Tuesday, December 23, 2008

In the Mail

I sent my second manuscript to Tate Publishing for review, and also a paper copy to Tor which publishes a lot of fantasy genre books. I am hoping that Tor is interested in my book, but I am willing to give Tate a try at my second one. In all honesty I am not entirely pleased with them based on sales, and am frustrated that I have had 3 different marketing representatives in two years, but otherwise they have been helpful and friendly and I am thankful that they published my work, as amateurish as it was. I was also pleased that people who read my manuscript noticed that my writing has improved. I am still pursuing my goal of writing full time but in order to accomplish that, I am going to have to improve. Hopefully I am on the right track. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I have faith in my work and hope others see some value in it. Writing I am finding out is like many of the other artistic fields; difficult. Artists, musicians, writers, and others all suffer the same challenges, doing what we love while supporting a family, or even one's self. Good thing I am a teacher too I guess.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Organization of Time in Pavshia

For anyone who might be a Sureshot nerd (like me) you might find this interesting. I am not quite as bad as Tolkein who made up languages for his characters, but I have spent a lot of time developing the world I write my stories in.

1st age: Age of Heroes

In this first age societies are characterized by heroes. In Genesis there is an odd verse that suggests that there were fallen angles (sons of God) or some such “super” beings who mingled with humans and produced super humans.

Genesis 6:

1 When men began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, 2 the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. 3 Then the LORD said, "My Spirit will not contend with man forever, for he is mortal ; his days will be a hundred and twenty years."
4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of men and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.

So in Pavshia the first age is full of super humans. I imagine that these beings would not only be capable of incredible feats of strength, but also some sort of magical feats. I have hesitated writing in magic for a few reasons. First is because it is challenging to use effectively. Not only does the writer have to explain how the user wields magic, but it must be consistent. I am open however to writing in magic in any books I write for the 1st age, but it will be more like Tolkien in that a few people can use it and it is innate, not learned. I do not embrace the Harry Potter sorcerer school type of magic for my own writing. I am interested in writing books set in this age because the added dimension of magic and heroes, though I have not started one to date.

2nd age: Age of the tribes

In this age, as in the Bible, the world is characterized by tribal type living. There are city states in this age and in large cities kings, but there is much chaos because of a lack of large government. People regularly endure war and famine as groups compete for food and resources. In this age there are still some of the heroes from the former age, but they are much more uncommon. Few are near the giants or heroes that existed before, but still have significant influence.

I have not decided if I will ever write a book set in this age, but if I do it will be much more of a micro focus because of the tribal organization of the world, like the Sureshot. It would be a challenge but I am interested in exploring a book or books in this age.

3rd age: Age of Empires

This age mirrors more the age before and after Christ’s life on earth. In this time the world was regularly dominated by one or more empires. From China to Mongolia, to Rome to Byzantium rising and falling empires set the rules, and structured society as they saw fit. It is in this setting that the Sureshot was written. I drew mostly from my study of history. It was fairly easy to write in this setting given the amount of literature and history I read about this time period. I feel like I could write endlessly in this setting and have developed detailed notes about each empire and even developed characters who I could use in new books beyond the Sureshot.

4th age: Age of the people

This age is the age of democracy that was born in the renaissance and enlightenment. It is the beginning of our age and I do