Editing

Fantasy Friday! Can Your Character Survive A Flaw?

These days, all characters have flaws be it physical, mental or emotional. So if you give your main character a flaw that is integral to your story can your character survive said flaw?

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George R. R. Martin gives us a great example in Tyrion from A Song of Fire and Ice series (better known as HBO’s Game of Thrones). He’s a dwarf with physical limitations to his legs. Not only this but he’s viewed negatively by most everyone around him because of his flaws. He even gains a few more during the course of the series through battle as well as toting a load of emotional baggage. As effective as this characterization is, could he actually survive this flaw as long as he has in real life?

FightingI’m glad you asked. There’s a more recent archaeological discovery that has subsequently brought just such a real-life case to light. Richard III of England’s grave was discovered under a parking lot 2011. For those who are unfamiliar with Richard, he died in the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485 which pretty much ended the Wars of the Roses. One way he was identified was by a specific physical handicap – severe scoliosis or curvature of the spine. By severe I mean a 30% curvature – very noticeable. The unusual thing is that all accounts of the battle indicate that Richard fought with great skill and nearly won the battle. He unhorsed a jousting champion, killed Henry Tudor’s standard-bearer and almost killed Henry.

A recent episode of Secrets of the Dead actually examined whether Richard III could actually have functioned as a knight on the battlefield. They found a volunteer with very similar scoliosis and began to determine what his physical capabilities were. They realized that Richard would have needed specially designed armor and that the medieval saddle would have benefited him with greater support. In the show, they were able to outfit their volunteer and give him some basic training as a re-enactor. They were even able to show that Richard would have been able to ride in the charge and effectively use weaponry.

knights fightingHowever, physical limitations were also discovered. The re-enactor had less stamina due to the scoliosis affecting his ability to breathe well during exertion. In spite of Richard’s skills and training he may well have been just as limited.

Richard lost the battle for a number of reasons one of which was Lord Stanley’s failure to advance behind the initial charge. But Richard favored fast charges and ending battles quickly. If you lacked stamina for long physical exertions you would likely choose the same strategy. However, in this instance the charge actually took much longer. I could see Richard almost making it to victory only to be thwarted by his own malady as much as other circumstances. This one time, Richard likely misjudged the circumstances due to “the fog of war”. Had he known or thought it through better he might have chosen a different strategy. But maybe all outcomes would have been the same if Lord Stanley was indeed a traitor.

So as a writer of fantasy, I’m looking harder at my future characters and the flaws I can give them just to twist my plots tighter. Can my character’s survive their flaws? Will they be trapped into exposing their difficulties to enemies through lack of choices – political and otherwise? It’s certainly a way to add more spice to conflict in a story.

Book Cover Green Top & Bottom Cover - CopyPlease share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my Contact page for that information. See the News page for announcements and remember to sign-up to receive news and posts by email. I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. New followers can download The Black Bag via free coupon today! Also, the cover of my book, The Bow of Destiny, was revealed recently so take a look.

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photos via Morguefile.com – free section and Microsoft Office clipart

coverart commissioned

 

Publication Announcements

Hello everyone. I hope you all had a good week. Mine went fast but progressed well. Revision of the Cursed Mage series (formerly Reformed Mage) manuscript was completed and sent to my editor who begins work on it today. I should have that back at the end of the month after which I’ll begin working toward publication. During this month, I’ll continue work on a host of projects but I’m narrowing down my publication schedule for the next several months as follows:

Curses Dark and Foul is almost ready and should be posted on Amazon within a few days so that date is this week as soon as possible. There are several previous posts about this anthology which can be found at the following links:

The Next Step: Curses Dark and Foul

Curses Dark and Foul – More Background

Curses Dark and Foul – A Personal Story

Curses Dark and Foul – Blurb Reveal

Those should catch anyone up on the book background and the cover. This has been a fun little project to work on recently.

 

The White Arrow print edition should be ready on Amazon about mid-September if all goes well. I’ll update this with a specific date when I have one. This will complete print for the entire three-book series and round out the main formats being available (eBook, print and audio).

