Thursday, 27 March 2014

Introduction into Che Gilson's world #fantasy #paranormal

Today we're taking a short commercial break from romance in order to introduce you to my new friend Che Gilson, whose novel, Carmine Rojas: Dog Fight, will be released soon by Black Opal Books. It's never too early to introduce yourself to the world, right?

And the Kitchen Sink

One of the decisions an author has to make is how much to include. This is the same no matter what you write, but especially true for fantasy, Urban Fantasy, and Paranormal Romance. When building a world, or changing elements in this one, it's easy to go overboard. Some authors are genius at throwing  fairies, vampires, Greek gods, werewolves, werecats, were-insert any animal you can think of, talking cockroaches (actually that's one thing I haven't seen) and every manner of mutant species, ghost and telepath, with maybe some Lovecraftian fish monster thrown in for good measure. 

BUT more often than not, many an urban fantasy has a bit too much going on and no real reason for the Vampire Zombie knight that shows up in chapter 10 other than the author really wanted to use that character/concept/creature. In this world, as in any fantasy, people, places and things need to be connected somehow. Nature abhors a vacuum. So what is the knight doing in the story? Where did she come from, why is she there? Is there some mythology you researched that links the Vampire Zombie  knight to the Elven P.I. protagonist. Or are they just there to be cool. If they are there only to be cool then it's a good idea to link it back to something already existing in your world.

This happens most in series, where there needs to be a new antagonist, or a new creature in every book in order to up the stakes. Sometimes variations on a theme is all that is needed. All ready have demons in the book? Add in a special new kind. Working with vampires? Research vampires from other cultures and you're sure to hit on something fascinating that is woefully underused. Come up with a reason for the new character/creature and include it in the book. Give the main characters a moment to see the shiny new Big Bad and reason out why it's there and why it's giving them so much trouble. As a reader I really love to see the 'why' of things. It adds to my enjoyment of the world and gives a clue to the author's thought process and their interests.
           
In my novella Carmine Rojas: Dog Fight I decided early on that only two things would be added to a contemporary setting. Shape shifters of various origins from many mythologies world-wide, and magic. Those two elements provided the foundation for having werewolves, kitsune- shape shifting foxes from Japanese mythology, and sorcerers who magically turn into tigers in the same story. Everything in the book I can link back to those first two decisions of what I wanted to include and both shape shifters and magic are open ended enough to give me fuel for multiple sequels and plenty more monsters.
           





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16 comments:

  1. Cool post, and nice to see someone exploring fresh ways to look at popular concepts. Definitely looking forward to reading your work, Che!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by!

      I must admit I am a very logical person and I try to extend that to my world building as well. Though of course some authors just throw everything in and it works!

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  2. While I write in the mystery genre, I think your advice still applies. Yet, we do add what we call "Red Herrings" to throw readers off their game. We don't want them to know "whodunit" until the final page. However, there are authors who bring in a character as the killer who was never part of the story. That's when you throw the book across the room.

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    1. LOL! Yeah, I learned from reading books about writing screenplays that everyone who appears in the movie has to DO something. Even if the killer is the guy act one with three lines, the seed is planted.

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  3. As a fellow Fantasy freak, I second your methods wholeheartedly! Wish you the best, Che!

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    1. Thanks so much for the kind words!

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  4. Very good post. I am a paranormal romance author myself and I am always trying to find good ways to had new supernatural characters. Sometimes you just gotta give them there own book though! That is one way to go. Good luck on your endeavors!

    Liz ^_^
    www.vampyrekisses.com

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    1. YES! Mine those side characters for material :) It's always great to get a short story or a book out of some side character who is just too fun to toss aside.

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  5. Great advice! I love exploring the fantasy genre in my own projects, and can't agree more about having a reason for including various beings and the like. Having them there "just because" can backfire really fast!

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    1. I think we've all seen a few bad examples of that. Having totally disconnected beings can often feel very false.

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  6. Hi Che! I loved all your points about world-building. It's so easy to go overboard and give the reader so much info they get bored. I also have to admit that while I try to keep my plots simple, I often add too many characters or subplots, and things get complex. Ugh. Have a great weekend, Che and Nana! :)

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    1. Cutting plots and people is hard! I had to removes a massive chunk from a novel I'm working on and several "people" ended up on the cutting room floor.

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  7. I love this! Hey, if the talking cockroach is free...can I use it? hahahaha ummm, no thanks. But really great advice, Nana! :)

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    1. LOL! Maybe I should have kept the talking cockroach to myself ;)

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  8. Great post, Che! So looking forward to Carmine Rojas: Dog Fight coming out! Hey, and now I want to use the talking cockroach, too ;-)

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    1. Hey, anyone who wants the cockroach can have it!!! *shiver*

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