Sunday, October 5, 2014

Don Quixote

This is the third entry in my How, How, How, Where series. The blog title comes from one of my favorite musicals. Man of La Mancha. It's based on the novel Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. My favorite song from the musical (probably from ANY musical) is "The Impossible Dream". 

A little like Les Miserables', "I Dreamed a Dream", but with a positive ending. We sang it (The Impossble Dream) when I was in high school choir. Great song. Okay, I can't resist. I'll post the lyrics before I start today's topic. 

To dream the impossible dream

To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go

To right the unrightable wrong
To love pure and chaste from afar
To try when your arms are too weary
To reach the unreachable star

This is my quest
To follow that star
No matter how hopeless
No matter how far

To fight for the right
Without question or pause
To be willing to march into Hell
For a heavenly cause

And I know if I'll only be true
To this glorious quest
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm
When I'm laid to my rest

And the world will be better for this
That one man, scorned and covered with scars
Still strove with his last ounce of courage
To reach the unreachable star

How I Decide What to Write About

This question is a little more complicated than the first two. Theme, genre, characters. All fall under this entry. 

Theme: The central idea of a story

The main theme for the Dems Trilogy is redemption. Coming back from the brink. 

In "No Light" Farran has lost himself. He has become dark and jaded, miles from the person he was in the past. Sarah, the epitome of what he has come to hate, becomes who he loves the most. She is his way back. She frees him before he ever escapes from The Corridor. 

In "Darkness Blooming" Lonan is the one seeking redemption. His brother, who once loved and protected him, has come to hate and distrust him. Most of Lonan's actions are done to regain the esteem of his brother, Farran. In his quest, he falls in love with Rissa.   

His past (and Farran's) is explored in greater depth in "Shadows Fall", the third book of the Dems Trilogy.

Aside from redemption, I also explore love, family ties, corruption, and prejudice. I don't select themes before I start writing. I just let the story choose the theme. But those are the ones I see reoccurring most often. 

Genre: The category of writing

I write dark fantasy and science fiction romance. Mostly. I also blend adventure, suspense, and a teeny bit of horror. 

I write what I like to read. As a reader, I like reading about alternate realities and dystopian futures. Solving mysteries, winning battles, falling in love. I've always been partial to reading horror, but I don't write it. I prefer writing what my ten-year-old cousin calls "kissy face stuff". 

Characters: People portrayed in literature

I like to write flawed characters. I like my hero and heroine to be good people, but also dealing with a personal battle. Maybe it's their situation or maybe it's internal. Either way, they need to make mistakes so they can learn and grow. I also like to balance my couples. Alternating strengths and weaknesses.

I love strong characters, but I think there are different kinds of strength. In "No Light", Sarah is strong in her defense of her brother, in her love, and in her loyalty. She won't be fighting any great battles, but she has strength of character. 

Abby, from Kingdom Come, is completely different. She is willing and able to fight for herself. When she realizes how bad the situation is, she throws aside her fears of losing her job to do what she believes to be right. She has confidence in herself and she is outspoken.

I also prefer to write complicated villains. I think it is scarier to have a villain who believes he or she is in the right than one who is simply evil for the sake of being evil. 

In "No Light", Lonan truly believes he is doing the right thing. He is driven by love to commit a horrible act. I think it makes him both easy and difficult to hate. 

Now, having said all that, I mostly just write whatever comes to me. Writing for any length of time you will notice patterns. Character traits, word choice, story theme. 

So, feel free to leave a comment about what you have discovered in your own writing or in the writing of your favorite author. What do you like to read about? Write about?

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