Tag Archives: how to write

E is for Eryka (and Eaglecrest)

Eryka is the intended love interest for Brydon, the main character, or more specifically he is the intended love interest from Eryka’s perspective. Most of the residents of Falara are also firmly behind them as a romantic pairing, since Brydon is an upstanding citizen, a knight-priest of the Brotherhood of the Lance, and came from humble working stock. They also make a fine-looking couple and there is little doubt that they would produce beautiful children. Their relationship is complicated, however, as much of their time together was spent with Brydon doing Eryka’s bidding while she ordered him around like a glorified servant. To be fair, they were both children and she was exceedingly spoiled. Brydon spent quite a lot of time in the castle Eaglecrest while his father was a royal smith, but when his father died he joined the knight-priests in order to obtain a steady income and support his mother, who moved back to the small village where Brydon had spent most of his early childhood.

"Blacksmith tools" by Lacen - National park Krka, Croatia. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Blacksmith_tools.JPG#mediaviewer/File:Blacksmith_tools.JPG

“Blacksmith tools” by Lacen – National park Krka, Croatia. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Blacksmith_tools.JPG#mediaviewer/File:Blacksmith_tools.JPG

Eaglecrest itself can refer to either the city or the castle that overlooks it. The royal palace was carved into the immense stone cliffs that tower above the city like watchful guardians. The place is practically impregnable, reached only by a narrow, winding path that crawls up to the massive gates midway up the wall. Eaglecrest Castle has never been under assault, partly due to the fact that the Redolian forces seldom make it as far as the city, even at their most organized, but also because one would have to be mad to attempt it. The defenses of the city itself are minimal, as the citizens rely on the fact that they can flee to the castle for protection in the event of a rare attack.

Brydon is not sure about Eryka’s motivation in regards to his quest. They never had a romantic connection and, in fact, he often wondered if she liked him at all. At best she seemed to tolerate him and at worst she treated him like a scullery. He suspected she had been pressured into making a decision as her birthday approached and, in desperation, had chosen the least offensive option available. Despite his puzzlement, Brydon was gratified at her trust in him, although he was not particularly happy at the idea of leaving his mother alone while he jaunted halfway across the world in search of an item that might be nothing but a myth. As for the quest itself, he frequently wondered why she had chosen the Gauntlet of Ven-Kerrick. He had asked her point-blank on the day she had chosen him as a suitor and she had replied with a cryptic, “Because I want it.” As he was accustomed to hearing that particular phrasing and seeing the entitled jut of her chin that accompanied the words, he had known there would be no additional information forthcoming. At the end of the day, Eryka was still the future queen of Falara and Brydon would always be a loyal subject. Whatever her motivation, he would do his duty and fulfill the terms of the quest to the end.

At least, he always thought he would.

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Killing Those Who Annoy You – A How-to Guide

Remember your ex-boyfriend or girlfriend? The controlling Narcissist that called you seven hundred and fifty times a day to make sure you weren’t flirting with the cute sales rep at your office? Or think about that boss you had who made every working hour torture with her micro-managing soul-destroying decisions (that she would conveniently forget were her idea the moment everything went to hell).

Now, think about the minor characters that your protagonist encounters. I say minor characters because those jerks don’t deserve a starring role. Now, imbue their (evil) souls into those pesky, rude characters that lurk in your novel and then kill them in horrible, tragic, and epically satisfying ways. Need someone to randomly die from drinking poison? How about that obnoxious bouncer that won’t let your character into the club? He looks just like the jerk in the Lexus that nearly ran me down last week. Knife-fight, anyone?

You’ll never convince me that George R. R. Martin didn’t create Joffery in the image of every seat-kicking little monster child that inhabits every airline ever, whining for treats and talking about super-irritating crap (my Gameboy died and I’m boooooored) well into the fifth hour of a delayed flight.

It can be hard to pull off this feat if you write romance or stories with less violence, but it’s still possible. Fiction is always better with a red-herring antagonist or some minor character that needs to die in order to move the plot along. Feel free to kill off that upstairs neighbor you had – the one that played the same seventeen notes on his electric guitar at three o’clock in the morning, trying to perfect his “moves” for his upcoming gig. Remember that guy? I just pushed him off a cliff. You’re welcome.

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How to Write Action Scenes!

When I write action scenes, I like to play with toys. Not always, because some scenes are easy enough to visualize, but when I have multiple characters (such as a large battle scene) it is much easier to lay out the scene with visual aids. I prefer to use things that are fun to play with, although I sometimes get sidetracked actually playing with them…

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Heroscape for the win!

So it might be a better idea to use toys with a minimal fun factor.

But any objects will work. I’ve been on the train and blocked action scenes with coins scrounged from my purse. Chess pieces work nicely, as do dice and any small objects such as wrapped candies. I don’t like to use items that are too similar because it can be easy to forget who is who.

As an example, let us suggest we have three characters battling three other characters and a dog. I set the scene as it would be in the beginning and identify each person (or animal). I move each of them into place for the first bit of action and write it out.

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But with better dialog…

This way, you won’t lose track of a character and your readers won’t wonder if one is off picking his nails with a dagger while his friends are being slaughtered. It’s also easier to visualize what each character will do instantly without trying to conjure up the scene in your head. If Badass Girl kills her enemy, she can hurry over and attack the dog that is mauling the leg of her companion.

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You know she could have taken them all herself.

This also allows you to account for time—how long will it take her to get to her friend? Will she need to run? Will she have to hurtle a dead body to get there? It will also allow you to focus on details you might miss while trying to juggle the whole scene in your head. (Did her sword get caught on a bit of armor—or bone?) What if one character trips? He’ll be down for a minute while the others are still moving.

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You get extra points for making sound effects while maneuvering them. *gurgle*

This works with any action scene that has multiple players, even non-battle scenes. Picture a large ballroom with two characters dancing while a third tries to get to them. Blocking it out this way and using tangible objects can make the scene much quicker to write, and more realistic in the long run. It is also a lot of fun.

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He’s no Legolas, but he’ll do in a pinch.

You heard the man.

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