I have gotten a bunch of feedback from reviewers of my first book The Divine Tempest, and one of the biggest things they are saying is that my fantasy world and the characters therein are unique, even among other writers in my genre. I honestly didn’t think about that when I was writing up my book. In fact, I just wanted to make a world that would be fun to read and tantalizing to the imagination. In light of this feedback, I want to share my process and give you a glimpse into the love and care I took in crafting my world with you. Mayhap you will find it enlightening as well or possibly just an entertaining read. Shall we get started?
The first part of the process is rather simple. I do something called stream of thought writing, where I just put ideas that I simply think are cool or awesome on the page. Everyone has these ideas, like “Man wouldn’t it be awesome if…” and then bam! That goes on the page. This actually helps develop the character because it makes me giddy about getting started. That level of energy that I can then throw into my project will translate into the characters and make them that much better.
The same thing goes for the world. What kinds of things do YOU think make a good fantasy world? Why did you like these ideas? What was it that really made them shine? Think about what you like and dislike. Do you like werewolves? What about elves, dwarves, and orcs? What is it about these creatures that makes them sing in your head? You may not want to actually have orcs, dwarves, and elves in your book, but they are extremely good influences for fantasy specifically, mainly due to their popularity.
As an example, I love werewolves and vampires. Oh man, I can’t get enough of them, but I don’t really enjoy writing horror, which is a bit of a problem if I want to include either. (Nothing wrong with the genre, it just isn’t my thing.) That was when I started investigating what traits made these races so awesome!
For werewolves, I realized I like the shape changing aspect, weak one moment, a raging machine of walking death the next. So I set out to create a race that would fit this particular bill but would also fit within the world I was to create that I could also use in the long run and not just as a one shot “Oh this is cool, look, it is shiny and fun!” for one scene. Enter the anthra (Short for anthropomorphic kind of/sort of). This is a race of beings that can transform into large humanoid animals. (Like a werewolf, but also can transform into bears, hawks, squirrels, etc.) They can only transform at night. I wrote out their society to be nature-loving and vaguely influenced by American Indian tradition.
Then vampires. I have always seen vampires as troubled souls that walk a blood filled living nightmare where they are forever a beast, trying to escape by faking their humanity but never truly succeeding. This is tempered by their amazing physical attributes and makes them silent brooding characters with explosive combat ability. One of my characters (shh, spoilers! Special kudos to anyone who guesses which character!) is just that. He is tainted by a cursed bloodline and is constantly haunted by nightmares of his past. I also kept the increased combat abilities (durability, strength, and regeneration) but got rid of the daylight sensitivity because that would severely limit his usefulness in the story. Given that there is only one of him, I felt it was okay to make him a bit strong.
These are only a few examples of how to make your writing fun and unique. Hopefully it has been helpful! Feel free to follow this blog for future posts by other great authors and if you have any feedback, feel free to post it in the comments below! Cheers everyone!
A Scholar’s Journey: The Divine Tempest
A Scholar’s Journey: The Divine Tempest is a no-holds-barred fantasy brawl. It begins when the God of Justice and Retribution opens The Abyss and unleashes a vengeful demon upon the mortal realm of Therra.
Now it is up to scholar Penndarius Greyson and his tormented protector, martial artist Soren Luna Mortalitas, to stop a crisis that would send shockwaves through the very fabric of creation. In addition, Penndarius is waging an internal battle with a disembodied presence attempting to possess his mind. The two heroes must avoid death or capture, but there is a catch: They have only one day to solve a riddle older than history before a dark host of unstoppable demons is released into the world.
The Divine Tempest includes warring factions, betrayal and redemption, and of course, Herrick Erickson-Brigl’s trademark: epic fight scenes. This is the lean, hard-hitting first installment in a series that follows Penndarius’s growth as the avatar of the God of Creation and Soren’s reclamation of his lethal family’s humanity.
Purchase A Scholar’s Journey: The Divine Tempest on Amazon. Don’t forget to enter the Divine Tempest giveaway for a chance to win a Kindle and an Amazon GC!