The Evolution of a Story (Part VI): How


The following is an article from a six-part series that explores aspects of creating the storyline for the End of an Age quadrilogy (yes, that’s a made-up word).

Research, research, research….

You can’t tell a tale about a young woman with kinetic and other powers evading conspirators during the devastating effects of a coronal mass ejection without doing the research.

All good lies have seeds of truth, so stories with elements of the fantastic need a little science behind them to help with the suspension of disbelief.  As the main character, Alexia needed biological and neurological explanations for why she could do what she did.  Reuben, the male protagonist, has an exemplary memory but can’t read.  Their brains worked differently, and I had to figure out how.

There was more work involved in discovering exactly what the effects of a coronal mass ejection would be like.  Because there is difference between it and an electromagnetic pulse (which you hear more about), I had to be sure to get those facts straight.

And then there are all the other details:  cultural expressions, survival skills, religious beliefs, military tactics, future trends, conspiratorial elements….  Anything I didn’t know already had to be researched.  I’m convinced Amazon, Google and the library all have me on some kind of “Watch” list because of my perusals!

There was more than reading involved, too.  Some skills I practiced to confirm their feasibility and/or understand them in more depth.  I also tend to plan family vacations around research (shh … don’t tell the kids).  It’s the details that tend to add dimension.

Hopefully you enjoyed this series.  The second book, Wail of the Tempest, is in the final stages of preparation and should be available for preorder in a matter of weeks.  Please feel free to check out Part One, Darkness upon the Land, at your favorite e-book retailer.  A paperback copy is available at Amazon.

It was a pleasure sharing this information.  Good wishes to all you readers and writers out there and keep those creative juices flowing.

The Evolution of a Story (Part V): Why


The following is an article from a six-part series that explores aspects of creating the storyline for the End of an Age quadrilogy (yes, that’s a made-up word).

In one of my college writing classes the instructor had us include the reason for writing any essay we turned in.  The only goal we weren’t allowed to use was Entertainment.

Although fiction is meant to entertain, the stories that stick with us most are usually a mix of cautionary tales, revelations of societal ills, or inspiration to make a change.  The purpose for writing the End of an Age series is also multifold, but it can be boiled down to one basic concept:  We must keep our freedom.

That concept begins in a small way during the first book, Darkness upon the Land.  The main character, Alexia, has an ability that makes her a target to conspirators.  As she struggles to remain free, however, the threat to liberty begins to grow.  Society could suffer if her powers could be harvested and utilized.  The second book, Wail of the Tempest (coming soon!), addresses that realization.

The characters get placed in more dire circumstances as the threat continues to grow.  How do I determine what all is at stake?  Part of that question fits into the next and final article, How.