Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Prequels, Sequels, Triquels & Series

In the wonderful world of Fantasy, it can be daunting to put the complex lives of your characters into the constraints of only one novel. A lot of authors have sought out sequels and series to fully examine their tales, some even, years afterwards find out that there was more to the story and write up sequels or prequels to their tales.

The when and why questions that come up for an author can only be determined by the author. When should a novel actually be two novels? Why should this story be explored through a series of books? Creating a series can enhance your story but it also can water it down, drag it out, make it unenjoyable by your reader. I think a good general rule is length (if it's a long story maybe it can be cut in two) but it's really about what the author thinks, if their story is complete and yet there is more to be said (enough to fill another novel), then maybe they'll begin anew, if there is no more to be said, or too little, they may just abandon a sequel.

Some more memorable Fantasy series are:

Mists of Avalon Series spearheaded by Marion Zimmer Bradley (she wrote/co-wrote most of them).
Choose Your Own Adventure Series by Various Authors (I know this series is fantasy and sci-fi, but no one gives it props anymore):
As a reader, you'll have a preference for series or for single novels. Do you like to get attached to characters and follow them through their lives and through their children's lives? Do you like a quick read that is over after the first novel? My favorite books tend to come from series, but is that because they are in a series, is it just a coincidence or is it because I get to choose my own adventure?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Happy Birthday Shakespeare!

Okay, so I wasn't going to post anything until my regularly scheduled post on Tuesdays, but today is Shakespeare's Birthday and if it was my birthday (September 22nd for all of you that need to know so you can buy me shiny things) I would expect my good friend and confidant Shakespeare to say something about it in his blog. But, I'd probably have to be dead for roughly 393 years before this kind of nonsense broke out:

http://www.talklikeshakespeare.org/ Apparently, April 23rd is talk like Shakespeare day, in honor of his birthday. Now, for those of you who are not familiar with the foul mouthed foe, you'll probably chat it up Elizabethan style, but people true to Shakespeare will be spouting out F bombs and mother truckers all day long.

And no birthday is truly celebrated until someone tries to profit off of it, as with Amazon.com's poor plea for me to buy "books to celebrate Shakespeare's birthday"

So whether you speak like Shakespeare, act out one of his plays, or pretend like he never existed, have fun celebrating this saucy pirate.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Fantasy Pick for April 2009

The Alvin Maker Series is a wonderful fantasy series written by Orson Scott Card.

The first book The Seventh Son starts a the story of Alvin, the seventh son of a seventh son, who by default is imbued with powers. In the first book he is a young child who must understand his powers and how to use them.

The second book Red Prophet continues the tale of Alvin as he searches for his destiny and how this affects the people around him.

This series has six books in all, with a possible seventh (which would make sense since seven is such an important number) in the works. Throughout these tales, we meet many people who grow and change along with Alvin. One of the elements I like best about this series is that it is a historical fantasy, using elements of American history in its tales and explaining them in new and interesting ways.
If you're a fan of Mr. Card, of fantasy, or of American history, this is a series to check out.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Vampires Bite

The vampire myth has been around since, well, since vampires starting appearing on the scene. The myth has mystified writers and readers and continues to pop up in books and on television. The main element that keeps this archetypal character interesting, are the new spins put on the character. Be it a bunny turned vamp (Bunnicula) or a Vampire vampire killer (Blade), keeping this archetype fresh and exciting is the key to it's longevity in text, film and T.V.

The vampire craze doesn't seem to be ending anytime soon. It seems to be spreading to cats, maybe those who have seen the movie twilight - idk. But consider this photo from the web as evidence:This would explain my own cat's recent desire to bite anything and everything. Even a poor defenseless book:The assault on my book leads me to believe that my own cat is more out for knowledge than blood, but she was unsuccessful since she only punctured the cover of this unsuspecting victim.

