Oh, no… here we go again! It’s another new year. Is it just me, or do the years seem to speed by faster as we age?
Hello, friend! I hope you had – or are still having – a wonderful holiday and New Year’s celebration.
A Gateway to a New World
Did you know that the month of January was named for Janus, the Roman god of doorways and arches? He’s depicted with two faces – one looking forward while the other looks backward. When you think about it, it makes total sense to give the first month of the year a name associated with thresholds. January is like a gateway we use to transition between the old year and the new.
As a writer of portal fantasy, I find the idea of Janus… apropos. A character passes from one world to another through some kind of gateway. In that first moment of contact, they compare their world of origin to the new world. They look both backward and forward.
I love building new worlds, populating them with quirky, interesting characters and creatures, and then juxtaposing them with contemporary Earth. It’s so much fun to take a seemingly normal person from Earth and toss them into a dangerous fantasy setting. The reverse can also be enjoyable. A character from a low-tech fantasy world confronting modern day Earth technology can be a humorous situation.
In the Wyldling Dream series, both of these scenarios happen.
Have you ever read portal fantasy? Which scenario do you prefer – one where the main character from Earth is trapped in a fantasy world, or a reverse portal fantasy, where the main character from a different world travels to Earth? Cornelia Funke’s Inkworld Series is a good example where both occur.
I find the concept of portals fascinating. A portal can be an actual doorway, such as the wardrobe in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, or it can be like the rabbit hole that Alice fell into to get to Wonderland. In the Wizard of Oz, a tornado acts as the portal, whisking Dorothy’s house away to plop down on the Wicked Witch in the Munchkins’ village. A book called The Universe of the Four Gods is the a portal in the manga and anime Fushigi Yuugi, transporting Miaka Yuki from modern-day Japan to a magical version of ancient China. The Neverending Story is another example where a book acts as a portal linking the real world to the land of Fantastica.
Books are the ultimate portal, because the stories told in their pages transport us to a world of pure imagination.
Speaking of portals and books, I’m participating in a free book promotion hosted by “Portal to Fantasy” with a winter theme. Grab these free books, novellas, and short stories while the promotions last. I’ve listed them in order from first to expire to last.
Wyldling Trials Update
As of 10:30 P.M. yesterday, the first draft of Wyldling Trials is finished. Final word count: 133,834. Yes, I will be reducing the manuscript to the 90,000 to 95,000 word range. This could mean writing entirely new scenes as well as cutting out ones I’ve already written.
Many authors I’ve spoken with struggle with bulking up their narratives beyond 30,000 words, but I seem to have the opposite problem. Perhaps the story I’m telling is too complicated. I know I love detailed descriptions too much. And I tend to over-explain things.
What type of narratives do you like best? Bare-bones tales with few details where much is left to the imagination, a la Hemingway, or richly described scenes and characters like you find in Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series? Or do you prefer a happy medium? My guess is that I write so much detail into my stories because I enjoy reading them.
Right now, I’m reading A Heart as Red as Paint, the sequel to A Soul as Cold as Frost, which I finished reading over Christmas. Baby Bear would place his stamp of approval on the level of description in this series, because it’s “just right.” At least, in my opinion, it is.
Well, I’ve nattered on long enough. I’m sure you want to check out those free books in the above promotions. Thank you for taking this journey with me.