Bringing a Story to Life – The Dark Moment

maxresdefault-2After several weeks of editing I am back in writing mode.  It takes getting used to though I like to tell myself switching gears is good exercise for my brain.

Ahem.  The difficulty was only an excuse, however.  I’d been stalling for quite some time because this is the phase in the Metatron’s Army series known as middlegame.

In chess, this is the portion of the game between opening and endgame. 

There is no clear line between the opening and middlegame or between middlegame and endgame.

 Your setup is to play and your play is to win.

This is the part of the series where the strategy and positions set in motion in the opening are put in play.  Not everything that is about to happen is fun.  I like my characters, so I have a bit of grief over this.

What Doesn’t Kill.  In the early stages of the series, I knew bad things had to happen to likeable characters.  Even so, I worried about ticking off readers.

I get really irritated with authors who kill off characters for no good reason. 

 I spent weeks talking with a number of people who read all manner of fiction, to ask their thoughts on the matter.  The overall consensus was that if there was a reason for death or harm then they had no issue with it, as it is unrealistic to think nothing bad ever happens.

Interestingly, more than a few expressed frustration with authors who write about warring factions but have everything tied up in a bow so there is no suffering or harm.  They felt it was distracting because it was not realistic.

Makes Strong.  Some of the events were part of character building.  I’m big on understanding the motivation behind characters.

  • Why do they do what they do?
  • Why are they who they are?
  • What forces shaped and molded them?

 Reality.  In creating the heroine for MA, I considered not only what her qualifications were but how it was she got them.

This is why I spent so much time on opening. 

I wanted the readers to really be able to identify with a character who had extraordinary experiences.

Reality.  I worked to keep Christine grounded even as she developed skills and gained powers.

It wouldn’t have been realistic if she gained powers and suddenly became a totally different person.  As Dr. Erskine points out to Steve Rogers in Captain America: The First Avenger, it’s what’s inside already that will be enhanced.  We also see evidence of this in the 2002 Spider-Man with Norman Osborn. 

 Fantasy.  I also had to be true to the character in terms of the fantastical situation she finds herself in.

Born in one universe, raised in another.

 I had been working with this story since 1982 and while I knew what happened from the when and why, I hadn’t bothered to think about the how.

That’s the cool thing about a fantasy when it’s in your head.  You don’t have to question unless you want to spend time on it; you can just accept.

 It wasn’t until I sat down to write the series that I had to work out those details.

I’m still working some of them out which is funny because I’m almost to the endgame part of the series.  You’d think I’d have worked them all out out but I find “little details” missing.

 Education.  I always like to make my fiction go beyond simply entertaining by including bits of truth.

I do a lot of research.

 Specifically, with Metatron’s Army, I included real places, like the bar and the diner in Berkley, Michigan.

The bar is/was on the same road as the Doll Hospital and Toy Soldier Shop, though the diner is not across the street.  It’s actually in a neighboring town.

 Sila’s and The Red Coat Tavern are real restaurants.

The New Agey store in Royal Oak is/was a real place.

 The Turner house is a real house in Berkley.

The Turners are made up, however.

Entertainment.  This is a no-brainer for fiction – escapism.  Put together a story that will take you out of the moment and into a world you never knew existed.

Simultaneous Display: Metatron’s Army Book 5 will be available March 2018.

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