Well as you know if you follow my blog I have undergone the challenge of 100 books read in 1 year. (Daft sod I know 🙂 )
Well I have been learning some new things, or realising old knowledge that hadn’t been confirmed.
‘Hang on, What?!?’
I hear you, I’ve not gone mad. I’ll explain what I mean by putting down what I realised/re learnt about writing stories.
All fantasy stories have conflict, or struggle between two factions.
Lord of the Rings – Elves and Men ( and Dwarves ) against Orcs
Song of Ice and Fire – The North against The South, dragons versus lions, wolves against lions, in fact pretty much every one against lions, including some lions!
King Killer Chronicles – Kvothe versus Ambrose, the Chandrian, himself.
As far as I can see all fantasy stories have one or more heart rendering moments.
Those moments you feel so sad, possibly even cry because of the shear despair of the story.
A desperate situation, where the character has to make a horrid choice, the lesser of 2 evils perhaps.
Or where someone the main character loves dearly dies, or even a character the reader loves dies ( G R R Martin, I’m looking at you! )
They all, almost always have lots of what I call OMG moments.
Remember I said so and so’s dead? well Surprise their not! OMG!
Or so and so isn’t so and so they are actually whats his face! OMG!
Or it wasn’t that fella you’ve hated since page 5 who killed everyone, it was the real bad guy and the fella you have hated all this time is actually a good guy! OMG!
Or vice verser the good guy just went mad and killed everyone! OMG! (and what the hell)
The good ones have a twist or reveal something really exciting.
Ever read a book, or indeed watch a film, and your certain of something all the way through then right at the end you go OMG, no way, I didn’t see that coming! That’s what I mean.
Films like Sixth Sense, Prometheus, even the last Twilight film did it!
I guess this point could fall under the OMG moment point, but I thought it deserved its own point.
And lastly they mostly have the YES! moments.
Those moments when you just have to hiss or shout yesssss! Generally making everyone around you stare at you ( yes I have done this on more than one occasion )
The moment Joff dies in Song of Ice and Fire.
When Kvothe sets Ambrose’s room on fire.
Those lovely moments when karma is restored and that annoying little sod gets just whats coming to him, or when your favourite character has battled against everything and everyone and succeeded even though all the odds where against them.
You know that moment when you just think HA! with defiance.
G R R Martin has spectacular command over the 2nd and 3rd points, ***SPOILER ALERT*** I mean killing off basically all the main characters in the first and second book, totally threw me. But it made me read more and more. Then bringing them back to life was like WTH!!! Mind just went POP!
But anyway you may all have known these things, and well so did I but what I didn’t realise or think about is just how much influence they have over a story, or in fact a reader.
When used correctly they make you read, look at Harry Potter (kids book, yeah right) and Twilight, utter teenage tosh some would say, but they both had me crying at certain points in the book and OMG’ing. So if these not so ‘epic and legendary’ books can do this with these simple techniques shall we say, just image how spectacular my book could be, as I am writing a more seriously fantasy book.
And well its exciting, and really helps to stoke that writing fire. I know a lot of interesting ideas came to me after thinking on these techniques and how I can use them.
Well I just wanted to share, possibly inspire, and give any budding/struggling writers something to think on, some fuel for their fires.
Until next time, adieu 🙂