The serialized story has a much greater capacity to impact us emotionally, most specifically as it concerns our relationship with the characters. Reader-to-character relationships reflect real-life relationships most directly in a series for a number of reasons. Because real-life relationships require time. They require investment. They require faithfulness.
Standalone novels can impact us similarly, no doubt. But there’s something about serialized fiction that bonds us to characters more effectively–and leaves a deeper scar when the series ends. Anyone who has read Harry Potter has certainly experienced this. Other beloved series like The Chronicles of Narnia or Percy Jackson can make us feel loss or a sense of bereavement once we’ve reached the end.
You can learn a lot from a good standalone novel–usually there’s a point that gets driven home, and your relationship to the characters might only be a means to an end, not an end in itself. But the opposite can start to hold true whether you like it or not when reading a series–your relationship with the characters suddenly starts to matter. You start to care.
The moment after you’ve read something, it becomes something of the past. The moment after you’ve spoken to or encountered someone in real-life, they become something in your past. What makes the difference between a friend you used to know and someone who is still your friend is the continuous relationship or dialogue that you maintain. It’s the same thing with characters who are a part of a series. The relationship suddenly seems real when you know that the adventure goes on, the experiences continue, the dialogue doesn’t stop. Standalones can’t accomplish this–only series can.
This is why we need series. They teach us something about relationships and about life–not by what they say, but by their very form. We become more human when we read a series and encounter the thoughts, words, and actions of a character consistently; the exercise trains us to be present to the people around us diligently. After all, we don’t want to live our lives a standalone novel–we don’t want to experience people and then have them be nothing more but a shadow from our past. We want the story to go on. We want the relationships to continue. Relationships are not a means to an end, but ends in and of themselves.
I know I’ve been nominated for numerous awards by people and I’ve been doing a terrible job at participating. I’ve been very busy with house work and graduation stuff and writing Volume 8 of my series. So I’d like to apologize for my absence.
I was nominated by Nicolle ( https://storiesofahsi.wordpress.com/ ) for this award. If you get the chance, check out her blog, she’s a great writer and has a deep sense of community.
So, on to the award.
How it works:
Basically, you thank the person who nominated you and provide a link to their blog. Then you answer the 7 questions of the person who nominated you, then you nominate other people and ask them 7 questions.
Here are Nicolle’s questions and my answers:
What is your main inspiration as a writer? Which writers inspire you, and why do you write?
That is definitely more than one question! But it’s a good one. My main inspiration is wanting to influence the world and wanting to express myself to the world. Other inspirations would be the writers of my favorite stories, such as The Lord of the Rings, Fullmetal Alchemist, Mistborn, etc. I write because I want to and because it makes me feel alive, because I feel like I’m making a difference when I do so.
2. What is your favourite scene(s) from a book / movie / comic / any other media?
Another tough but good question. The end of The Two Towers when Sam is talking about how life is worth fighting for, and Rohan is simultaneously defeating Isengard, is definitely a good moment. Or Aang beating the Firelord in Avatar. Good moments.
3. What is your favourite book genre(s)?
This is actually an easy one. Fantasy all the way. I like the dark stuff to be honest, but anything with swords, magic, and lots of symbolism is my favorite.
4. What do you do to get into a writing mood before a writing session?
I listen to music that corresponds to the mood of what I’m about to write. I usually prefer to write at a specific time of day, when my outside surroundings reflect the mood of my story. To be honest, I feel like these are just the normal things a person might do!
5. Which character (from any media) would you be best friends with?
Harry Potter! The more I read the Harry Potter series, the more I realize how similar I am to Harry. I think we could be best friends because of how well we could relate to each other.
6. If you could travel anywhere in the world right now where would you go?
Hmm, another tough one! I’d say Ireland. I’ve always wanted to go to Ireland. Not sure why, I just have.
7. What is one thing you truly regret on a deeply profound level and wish you could change? Or are you at peace with everything?
One thing I could change? My opinion of myself. It’s flawed. I will say no more.
Thanks so much to Nicolle for her deep and interesting questions! Once again, be sure to check out her blog here.
Anyone who read this and wants to participate! I know this might sound lame, but I’m going to ask you the same questions, just because they are so great.
