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
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