I ran some of my ideas by my friend Deanna, Patrick and Richard who all have different perspectives on the topic. Everyone had some awesome perspectives that really helped me find peace with how everything should fit into the story.
I have found that I need to be careful when I’m getting outside influences into my writing style and how I allow the different things I read or hear affect my story. Richard listens to a lot of discussions and training sessions from various successful authors, which is very good and gives you some great ideas for what to consider when writing. At the same time, I’ve found that sometimes these different perspectives can really make you question your own story line and ideas. Finding a middle path between your own ideas and outside influences I think is very important. I know I listened to one forum of six well known authors discussing magic theory and world design that messed me up for a good two weeks before I felt like I was back to where I needed to be for my storyline.
I’m not saying it’s wrong to listen to how people are creating these very successful stories and worlds, because it is. What I will say is that you need to be careful once you start writing to be able to keep a certain distance between theory and your current story’s design.
Luckily for me, I was able to find myself once again and keep my magic and their practitioners where I wanted them to be. Somewhere between general accepted character types such as Clerics and Paladins while hopefully still keeping a slight mystical unknown quality to their abilities that come out in a logical way within the story.
Recently my biggest dilemma was how to add in romance/eroticism into my story in a way that fit my characters and overall story arc. When I think of some of the best stories that many of us love, a good example would be The Lord of the Rings series, there is not a lot of romance/eroticism within its pages. Even the love between Aragon and Arwen is very light and subdued, there is no question to the depth and the love that they have for one another.
Now I have to be somewhat careful to not give away any spoilers, but I was always a big fan of Pierce Anthony’s The Apprentice Adept series. I read the series at a very young age and there is no doubt that the mixed species relationships within the story affected me greatly. I will be exploring my own twist to such a story line in my Book Two.
Startüm Ironwolf will be facing many new challenges on Irlendria, including those involving the heart. Along with him are many new supporting characters that are dealing with their unique love situations. Although many of these relationships will be interspecies love affairs that cross many boundaries, I am not going to make the story into an erotic novel per say. At the same time I do plan to explore each of these relationships in much more depth than I had originally planned ... at least in the heavy panting way, so there will be a flavor of the erotic to a point. I think it’s important to have a comfortable medium that works within the overall flow of the story.
If that sounds confusing, think of it this way. Would the Lord of the Rings have been a better story if Aragon and Arwen had hot steamy R-rated sex scene in the movie? Wait … wait, I mean yea I could have gone with seeing more of Arwen too, but that’s not the point I’m trying to make here. Let me try this again. Would an R-rated sex scene have fit within the overall flavor of the series itself? I think not. At the same time, I would have liked a little more focus on their time together.
With the Last Paladin Series I have more flexibility within the story in this way. I think the story line itself is better setup for more closer and descriptive romantic scenes between characters that would not detract from the overall story itself. At the same time the story is not the same flavor as Good Intentions. Startüm doesn’t have a Succubus at his beck and call to lead him down a path of eroticism while fighting the good fight. Part of my week and a half pause in writing was to determine how best to tweak the story and fit in the intimacy between characters that many of us find so interesting, while still keeping true to the overall story arc.
I believe I’ve found a happy medium for the Last Paladin Series.