Time for a new weekly writer’s roundup of my works-in-progress and those ready to read!
This week I received great beta-reader feedback on both The Unicorn Hunters and Tears of the Joyous Mare. Lauren and Amy both did fantastic jobs and pointed out a number of things to refine. :-) As The Unicorn Hunters was the longest and had by far the most feedback, I dove into revising it on Sunday and Monday. I’m really happy with the fourth draft that has resulted from that work.
Lauren’s feedback on Hunters was helpful in many ways. It brought into focus how I’ve been developing my style of dialogue structure, and that it’s consistently noted as a strong point. And that I’ve built a strong knack for describing action. These are good things to hear as I like writing action and my characters tend to talk quite a bit. ;-)
She also had some Point-of-View confusion in places that forced me to define more clearly the style of POV that I’ve been developing. Frankly, I’ve just been using it because it works for me naturally in my style of storytelling. I had been thinking of it as simply 3rd person limited narrative, but Lauren helped me to realize that my stories are actually in a variant of that.
In standard 3rd person limited, the narrative has one POV character that the reader will know the internal thoughts and feelings of. Everyone else is described only in what can be experienced externally (seen, heard, etc.).
What I do is, for lack of a better term, “3rd person limited-limited” POV. In it, the narrator doesn’t know the thoughts or feelings of any of the characters… Not even the main character even if the “camera” of the story follows them and has them in the scene. Therefore, none of the scenes in this style are intended to be from anyone’s POV other than this disembodied narrative voice/essence that can’t get into anyone’s head… Or does so very rarely.
It’s a tool that works for me to force showing and not telling. And I like how it emulates our perception of reality in a small way: Most of us aren’t telepaths that can read minds and experience what another is thinking or feeling. So I use my narrative voice to direct the reader to what is going on and highlight details like a cinematographer. I make some allowances for sensations to aid in description, but I try to break the POV as little as possible.
It’s a style that I’ve been growing into, and I’ve by no means mastered it. However, so far many seem to be enjoying it. :-)
Although I had hoped to start posting installments of The Unicorn Hunters next week on Aethereal Engines, sadly I had a beta-reader back out. The availably of my next reader on the list is combining with my own tight schedule to cause me frustration… But it can’t be helped. I’ve still got a ton of work to finish before the convention in two weeks. And my ailing old cat has not only been a source of worry, but has also needed my love and attention. It’ll just have to wait until early July.
I still have to finish the Ork Quest game for PortCon, but I’ve made good progress on it and I hope to be done writing the adventure tonight. Then I’m going to piledrive right into writing The Werewolf Wrestling Federation vs. the Vampire Women!
My inner ten-year-old wresting and monster-movie fan is ecstatic. ;-)
I think it’s going to be an interesting game. Although it’s certainly going to have its share of over-the-top pro-wrestling action mixed with B-grade monster movie hijinks, there’s another layer on top of it. I’m working with the ideas of shapeshifting and the metaphorical “masks” we all wear. Werewolves are a prominent mythic archetype of having two very different faces that someone can show the world.
I prefer to use werewolves a symbolic bridges, showing how the different sides of our natures can blend into a synthesis and alliance of natures that at first glance might be seen as in opposition. My werewolves tend to be calm and at peace with who they are, and usually only as violent as a situation requires them to be. Left to their own devices, I imagine them as being just as social and fun-loving as they are cunning.
Although they are not werewolves, the wolf-kin in my story “The Old Man of the Elder Trees” have these elements. My flash-fiction story “Rumble at the Red Rock Tavern” has actual werewolves that have these traits in a modern setting… and a great big brawl as well!
With the Werewolf Wrestling Federation, the players are indeed werewolf pro-wrestlers (or possibly other were-creatures) in a world where such supernatural people have recently “come out of the closet” and gone public. These are not cursed individuals that go on murderous rampages. Werewolves in this setting encompass a wide variety of humans, members of families that have the ability to shapeshift into wolves or whatever.
The goal of the Federation is to show weres as people that just so happen to have this power. That they can be just as good or as bad as other people, and that werewolves are cool. It’s a big shift in tactic from the hundreds of years they’ve spent hiding their natures out of fear of prosecution. But the idea of showing werewolves as heroes and not monsters or animals is key… because the weres don’t loose their human consciousness when they change.
Like real-life pro-wrestling, the players take on the roles of entertainers that preform the stunts and storylines of staged matches and more. However, they do so while mixing-in werewolf shapeshifting… which makes them quite a bit more entertaining than mundane pro-wrestling. ;-)
Yet, although the “werewolf” mask might be off, the “mask” of their wrestling personas, or “kayfabe”, is very much on them.
They are all playing the roles of good and bad guys, faces and heels. But underneath that entertainment persona, the “faces” might not be all that good… and the “heel” whose job is to be booed by the crowd might actually be a really nice guy.
Then something goes off-script. A new storyline with an uncertain ending and very real consequences is introduced. Masks might need to be maintained, but the roles beneath them will need to be revised as an ancient evil rises from the grave seeking vengeance…
…And the only hope for us all are Werewolf Wrestlers. ;-)
Alright, time for me to stop blogging and get back to writing some more fiction! Take care!