Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Little People From Start To Finish Part 3

The Little People From Start To Finish Part 3

Once the main characters were established along with the setting and circumstances for the story, I then introduced the main villain. I did not want to reveal him right away, but gave hints to let the reader know that he was there.
I tried to build anticipation for who and what he was, what his motives were, and what he was doing. I wanted to slowly reveal what was happening with him.
For me, when I am writing, it is like a movie that is being played in my mind, being continually created by my imagination. I just write what I see there. Sometimes the story flows quickly, but at other times I hit stumbling blocks and have to step back and think about the direction it is going. It isn’t always easy. Sometimes the story doesn’t flow well, or doesn’t make sense so I have to go back and rethink the direction. That, or if I have an idea about an element that I want to add but do not know enough about it to write it properly, I step away so I can rethink the situation or do research to properly explain whatever it is that is happening at that part of the story.
Writing can be very similar to doing design work, illustrating, drawing, painting or many other forms of art. The one difference is that if you make a mistake, you can go in and correct it. In some forms of art, that isn’t always easy to do.
For the length of time that it took to write the first draft, which seemed like a really long time, that is usually only a small part of the whole process. Once the first draft was done, I think I ended up rewriting, changing and adding to it probably at least four or five times.
As the story progressed, I began to try and tie all of the characters together and provide relevant arcs. I wanted to give every character a purpose. An example of this is Adam’s grandparents. Not only do they help provide background information, they also tie in and help bring about important information and pivotal elements that are key to the story. Elements such as Adam’s Native American heritage, the magic necklace and rattle, going to a Native American Pow Wow, buying gifts for his new friends, the villain’s spies following Adam as he spends times with them, etc.
Another element that I built into the story was the progression of time as related to holidays. When I was a child, the assorted holidays were always a time of family, excitement, fun and fellowship. Holidays always mean different things to different people, but for me, especially as a child, it was an important time to be with family.
My father and grandparents always tried to make those times special. Whether it was hunting for candy left by the Bunny at Easter, shooting fireworks on the 4th of July, dressing up and trick-or-treating at Halloween, eating together at Thanksgiving, or opening presents at Christmas, each holiday was spent together and I wanted to share a little of that togetherness in the story.

More in part 4

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Little People From Start To Finish Part 2

One of the hardest parts for me in starting a new story, is actually starting. Figuring out where and how to begin a story has always been the most difficult part. For The Little People, since I was dealing with young people, I tried to rely upon memories from when I was a child from some of the things that happened to me, and my friends. One thing that seemed to happen regularly was bullying. From what one sees in the news today, it still happens quite a bit. I was fortunate that this did not happen to me much from other people, because I had an older brother who ran interference. Of course my bother picked on me some, but not excessively. Others were not so fortunate.

Drawing on those memories helped me to determine a course of action for the beginning of the story. Another element that I drew upon was the memories I had from having to move to new homes. My father was in the military so we had to move several times when I was younger.

Both of these elements gave me what I needed for a beginning. As I began the story, I wanted to open with some action that quickly brought the reader into the main character’s development, and give the reader someone to sympathize with.

The next element was to give a background and set the scene for the main characters and to begin developing the relationships between them. Once I had established that, I set out to introduce some of the other, magical characters.

As I was doing research and was trying to come up with Native American characters to fill in for the ones in my dream, I came across many stories in Native American mythologies that dealt with animals. Being an animal person, I quickly decided to try and work in animal characters. I tried to find animals that we were familiar with and that would adequately represent the more fantastic fantasy characters that were in my dream. I also wanted animals that were native to the southern part of the United States.

Being a fantasy adventure story however, I still wanted that element of magic or the fantastical, so I gave the animals human intelligence, unusually long lives, and the ability to speak. They were also an integral part of the background mythology that was used to set the main plot line.

I also tried to select key scenes from within the story to illustrate. The drawing of the turtle is the first time Adam encounters one of the Little People.

More in Part 3

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Little People From Start To Finish Part 1

Every time I create something, whether it is a piece of art, photography, video production, sculpture, or writing, there is always something new and different. Even though there are always familiar elements, there are always changes and differences.
When I was first considering writing another novel, I had a few vague ideas, but nothing solid. Oddly enough, the inspiration for The Little People came one morning after I awoke. I’d had a dream that night that would become the basis for the story. In this dream, most of the characters were what most would consider “mainstream” fantasy personas such as giants, dragons, fairies and elves.
Since many of these types of stories have already been done, many time, I started thinking of ways to change it to be different. While listening to my wife discuss her Native American heritage with her parents, the thought occurred to me, why not use Native American myths and legends and apply them to the overall theme that had occurred in my dream.
From there I began doing research. One of the places I started was with a Native American book my wife’s parents owned that has stories in it. One story in particular was about a mythical little people. From there I went on to find Native American mythical creatures that were similar to the other characters that were in my dream. I also researched how Native American stories were structured and written as well as names and terms.
Once I had all of my characters in place and had a solid outline, I began writing. Since I already had a basic story, I just began filling in the details.
As I was writing, I continued to do research as the need arose. A major difference in this story compared to the first novel I had written, was the fact that I tried to use actual events and places that I knew about, had experienced, or was familiar with.
One example of this is the trailer on a river in the mountains mentioned in the story. When I was a child, my grandparents took me on trips to a trailer they had that was on the Spring River in Hardy, Arkansas. Another example is that a friend of mine that worked at Riceland in Jonesboro, Arkansas was kind enough to give me a tour of their facility. I used many elements from what I saw during the tour in events that take place in the story.
I had also remembered a teacher once telling me that a good way to flesh out a story is to use things that you already know about. So I began incorporating elements from places, people and events that I had personally experienced in my life.

More in Part II

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Little People Fantasy Adventure Novel

My newest novel is now available online in multiple formats.

After moving to a new town due to his mother being ill, a young boy named Adam discovers the last tribe of magical Little People called Nuh-na-yie, living in the forest behind his new home.
When Europeans began migrating to the Americas the Nuh-na-yie started losing their magic so they decided to leave our world. Before they could magically cross over to their new home they were attacked by Uktena, an ancient evil winged serpent. Uktena led his people, the Nunnehi or dark Little People to try and capture the Nuh-na-yie and take from them the key of crossing. During the battle some of the Nuh-na-yie and their animal spirit friends were cut off from the rest of their people and were trapped in our world along with Uktena and his minions. During the confusion of the battle the key of crossing was lost.

Through his Native American heritage Adam discovers he has the magic key which has been with his family for generations.

With the help of his little sister Abi and their neighbor Mr. Josh, Adam tries to protect his family, help his new friends defeat Uktena and find the place of crossing so the Nuh-na-yie can rejoin their people.
Based on Native American myths and legends, the Little People is a story of adventure, magic, friendship, family, and self-discovery.

You can find details here:
New Designs

Just added some new art to my web site. At the top is a cover design for my friend Wil Sadler's new book.
Hello and welcome!

This is my first entry. Hope to have interesting things to share.