Quite some time ago, I wrote a blog post about the things that fascinated me, or my Literary Tendencies, which would often appear in my books. I don’t blame people for not delving into the morass of past posts, so I thought I’d explain myself here, to give an honest idea of what it is I enjoy writing.
When I write, there are three elements that are guaranteed to appear in the books, at least at present in regards to novels. Short stories seem to break the mold for me.
Character Focused – In my mind, the story is about the main characters, and the problems around them are… not insignificant, but if the story has to focus on the large elements of the world around them, or on the characters, the characters win every time. Now, in Halls of Power this may seem not to be the case, but it is. In that case, for the characters to have the happy ending I wanted, the major plot elements had to be dealt with.
Fantastic Elements – When I come up with a story, I have a mental image in mind that always forms the core of the story in my head. It might be silly to other people, but it’s an important aspect of my creation of a series. This image is always fantastic in some element, and as I think about it, trees or plants often are a large part of the theme as well. As an example, for Ancient Ruins, the image I had in mind was Sistina’s cavern.
In the darkness of a mountain cave lost for millennia, in the ruins of an ancient graveyard grew a garden without equal, with lush vegetation and flowers that bloomed even without the touch of the sun, but at its heart was a single, massive tree. Nearly brushing the ceiling two hundred feet above, the alabaster-barked weeping willow crowned a small hill and it stood before an ancient tomb like a silent sentinel. Surrounding it like fireflies were countless motes of golden light, swirling and dancing through the air gently, and often moving like the falling rain… or perhaps like the tears of one who was weeping.
For me, something vivid like this has to be at the heart of the story (it’s vivid to me, at least). Perhaps bizarrely, this also means that I commonly also have a story begin in tragedy of sorts. But this is what gives me motivation, so it’s necessary. You won’t see me writing in a semi-modern setting, or without magic (even if ‘magic’ is actually nanotech or psychic powers), because it’s something I need to keep my own interest.
Lesbians/Polyamory – I don’t know why I write major characters as lesbians, if I’m being perfectly honest. I think it has something to do with a few personal issues which I won’t go into, but there’s one thing I do know. In my earlier stories, long before I wrote Ancient Ruins, I tried to write stories with a male and female lead. They were utter disasters.
In every last one of these stories, the male character ended up incompetent, a jerk, or a traitor. Invariably I ended up hating the male lead, and feeling like the most reasonable male character had no interest in the female lead or was happily married, while the female lead was only interested in one of the female side characters. It was weird, but all of my stories started working better when I didn’t try to force things into a male-female relationship. At this point I’ve grown used to it, and only on rare occasions do the stories emerge naturally, like in the story A Date Gone Awry. So it’s something you can expect.
Similarly, I just ended up with polyamory in my stories somewhat by accident. It probably was somewhat influenced by knowing people who were polyamorous and some of the nicest people in the world growing up, and with often creating multiple characters that I kind of wanted the characters to end up with and agonizing over who to pair them with. Video games which allow you to choose a single wife didn’t help, either. So while it isn’t guaranteed to occur, I feel it’s worth mentioning that this may come up reasonably often in my stories, but only in the case of consenting adults.