When I set out with the idea of writing an epic fantasy trilogy, this was an adventure in itself You see, I didn’t want to offer a story that didn’t feel was real, with characters that were not properly thought about and researched. I have been an Actor for many years, and recently turned to writing, which I love, but when I was an Actor, one of my primary concerns and goals, was that I tried my level best to make my performance, the character I was portraying, as real as possible.
I would research that character to the point I could tell you what they would eat for breakfast on a Sunday morning, or maybe they always skipped breakfast, could they afford a small clapped out car? or maybe enough money to have a Porsche? where they liked to go on holiday, did they have children? and even how many children? and was one of the the children the black sheep in the family and cause constant problems? and so on.
Yep, make that character, and the lives they live, and also the lives of those around them, as believable as possible, then the performance would be so much better. It certainly worked for me. Each and every time.
Ok, so now we come to the urban fantasy adventure. It is a trilogy, and called The Wand Chronicles, there will ultimately be three books: Elfistra the Sorceress, Kia the Empath and Eternity. I have, by the way, already published two books previously, both quite different, one a comedy (Memoirs from the S.B.C.) the other a true life story (Just Five More Minutes)so cut my teeth and gained some experience along the way, but this new project is exciting.
So I am at the planning stage, and I want to make these characters as believable
as possible. Now, it is set eighty odd years in the future, and initially will involve Humans on Earth, but then also Elves in another dimension which is called Laniakeea. (roughly translates from Elvish to the immeasurable dimension). Working on the Human characters, or the Earthans, as I call them, is fairly straight forward. They are like you and me after all. And we all have, depending on your age, lived life experiences, come across everything from death to love, to people you hate to those you adore and the myriad of feelings that are associated with all of these emotions. So my Human characters took shape pretty quickly and I would like to think that they are as real as you can get. Some, you are going to absolutely hate, others, you will instantly like, with all sorts in-between.
However, I now come to creating the Elvish characters from the Laniakeean dimension. Once, I ordered a multi-functional desk from a store that I needed to build up. I took everything out of the box, counted the screws, laid out all the different pieces and shapes and sizes of wood. Then I did a ‘man’ thing, well, a ‘man’ thing, if you are not a joiner or very competent at DIY. I sat and stared at all the pieces for half an hour, re-read the instructions that were very badly translated from Korean into English..well I think it was a form of English, I wasn’t really sure. I couldn’t even find the right piece of wood to start with? So I phoned up the store, and a snotty woman told me that even a six year old could build it.
When I asked her if she had a spare six year old that could pop around to my place and put it all together, she promptly put the phone down on me. (As it happened, that first piece of wood, was missing. They sent an inspector who checked the contents and told me this. The inspector was older than six, by the way), so it was, in my head I knew I wanted some certain types of Elf in my story. But of course, I have no life experience of Elves to go off. I must lead a sad life, I simply haven’t met any, they certainly don’t shop at Tesco's or go to the local cinema, so I am having to build up characters, that are brand new, that are, excuse the pun, entirely alien to me, but I still want them to be as believable as possible.
Luckily for me, in my story, the Earthans and the Laniakeeans, share a very distant ancestry. Bearing in mind, that the Elves in their dimension, were around for more than 3.7 million years before we on Earth were beginning to walk upright as apes. So, slowly at first, I started to build up the Elvish characters, and what has helped me, is not to come up with ideas directly in my head (although that is ultimately where they all come from) but how my now established Earthan characters would see and experience the Elves, from their perspective. That has helped a lot I go into the head of a young Earthan general, who is called Hugo Brough, and when he suddenly appears in the Elvish dimension, I look and experience the interaction through his eyes, to help me build up these alien characters.
Remember, it is not only the Elvish characters I am building up here, it is Hugo’s interaction with a landscape, with technology, with a way of life with it’s diverse customs that is totally alien. Where an action on Earth, would be welcome and pleasant, it would be an insult of the highest degree to an Elf. So I am finding I need to keep myself grounded, look through Hugo’s eyes, but with the eyes of a six year old. And by that i mean, in wonder and with an amazement that you can only see on a child's face that is seeing something for the very first time. As I compose these adventures, I would like to invite you to contribute, in any way you would, to help me on my ‘realism’ path. I will ask questions, it may be that I’m having a little problem with a plot line, or a character and so on., and I may ask you if feel that character seems real to you.
For now, this is my first introduction. The website is amazing. Here is where you will find my blogs. I have a wonderful artistic illustrator called Magdalena Adić, who constructs all the images you will see. I am also having some original music to play when you land on the website. For me this is very exciting, and would love you to be a part of this journey. We will set up ways for you to show your interest, and sign up (no money needed) and get involved.
For now, my email: email@example.com is live if there is anything you would like to say in the meantime.
Take care all, Live long and prosper, Michael Ross
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