When exploring a character of a vampire, it's a tricky line to walk; keeping with vampire lore while creating a new vampire story, especially when vampire lore isn't always accepted as vampire fact. Can vampires go in sunlight? What truly kills a vampire? Are they soulless? Are they immortal? Do they have reflections? So many questions must be answered!?!?!?! I guess I'll have to ask my cat but only after she's bit enough books to learn English.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

50th Post and 1st Year Anniversary!

Happy 1st year anniversary blog!

As a congratulatory post, I’ve made up a pop quiz to see how much readers have learned through the years. Enjoy!

1. True or False: Having explored dialogue on this site, this would be a good set of dialogue between two characters:

me: I got the best compliment yesterday. I checked out a lady's items quickly (my usual speed) and she said "I'd hate to see you with a gun."

Amanda: LOL

Amanda: That is so sad

me: That I'm the fastest draw in the west?

Amanda: That you think that's the "best compliment" :)

me: Oh

me: it is the best compliment when you're a cowboy

Amanda: LOL

me: on a steal horse I ride

me: I'm wanted

me: wanted...

Amanda: dead or alive

me: dead or alive

me: jinx

me: you owe me a coke

Amanda: it's a steel horse btw

me: I stolez it

Amanda: LOL

Answer: Trick Question – no one uses internet acronyms in everyday speech. So it’s neither true nor false, it’s non-existent.

2. True or false: You go back in time and kill yourself.

Answer: False, if you were to go back and kill yourself and you would find out that you did not kill yourself because if you kill yourself then there is no you in the future to come back to the past and kill yourself. It's like getting yourself into a pickle you can never defeat.

3. True or False: David Blaine is a magician.

Answer: False, David Blaine is a troll, or a hobo, or both.

4. True or False: Centaurs were once known as James A. Garfield haters.

Answer: True, it is widely known that centaurs did not agree with Garfield’s hawkish republican views nor did they agree with his “resignation” from military service during the Civil War to fill a seat in Congress. Seemingly a man who was all bark and no bite, it has been suggested that his actions enraged the centaurs so much that he was assassinated by a centaur.

Multiple Choice:

5. Which of these characters have NOT been a guest on this blog:
A. Kittencorn

B. Shakespeare in Space

C. Magenta Hulk


Answer –Magenta hulk, he’s a freak and doesn’t deserve to be on the same site as these other character gems.

6. Which of these DOES NOT describe Jenny (the author of this blog)?
A. Samurai with the ability to time travel
B. Vampire with the ability to time travel
C. Zombie with the ability to time travel
D. Time Traveling Robot With Super Cool Disco Moves

Answer – D, in post My Writing Process pt 2 – Writing Time I explain that I’m human, not a time traveling robot with super cool disco moves as previously thought.

7. How many of these people are Nazis?
A. Adolf Hitler
B. Henry Ford
C. Michael Crichton
D. John Locke

Answer: Only Adolf Hitler is a proven Nazi, while Ford was a known Nazi sympathizer (special word for Nazi) and the other two I have my suspicions about…

8. Which of these creatures can be killed by being repetitively run over with an SUV?
A. Zombie
B. Raptor
C. Aliens
D. Kittencorns

Answer: Every answer but D. Kittencorns cannot be killed by SUVs because they are a figment of my imagination and do not live in the same realm as SUVs. I may be killed by an SUV but that doesn’t ensure the death of Kittencorn who will live on in infamy as the star of this blog and as the imaginary creature who killed me with an SUV.

9. When referring to this blog you can use which of these phrases:
A. Good Times
B. Old Times
C. New Times
D. Troo (pronounced ‘true’) Times

Answer: all of the above.

Short Answer Question:

10. Please leave a comment detailing your likes/dislikes/questions/comments/concerns about the blog.

Thank you for participating in the first Annual (maybe?) Fantasy Writers Unite Pop Quiz. It’s been a great year, and I’ve still got a lot of ideas left, so I’m definitely looking forward to year two!