So, with Soul Bearer’s release date coming up (freaking tomorrow!), I thought I’d talk about the creation of the story. I’ve talked about my writing process (or lack thereof) before, but I’ve never really gone into specifics for this story in, particular.
The spark, the catalyst, was a dream, which I know sounds corny. But that’s what the prologue was. I woke up with a dream of a princess and a burning necklace and the return of dragons.
So I wrote down the bare bones of that scene and ran with it.
The princess in that scene just happened to fall into a trope I don’t particularly like writing. She’s prissy and overly concerned with her looks. She’s led an easy, privileged life and as such, follows whims even when they’re definitely a bad idea because well…what are consequences?
She doesn’t really know because she’s never faced them.
I hate that trope, that stereotypical princess type.
And she certainly wasn’t going to be the one fighting the dragon.
So her part ended, sort of, in the prologue. I can’t say how her part continued because spoilers.
But that meant I had to come up with someone else to sort out the problem of the dragon and a means for them to do so.
And therein lies the problem with writing something from a dream. It takes a lot of work to make it work. I know, writing a book takes work, in general, but dreams have a tendency to make little to no sense.
And fiction has to make sense.
You have to have a reason for everything. Anything you put in the story has to be justified by a fully built world and three dimensional characters whose backgrounds support the information you’re giving.
Everything has to line up.
Because if it doesn’t line up, you end up with plot holes and angry readers.
And no one wants that.
Now, I tend to have these little…half imagined bits of story floating around in my head, pretty much constantly. A character here, an encounter there. There’s always an assortment to choose from.
I just have to find the world, and the story, they fit into.
Well, Visan (the world of Soul Bearer) turned out to be the home I’d been lacking for Aurisye. I hadn’t named her yet,and her story ended up changing drastically by the time it was all said and done. I didn’t know she’d be so powerful before I found her home in this story. But the core of her, the basis of who she was before the dragons rose, was already in my head and it belonged in this world.
There was another little tidbit, a chance encounter, that eventually became her mother’s story. I had no idea it belonged in Soul Bearer until I got to close to the scene, though. Lol.
As for Rafnor, he was always a part of this world. He developed with it, grew with it. He was never separate from the world of Soul Bearers.
Now, there was something I was asked about by a couple of ARC readers: the names. They wanted to know how I came up with them.
So, in case any of you are curious, this is what I did.
I chose a few languages that I don’t speak, picked words that I associated with the characters, and then looked them up in those other languages. When I found a translation or translated synonym that I liked the sound of, I altered it to fit the sounds of the cultures in the book.
For the Elves, I mostly translated stuff to French. I wanted it to have a soft, seductive feel. It just seems like something that would whisper through the leaves of their wooded kingdom.
The Elves in this story (dark elves, btw) are intelligent and witty, but also conniving. Having such smooth sounds set up a nice contrast.
I wanted the Orcish names to be the exact opposite. I wanted their names to embody the harsh, rough culture (and climate) they live in. So I translated to German and roughed the words up a bit more, smashing consonants together.
For the Humans, I went with variations on old English and Nordic words and names.
No matter what word I chose, I always…massaged the spelling to make it sound how I wanted, though.
It took about 6 months to write the first draft of this one. Then, after many edits, I started submitting it to traditional publishers. Before it got accepted anywhere though, I decided traditional wasn’t the way for me to go.
I’ve been heading down the Indie road ever since.
Now, I’ll be posting a video on release day, aka October 22nd. (Freaking tomorrow!)
*gasp* A video?
I know, I almost never show my face. It’s almost like I don’t like being in pictures or videos…
But, for you guys, I’m going to get over it, and do something that I always dreaded back in school. I’m going to read aloud for the group.
I’ll be doing a reading of the prologue of Soul Bearer!
It’ll be posted here for sure. Possibly on FB or IG, if I can figure out how to get around the time limit on IG. It’ll be at 3:00 p.m. central time. I’ll post about it on social media when it’s up, and I’ll send out an email to all my subscribers to let you know.
Then, I’ll be going live for the first time EVER on Instagram at 4:00 p.m. central time to answer questions and….*drum roll* announce the winners of the giveaway!
Don’t worry. If you can’t tune in, it doesn’t null your winnings. I’ll message each winner directly to let them know.
It’s going to be an exciting week.
And I finally get all three of my days off this week! No overtime, just my actual 40 hour schedule. That hasn’t happened in a while.
Now, normally I would do a full-on update on how my week went, but this time, I think I’ll just say that I got a lot of editing done on one story, some formatting done on another, and managed to get through all of my days.
I might do a full blog about this past week…next week. I’m not sure yet. It’s been an absolute train wreck.
These three days off could not have been better timed.
For now, though…
Keep reading. Keep writing.