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Nancy Pearl | Small Beer Press - Part 84
This is what I do. So this…and this still goes back to the short fiction, as well. I know, ideas are everywhere, but at the same time we all have little things that tend to spark them in us, and spark story ideas. But they are very highly placed.
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Their mother is the magic wielder for the king, who has the second-most powerful prayer stone in this fantasy world. Their mother sees a glimpse of the future and she sees that war is coming. She wants to save her daughters.
She also wants to save this magical prayer stone, and she wants to save the balance of the world, which is quite healthy at this point. So, yes, their castle is attacked, right away in Chapter 1, and the mother, because she has this bit of premonition, she is able to help her daughters flee. And so, the three daughters flee with their nurse, who is killed almost immediately, and the three sisters are in this world as refugees alone.
You were going to say something? I was going to say I knew the nurse was doomed because you have to get your young protagonists on their own as quickly as possible. Yeah, exactly. We want to do something about it. Now, I can go back to the question, what was the seed for this story? Where did that seed come from for you?
And is it typical of the way that you come up with story ideas?
I want to do something light, something, just, you know, with maybe even some comic moments and what have you. I think I had an image of a young female thief climbing up the outside of a castle tower, was kind of the image that I think this whole thing sprang from.
And it does happen later in the series. But when I was when I was a teacher, one of the experiences that I was very fortunate to have was to take up a course that was called mini-counselling. It was, like, a three-day course in counselling, because teachers do have to counsel students all the time. And so, yeah, I wanted to write a really lighthearted heist romp, but no…. So is that sort of seeing an image, is that a fairly typical way for you to latch on to a story idea?
Oh, yeah, absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. So, was there are a lot of worldbuilding before you even begin plotting, or how did all that planning and synopsizing work for you? And if I can surprise myself, I can surprise the reader. But I have never been a pantser. However, my process is a bit more complex than that, because I do tend to go back and forth in the initial stages between just writing scenes and planning and then writing some more scenes and planning.https://hastupghepat.tk
So, I have to write some chapters or some scenes before I can really get deep into the planning. And do you follow that outline as you write or does it wander off occasionally? I tend to follow it fairly closely in the broad strokes.
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Having said that, you know what? As a writer, we do have that to a degree. I mean, eventually there are deadlines, but to a degree, we have the opportunity to go back and rewrite. And if you need a miracle, you can do some research and you can come up with a miracle. Well, how did you come up with the idea for this particular magic system? Maybe you should explain a little bit about what the magic is like in this book. There have to be limitations. The magic is based on the manipulation of time.
But usually, just a very small object, maybe, I dunno, something the size of a pea is about all they can do. But also, let me just give an example, which is right away in the early part of the book, these three girls are trying to escape the city. The gate is locked. So, it works in these very small ways. The cost of the magic is that once you have used magic, you have disturbed the timestream, and that therefore you live bits and pieces of your own life out of order.
You may suddenly find yourself at a time in your past, but only for a few seconds. Or you may find yourself at a time in your future, but again, only for a few seconds.
So it allows for a little bit more adventure, a little bit more, you know, surprise. One of the things that you sometimes find in fantasy novels that I find quite irritating is the prophecy. Prophecies are very problematic. So, people tend to write prophecies in very cryptic language that could be interpreted in a whole lot of different ways, which in my mind…I just find it kind of irritating. So, the advantage to this is that we can see bits and pieces of the future, just not enough to tell what the whole story is.
So, you can get that foreshadowing, you can you can get the tool to use to help you to a degree, but without giving away the whole story. So, once you actually start writing, what does your writing process look? Like, do you write longhand on a parchment out under the stars? How does it work for you? Does anybody really?
Maybe some people do. You know, I can really think through my fingers on the keyboard.