contains too much to worry about specific plot details now. She’s likely to star in far more stories than the others, and reappear in different things. So her stories involve a few different plots. Including a defeat the monster plot. Well. Needless to say, lots of plot in there.

Heroes and Villains

It is quite common in fantasy novels to over play the good vs evil aspects of life. Where the heroes are good in every way conceivable, and the villains are true, pure evil that cannot be matched in reality.

While the trend in writing has started to veer from that, it’s hard to avoid. Simply because in a world of magic, of sweeping landscapes and escapism, it seems so ideal. It’s also much easier to write.

Which may be why I’ve run into problems with my antagonists.

None of my protagonists are really the ‘Hero’ type. A thief, a runaway and a brothel owner. None of them are out in the world trying to save it, trying for gold or glory or to be remembered.

Mairwen is an exiled thief, unaware of what she did to deserve her exile, surviving off what she can steal and having no qualms with doing so. Her past is shrouded in dark secrets that she is afraid to uncover, and most of the time, if she can avoid it, she won’t help others.

Alyse is a spoilt rich noble who longs for adventure and excitement, but find the idea of being a pirate or a thief far more entrancing than rescuing anyone. She’s thrust into an adventure that is more spurred by revenge rather than anything noble.

Adrienne is perhaps the darkest and the farthest from a hero of the three. She owns a brothel that she uses as a front to stay involved in the underground crime world. She uses whatever means she finds necessary to get the information she wants, and she’s not above killing people simply to make a point.

With such ‘heroes’, how can you create villains that properly mirror them?

When characters become more than good versus evil, the antagonist must be as in-depth and sympathetic as the protagonist.

Only Mairwen’s villain comes close to such an assessment. Her story allows for the conflict between the ‘hero’ and the ‘villain’ without either character being either in their entirety.

Sadly, Alyse and Adrienne’s antagonists have to be… something else. Alyse’s antagonist currently does not have depth. She is simplistic, rather than detailed, and she falls rather flat, reads rather boring.

And Adrienne’s? It seems too hard to write a proper antagonist for her. Then again, I shall perhaps have to wait for the villain to introduce themselves in the same way the rest of the characters have.

Publishing Options

Once again I am reminded of how close I have no real idea when it comes to publishing. Especially in regards with my plans for my own stories. So far, my plans are thus:

  • Mairwen’s story, which is largely a series of short stories and a novella, I intend to publish largely through fantasy literary magazines first. Once it’s hit the time limit for legal reasons (many literary magazines ask you to wait before republishing the content included. A lot of the time it is simply waiting until the story hits print, other times it’s longer.) Then at that point, publishing through Kindle in ‘collections’, which will include some of the short stories and details that were not in any magazine for various reason [Too short, doesn’t stand alone, etc.], as well as reserving the novella for kindle publication.
  • Alyse’s story, which is at least one novel and a couple short stories, will be released by itself, probably on kindle. The short stories will be published either on kindle as a collection or in fantasy literary magazines. Either way, they’re more intended as ‘previews’ and teasers.
  • Adrienne’s story is perhaps the biggest issue. As her story has so much more to tell, I don’t even know what format it will be taking right now. She tends to just take charge of her own story and throws my ideas out the window. It’s rather frustrating. On the bright side, I have time. I don’t want to worry about publishing her story until after most of Mairwen and Alyse’s stories are out. Far too much perfectionism in there.

I also realize that I am far less biased against self-publishing, ebooks and independent publishing than I used to be. Though there are reasons that I want to avoid publishing houses for Mairwen and Alyse’s stories, but we’ll get to that later.

Adrienne’s story may be the only one to go through a publishing house.

I believe part of this is because I now know enough about marketing that I’m not concerned about not having a publisher to do that for me. (One of the biggest draws to traditional publishing is the fact that your publisher is going to be getting your books out there.)

 

Characters

I’m currently going over the book Plot Versus Character in order to get a better, concrete example of the characters in my story. It isn’t a theoretical book, but rather, it’s intended to be instructional. Sort of a ‘Here’s the steps, get to it!’.

So, on the subject of getting to it… Character ‘layering’ is the first step including. Picking the core personality and moving from there, until your character is a fully-fleshed person. Not just a cardboard cut-out.

As characters are my forte, this shouldn’t be too hard. I am, however, not only doing the main character in each story, but also the important characters. IE. All of the main characters. The ones listed here on a regular basis. And I may even do some of my fanfiction characters as well. Just for the heck of it.

Well, it starts with the Myer-Briggs personality types. So here we go.

Alyse: ESTP The Doer

Kaine: INFP The Idealist

Caalix: ESTJ The Guardian

Lucretia: INTP The Thinker

Adrienne: INTJ The Scientist

Soroth: ENTP The Visionary

Rana: EFSP The Performer

Mairwen: ENFP The Inspirer

Finn: INFJ The Protector

Ciar: ESTJ The Guardian

Aonghus: ENFJ The Giver

Well, that took me a few minutes because I checked and double checked a couple different sources to make sure I had it write. But. I think that these are correct. Took long enough. Definitely interesting to think about, however, since I already have some idea of the characters in my head. Which ones are similar, which ones are more different than I thought.

The Animals of Fiction

Part of this post was inspired by the fact that just last week, my family got a new puppy. Just seven week old Boxer, full of life, named Brutus.

And it reminded me how undercredited the animal companions of fiction often are. My stories contain their own, after all.

Mairwen with her mare of black and brown, who is smarter than one would suspect for a horse. (Is it magic or is it nature that Mairwen and her kind can tap into? Or perhaps the mare is special?) The mare whose name is currently Kobolt, but that is subject to change as much as Mairwen’s name did.

Adrienne with her plethora of serpents. All with separate personalities, some magical, some mundane, but all of them unique. Shiroi, the python who acts more like an adviser than a pet. Benevueto, whose lazy disposition makes it far less of a threat than it looks, and Giada, the cobra quick to sense deception. Not to mention the other creatures she keeps. Not all of them as malicious appearing as her snakes.

The animal companions in my stories, and in many other stories, are sometimes just as much of a character in their own right as their masters. They have their own back stories, their own personalities, and their own limitations.

It is often when you see these sort of animal characters, however, that you can tell the writer is an animal lover.