Jump to content

Boarders Writing a Novel, Part 9


Gabriele

Recommended Posts

I have this problem in Never to Return where I need to get a character's backstory in. I use a prologue (the only NiP where I do that), some flashbacks, and dialogue, though the latter is the most tricky to pull off well. It needs to be a dialogue, not a monologue in disguise, and I need to get some of the character's emotions in too, though he would never show - at least not deliberately - or tell those.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jamie's Wench,

I've had a look at your first three chapters, and made some suggestions in terms of copy edits. Overall, there's a lot of promise and I'd certainly like to read more.

I've sent you an email with my suggestions, but, you know, as I'm just some bloke off the interwebs, please feel free to ignore my advice. :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

While reading up on golems and such, I started thinking of the structure for Frankenstein (novel) and it suddenly occurred to me that my long gestating Renaissance historical fantasy might work well by intertwining a past and "present" story of the protagonist.

I'm planning a series of standalone novels, so if I did this, I'd probably need to carry it through all of them. For example, Hero is having an adventure in 1472 that takes him across Italy. In between each "act" (location, really), I'd insert an interlude from 1492 (or there abouts) with the older man now a courtier. These interludes would be linked thematically to the main tale and possibly offer a different perspective on what happened. It can be a revelation or a parallel "mission" or even a case of him completing the mission 30 years later (kind of like the prologue of Last Crusade). The interludes wouldn't be him "telling" his past, though that could be the case if warranted.

Anyway. Still mulling this over.

What are you opinions of frame stories? Pros? Cons?

The only frame stories I can think of off hand are Frankenstein and Name of the Wind. I guess How I Met Your Mother is a television frame story. Know of any others?

Funny you mention this...I was seriously contemplating writing a frame story based on the MC of the SISTERS OF KHODA relating the story of his youth to a bunch of kids. I even pitched it to my agent and he told me he "had to see it." I decided not to. SISTERS needs a solid rewrite, not a frame story.

Awesome - good to hear!

I've never been a massive fan of leaping between time periods within one story. I am very much adopting the GRRM technique with my novel, whereby the backstory is woven into dialogue and thoughts, sometimes connecting directly into the present action and sometimes as part of a character's reflections to build up a sense of nostalgia. There are 'Lyanna' and 'Rhaegar' like characters in my book that are dead but we still know a lot about them.

I used a prophecy in my novel, which was very Maggy the Frogg cryptic. I may delete it now... as it is never resolved in the book and perhaps it gives too much away (plus, you know, I need to cut words out somewhere!)

I like prophecies when there is a twist to them, like the classical one in Macbeth where he's deceived into believing he can never die. However, ones that just act as spoilers or sign-posts to the future events frustrate me because we should be intrigued by present action rather than the promise of some future mystery.

I'm learning the importance of worldbuilding and backstory in all my books. My agent is adamant about me improving those aspects of my writing and I'm working very hard at it.

I have a prophecy in mine and I'm in the process of working it out. It's not easy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a prophecy in mine and I'm in the process of working it out. It's not easy.

Fun and joy. I cut one prophecy out of RD because it was too blatant (left a second, which is less problematic), so now all I have to deal with is a protagonist in Sailor who can see into the future...

My sister sent me her accurate-as-ever notes on Sailor's problems last night. Boy, is it difficult to write white blokes properly. I'm not used to them as major characters: balancing the privileges is so difficult, and I've missed by a mile so far...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm game...

Okay, thanks

The possible titles for my book series are:

Ensekyrai - the name of the world the series is set in

Holden's War - specifically the later books focus on the Holden family, and some members will be at war with another

Chiaroscuro - meaning something like "a play of light and dark", which fits the idea of the books

The Stands and the Storms - a bit more of an epic title, hinting t war, and there's a lot of that

The Martyr's Sins - a lot of characters are grey and they sin, and they all fight for a cause in one way or another, one which they may give their life for

The Sinners Rising/A Rise of Sinners - lots of sinning

The/A Day for Martyrs - lots of dying

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am liking the Martyr/Sinner names the best. Sand and Storm sounds a bit cliched, Chiaroscuro and Ensekyrai are confusing on the bookshelf because a person would look at them, think "that's hard to pronounce", and march right over to Terry Goodkind. Holden's War is fine but for Holden being a major character in Abraham/Franck's Expanse series and thus some confusion would result. But I wouldn't spend too much time thinking about it. The publisher and marketing folks are going to have something they think would be best. Just pick a working title and be done with it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Okay, thanks

The possible titles for my book series are:

Ensekyrai - the name of the world the series is set in

Holden's War - specifically the later books focus on the Holden family, and some members will be at war with another

Chiaroscuro - meaning something like "a play of light and dark", which fits the idea of the books

The Stands and the Storms - a bit more of an epic title, hinting t war, and there's a lot of that

The Martyr's Sins - a lot of characters are grey and they sin, and they all fight for a cause in one way or another, one which they may give their life for

The Sinners Rising/A Rise of Sinners - lots of sinning

The/A Day for Martyrs - lots of dying

I'd scrap anything mentioning sinners and martyrs, simply because of the religious connotations.

I'd also scrap anything that isn't easily pronounceable

Holden's War. Nice and simple, but immediately puts me in mind of James S A Corey's Expanse series.

The Stands and the Storms? What is the stand in this context?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just pick a working title and be done with it.

Sound advice. You've got plenty of time to come up with something, no need to worry about it at this stage. That is, unless you're close to finishing the first novel in the series....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am liking the Martyr/Sinner names the best. Sand and Storm sounds a bit cliched, Chiaroscuro and Ensekyrai are confusing on the bookshelf because a person would look at them, think "that's hard to pronounce", and march right over to Terry Goodkind. Holden's War is fine but for Holden being a major character in Abraham/Franck's Expanse series and thus some confusion would result. But I wouldn't spend too much time thinking about it. The publisher and marketing folks are going to have something they think would be best. Just pick a working title and be done with it.

Thank you for the feedback.

I'd scrap anything mentioning sinners and martyrs, simply because of the religious connotations.

I'd also scrap anything that isn't easily pronounceable

Holden's War. Nice and simple, but immediately puts me in mind of James S A Corey's Expanse series.

The Stands and the Storms? What is the stand in this context?

As in a last stand, or multiple of those.

Sound advice. You've got plenty of time to come up with something, no need to worry about it at this stage. That is, unless you're close to finishing the first novel in the series....

It's done, minus editing.

Ensekyrai was the working title, I'll probably change it later but I'll stick with for now. Thank you both for the quick replies.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's not uncommon for books to get new titles once they get an editor. So, don't obsess over it.

Just concentrate on writing the most compelling novel you can.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

True: I once wrote a whole book using a place-holder title. It got changed. I suspect the editors are better at title-writing than a lot of writers.

That said, I wish there were a few less fantasy novels with "X of Y" as the title, usually something like "Dragon of Swords".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

True: I once wrote a whole book using a place-holder title. It got changed. I suspect the editors are better at title-writing than a lot of writers.

That said, I wish there were a few less fantasy novels with "X of Y" as the title, usually something like "Dragon of Swords".

For years, the working title for my fantasy novel was "The Forgotten Truth". Until I Googled it one day to realize a book had been published with that title in the years I had spent talking about writing.

So, I came up with another name that works much better (Echoes of Truth), and I was able to weave it throughout organically. Essentially, the tag line is "Within every myth, and every good lie, there is an echo of truth."

Let's see if I can get around to finishing this draft before someone swipes that title....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
×
×
  • Create New...