The Changeling Incident, which is the prequel for the first Reformed Mage novel, should be released in October, possibly by mid-month. That is part of the current editing for the full novel so it is a priority when the manuscript is back in my hands. There should be a pre-release link available soon.

The Feral Name is the opening novel of the Cursed Mage Case Files series and my hope is to release it between October 26th and November 16th depending on how much work will be done on the final version. I’ve contacted my artist about a cover and should have that within a few weeks to share here. I will have a pre-release link available as soon as possible. I’m going to print from the start with these novels in addition to ebook. Audio is a desire and I’ll approach my publisher with the manuscript and pre-release sales to see if they are interested in the series. Audio is not immediate release expectation. but I hope to add it quickly after the first book is published and possibly release this format with the subsequent titles if that works out at all.

Otherwise, I’ll begin work on the next book in the Cursed Mage series this month to complete that revision for hand-off to my editor during October or November. Book three of this series should be right behind that and the hope is to release these two books in early 2021, February and April being the respective timelines. My expectation is to complete dictation of the last three books over the interim and possibly release the untitled fourth book during late 2021.

One more series is targeted for initial release during 2021 which is under the working reference of Black Glove. This first in series novel is ready for editing now and I’ll get it on the editing schedule if I don’t give Inkshares a submission with it. It’s my plan to quickly plan the entire series so I can dictate the next several books in the coming months too.

The Broken Shield series and the sequel series for The Bow of Hart Saga are also in the works, the former already having a completed rough draft. I have one other completed rough draft for a fantasy named All Things Forgotten and I hope to plan a full series for it as well during August. I should be busy with all the revisions and planning for dictation this month, but I’ll be ready to pivot to my main title of the year when the time arrives.

That’s all for today. Look for the release announcement of Curses Dark and Foul within a few days. Thanks for stopping by today and reading about the latest updates.

 

So Close It’s Almost Within Reach

Good evening everyone. I’m a little late getting the post out today since my weekend was busy. I wasn’t entirely sure how far I would get with my manuscript last week so I held off working on a post until I had a good idea how far along I was. There was also the matter of attending a writers conference online last Friday and Saturday which took up a large fraction of my time this week.

The good news is that I have made a lot of progress, but the bad news is the revision of Reformed Mage is still not finished. The writing conference put me further behind than I expected, however the progress is still significant. I have begun stitching together the various pieces of the manuscript. The structure of the book is organized so these parts fit together nicely once complete. As I finish each section it is added to the revised manuscript. My hope is to very quickly complete the main portion of the revision and send it to my editor within a few days. Of course, this also means I’m closer to releasing the prequel for this first novel, The Changeling Incident.

Being stuck on the revision means that my other projects remain on hold. However, I only expect them to be on hold for a few more days, after which I hope to quickly wrap those up. The pre-launch should be underway for Curses Dark and Foul within a matter of days. It will be a relief to be able to move on to my various other projects while my novel is being edited. I expect to work through quite a lot a the various books I have on tap, but also want to take time to relax more than I have and not expect so much from myself. Likewise, it’s also a chance to review aspects of my writing platform will like updating the website.

Overall, it should be a good time to make steady progress many different aspects of my writing. Just completing the revision helps clarify the way forward for the next two books in the Reformed Mage series. Completing this stage of the novel also provides time for planning the way forward three other series so I can begin dictating more books. This revision will be a big step forward and it’s my hope that I can get some feedback about the book from a few beta readers in addition to my editor’s observations. Knowing what I’m going to do with the next several books in the Reformed Mage series should make revision and editing a much faster prospect.

As soon as I have Curses Dark and Foul ready to upload and a link available, I’ll post the pre-release announcement. This is a chance to hone my release plans leading up to a robust release for the novel. The hope is to improve on what I’ve done in the past with The Bow of Hart Saga releases. I hope to update the next three release time-lines – Curses Dark and Foul, The Changeling Incident and The Feral Name (the working title for the first Reformed Mage book) in the near future as well as the more long-term releases.

Thanks for dropping by this evening and reading the updates. The more I have ready ahead of time, the more specific my release dates become. Please leave your comments and thoughts below and I’ll get back with you as I can.