Hello there. Thanks for visiting my site and looking around. I hope you’ve gotten to know a little bit about me and have had a chance to read the short story(s) available. I promise there is a lot more content coming soon™ and I hope you will enjoy it. Right now I want to give you a bit of insight into the type of writing I do and how it comes about from the sluggy liquid mass that is my brain into that realities of my novels and stories.
For me I see other writers talk about being planners, and pansters, and architechs and gardners and none of those really feel like how I process. For me I think of myself more like a listener or an interviewer. In my first story, The Empress (currently in revision and seeking represenation) it started with the main character, Elyssa talk in my head. I can’t say exactly where she came from, though I suspect she was conceived more then a little off of a relatively minor character in the second episode of Matt Smith’s Doctor Who run, The Beast Below.
That’s not to say she is a rip off of that character or that her story resembles that plot in anyway shape or form, but certainly her dress, some motives and some activies could certainly be seen in between the lines of Elyssa I and Elizabeth X. But that’s okay, draw inspiration from everywhere. When Elyssa first started talking to me I must admit I was a little confused, who she was, where she was from, why she was bugging me to write her story. Before Elyssa writing was hypathetical daydream, “wouldn’t it be nice to be a writer? put some words on paper, become semi-famous, buy a cabin in the forest of the PNW or British Columba and become a weird recluse.” But to be honest I wasn’t doing much with it, there wasn’t a methodolgy that I was jiving with or really a writer’s voice in my head.
With Elyssa I got out of my own way, from time to time, and listened. Then I asked questions, clarified points. I asked about her family, her country, the surrounding lands, her religions, confidonts, what she liked to wear, what things she hated doing. I spent time and learned about her as a person. It wasn’t always easy, sometimes I didn’t know the right questions to ask, sometimes I wouldn’t learn about an aspect until much later in the story that would lead me to ask questions about an earlier point in the story. Also as I’ve recently learned I wasn’t told everything up front and honestly. There are aspects of the Empire of Silador that I am still learning, details I’m still having to drag out of Elyssa, she can be incredibly stubborn somtimes, and other characters in the world but in the end it’s giving me insight into a much fuller richer world then where I started about ten years ago.
Now some of you might ask “Okay Wesley, so you talk to the voices in your head and problably need to see psychiatric help, but why are your stories not written like an interview?”
Simple, that’s boring, and this isn’t a newspaper. If I just sat down and gave you:
“Now Elyssa tell me about your family.”
“My immediate family consists of my mother, Theodora, my Father Justinian, and my brother Belisarius.”
You would close the book on me a paragraph in. There is a reason why most fantasy falls into a 3rd person point of view (POV) or 1st person POV and tells a larger story. The characters are fine but with high fantasy you want to edge in the details of the world, to allow the readers to settle in and explore it and feel what it might be like to live in that world for a time and escape from the mundane into the fantastic.
This method of writing, possibly also called daydreaming, has served me well with my other realm of fantasy, the Soul Wizard series. An urban fantasy that would feel more at home next to Harry Dresden or Supernatural though it is nominally based on our world but under what is seen in the eye is a world full of magic and fantasy creatures from your favorite nursery rythems and fairytales. Once again it started not with me creating a world and characters to fill it but by “talking” to the main protagonist, a young man named Reeve, learning about who he is, what he does, what his motives are. As I learned about him and his experiences I learned about his world, his friends, other soul wizards. This serious is being written in 1st person POV but the idea is still the same, if you learn about who you are writing about and get out of your own way and let them tell you their stories, you might also find yourself in worlds you might not have otherwise imagined.