Sunday, 30 July 2017

3 ways to build a fantasy world: language and characterisation

In Soul Mates, my lead male protagnist, Kian Darksoul comes from another realm (Tir na nOg), though he has lived in the mortal world for decades. Developing a character forged in another world, but familiar with the contemporary presents some unique challenges. How do I capture Kian's otherness without making the book clunky? How do I capture his otherness?

1) His cultural touch-stones are different: when revising, I've needed to edit out contemporary references. It's not that Kian doesn't know what a neon light is - he does. He's lived here for years, after all. But when he sees another character glowing, a neon light is not his cultural touch-stone. He thinks of fire swamps or dragons or some such. References to his own world shape his dialogue and his interior monologue. It means when I'm in Kian's point of view, I'm responding in a way that's true to him.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

What category is my romance?

This month  I finally completed my novel. This started life as Lord of Shadows morphed into Dark Souls and now has the working title Soul Mates. 

Edited by the fantastic Miranda Kate and with some AMAZING feedback by incredibly generous RWA judges (I really find RWA contests worthwhile), redrafted, edited again (and again), my novel is finally there.

Time to slap a synopsis down and get querying.

This presents me with three challenges:

1) I've now written four complete novels and I've never yet queried. Because I always want to do one more draft and make it that bit better.  Apart from browsing the phenomenal Query Shark, my experience of querying is a big fat zero. 

2) I hate writing synopses. And I'm not great at it. That's another area of writing I need to practice. 

3) Categories. How the devil do I describe my opus?