Yet another short story has been spawned from the depths of my subconscious. I hope that you will enjoy.
From the cauldron the beast kept rising, like a dragon spawning from the underworld. With all his strength he held tightly around its neck, trying to prevent its continued rise. As the gap of the cauldron began to expand, releasing even more of the beasts giant body, he realised the futility in his struggle and released the creature from his grip. With a dash he ran into what started as a void, but then arose into a land that he did not recognise.
There were great forests and mountains, castles and lakes. As he stared into the unknown, the beast’s long neck crawled under his legs and its face rose in front of him. The beast opened its large jaws and presented the teeth inside. In a quick and terrified motion he tried to push the beast away. But with the simple push, he lost his gripping and instead fell into the ever expanding gap of the cauldron.
His voice echoed in the darkness as he fell, forever it seemed. With a loud thump he landed on his back and, to his surprise, a blanked wrapped around his body, and a bed next to him. Despite this realisation, fear still dwelled in his heart and it refused to settle down. Through the window the moon illuminated parts of the room. He stared at the light source, the only one available, until his breathing finally slowed; he drew a sigh of relief.
He returns to his bed, however still skeptical that he is safe, he glances at the darkness in the corner of his room, that the moon fail to illuminate. But as exhaustion overcame him he is send back, into the land which he was expelled from, to the land of dreams.
Okay so writing regular posts wasn’t as easy as I expected, at least for the original purpose that I had for the blog. So I figured, why don’t I write short stories instead? you know, try to entertain! Because lets face it, nobody cares about my process and thoughts about writing when you haven’t published anything yet.
This will be a mini NanoWrimo where I start with a blank page and write whatever comes to mind. The only rule is that I am not allowed to write more than 500 words. So here it goes;
People used to always say that I was funny looking, something about my nose and the distance between my eyes. But as time went by, these comments became less and less common until they completely disappeared. I don’t know what happened in the time in between but it was great!
People began paying attention to what I said, taking me seriously. Even girls that I fancied didn’t, at the very least, ignore me, and would sometimes even respond and give me a friendly hello back. People say that it is what’s on the inside that counts. That may be true and all, but what good is a fine story if nobody reads it? That the outside counts just as much as the inside, is what I recon.
The question is, am I a good story or just a fancy book cover? I’ve done a few, downright despicable things in my life, and heavens forbid if they are ever found out. But it is not like I have killed anyone or anything, or stolen something for that matter. But… you now, we all make mistakes, don’t we?
While writing a very early draft of the book I realised that I have used the most heinous fantasy trope of all! The antagonist is evil for the sake of being evil… When writing a story you use inspirations from things that you have already read or watched, intentionally or not. That is why I believe when you write a story you really need to understand what you write. Where did this idea come from? Where have you heard this before? It is not wrong by any means because artists steal from each others ideas all the time. But to be successful there must be some measure of creativity to survive as a writer. The easiest way to do this is by identifying the common tropes and try to avoid them.
I decided to keep the antagonist but I wanted to make him more deep. The question that I want the readers to ask, when they are introduced to the villain is, is his actions really evil? Actually, the villain will be introduced very late in the book. The protagonist will have no idea of the identity, or if there is one main villain at all until very late in the story. The only thing the main character knows is that his quest is important. But it is never completely obvious why, or whats at stake. I think this opens up some interesting ways to make the main character doubt his own worth or doubt the journey as a whole.
For all intents and purposes, I wish that I started this blog sooner. At the time of posting, I will have written 45 000 words already. My original intent was that to take you, the reader, along during the creative process of the book. However, just because I have written a certain amount of words, does not mean that I am anywhere near finished with the project. There are still around 20 000 more words that need to be written, and editing will most certainly take as much time as writing the first draft. Anyway, I am going to post these diary entries of the struggles that I had early on, in the order that I remember them. I hope that you will find these helpful when you decide to start a project of your own.
I love fantasy! but I don´t love everything about it. Even though Tolkien´s work, by todays standards, can feel generic, his work is still timeless because even though the books take place in a fantastical world. It was still rooted in reality. For instance, Mordor and Sauron was not generically evil like in the movie, they did not aim to destroy the world but rather conquer it. Orcs need food and other resources as well after all. Simply put, there is one power that desired to expand its territory. Another thing that I respect about the LoTRs books is that magic was always subtle, they was never put at the forefront of the tale. I would like to say that it was also never used in a cheap way to get out of trouble, but we all know about the giant plot hole with the eagles by now. But I am sure there was a reason that they could not use them from the start haha.
Anyway, that is the goal of my book, to be subtle, to be grounded, but still have a fantastical feel, and at the same time be original and not use dragons, orcs and elves. Because, lets face it, they have been done to death! When you think about mythology used in the fantasy genre, real life myths is used as inspiration. Goblins, orcs and elves all stem from Nordic mythology. But, has there been any new invented mythos that are not heavily inspired by real religions and myths? Probably not. Modern myths are instead created by the sci fi genre, which is fitting for our time really. Space is the new mysterious place that we know very little about.
When people created myths in the past, it was mostly to make sense of the unknown. What was lurking in the thick forest? who lived on top of the tall mountains and deep caverns? It is fascinating to to think about. I don´t aspire to reinvent the fantasy genre, but I still aim to, at the very least, be original.
Dear reader. As most of us have a creative spark inside, they at one point in their lives tries to nurture that creativity. Being creative is no more apparent than when we are children. For me, I loved drawing. My favourite things to draw was dinosaurs at an early age. I remember me and my sister, who is two years younger than me, drew on a large piece of rolled up paper that started in the living room and ended in the bathroom at the other end of the house. The drawings were just dinosaurs. I believe my parents still has it tucked away somewhere.
However, as you get older, unless you are one of the lucky few that keeps the spark alive, creativity dies off. I stopped drawing, and I stopped writing in my early teens. What I still had, however, was ideas, hundreds of them! But I had no idea how to express them. It was not until college that I started writing them down. Storing them for future use. The ideas were mostly expressed in political ideas, as that was the direction I took in my studies. However during my master thesis I was allowed to be creative again, for the first time in 10 years I felt that creative spark re-emerge. It was an amazing feeling really. To be given a task and at the same time be allowed creative freedom.
Even though I have spent 5 years of my life studying politics and economics, I decided to try my hands at writing a novel after my studies. I had dozens of ideas to write a story about, and I decided on fantasy as my first genre. I believe that I chose fantasy because it allowed me to be 100% creative. Another reason was that I did not have to be truthful to any source material, so that would save me time doing research.
However, that is not the only reasons…
On this blog I will post diary entries of the progression of my book, called, The Book of Legacy. I hope to involve you, the reader, in the creative process. And I hope that it will inspire you to make your own novel in the future.
If you are interested, I have published a free short story that I have written on smashwords, https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/582218