For the sake of clarity, here are the questions again:
What is your main inspiration as a writer? Which writers inspire you, and why do you write?
What is your favourite scene(s) from a book / movie / comic / any other media?
What is your favourite book genre(s)?
What do you do to get into a writing mood before a writing session?
Which character (from any media) would you be best friends with?
If you could travel anywhere in the world right now where would you go?
What is one thing you truly regret on a deeply profound level and wish you could change? Or are you at peace with everything?
Thanks so much for participating, I’m looking forward to your answers!
Wellllllllll….it turns out that something needed to be changed before I could publish my book on Amazon. It’s not a big deal, because it’s an easy fix.
I guess I won’t be publishing Elithius today. When the files are ready, I’ll be sure to let you know!
For the sake of remaining positive, I’d like to once again thank all of you for the encouraging remarks and all the “Congratulations!”! You guys are awesome. I’m positive that I will do well in the upcoming Storyteller Kindle Competition!
Also, for the new followers (hey there 😉 ):
What’s Elithius about?
Here’s the description:
His parents abandon him when he’s thirteen. He’s left to care for his little brother and sister. Life is tough. Things can’t seem to get any worse. But then Evil Itself breaks down the door. It kidnaps his siblings. And It leaves him bleeding out on the floor of his own home. The Golden Lands, one of the Three Worlds of Elithius, is supposed to be a place of light, peace and happiness. But the Golden Lands hasn’t been such a place for John Hedekira, a jaded, hot-headed sixteen-year-old. Joined by his friends Faith Pinck and Bernard Tanner, John must rescue his brother and sister from their captors…before his siblings can be sacrificed to the ominous God of Death. With a story that combines the feelings of Harry Potter, the Lord of the Rings, and Percy Jackson, Dominic Sceski brings to life a riveting tale of light versus darkness, magic, friendship, trust, betrayal, forgiveness, and redemption that will leave you on the edge of your seat and desperately yearning for more. Don’t wait. Embark on the journey now. Enter Elithius!
Sorry for destroying the climatic moment! Stay tuned!
Well, I still don’t have a computer, but that shouldn’t stop me from writing. Seriously. I’ve actually begun a new story over at Wattpad. If you’re into action and anime, you should check me out on Wattpad. I’ll definitely follow you back. My username is Hedekira16.
But anyway, I thought I’d write a post about what kind of things you should expect from my series. It’s been a while since I blogged about my book, so I thought it’s about time that I gave all of you some more inside information about Elithius, the fantasy series I’m writing.
A few things have encouraged me to post this actually. The first is having finished the fifth Harry Potter. Great series, everyone. I know I might sound dumb because I’m only reading this series now, but if you ever get the chance, read Harry Potter.
The other thing that encouraged me to write about this was the “heart to heart” I had with my little sister last night…about our books. It was actually an awesome experience, it’s astonishing how much my sister has studied Elithius! And her own story has impressive depth and creativity, despite her age!
So, having read Harry Potter 5, and talked about my series with my sister, I realized that there is A LOT to talk about concerning Elithius.
Expect Something Like Harry Potter
First of all, I’m really starting to realize how close the THEMES are between my series and Harry Potter. One major theme in Harry Potter is the “mirror image” theme; Harry and Voldemort (the antagonist) are both extremely similar in their personalities, but they oppose each other for reasons of good and evil. What’s more, Harry and Voldemort have a mysterious…connection. They are able to be inside of each other without the other knowing, but, even though they are somehow magically connected, they cannot survive with BOTH of them alive. Crazy, but interesting, right?
Well I was surprised to find that my series is quite similar. John Hedekira, the main protagonist of Elithius, encounters his dark mirror image in multiple antagonists…but one antagonist is literally the embodiment of John’s darker self. The interesting thing is, this embodiment of his darker self is always depicted as more glorious, powerful, beautiful, and seductive. I can’t say too much without spoiling anything, so I’ll stop.
So basically, you can expect themes revolving around characters encountering their mirror images…and yes, oftentimes having a unique connection with them.
Another popular theme in my series is the notion of relying on something stronger than yourself to fuel your power. Yes, this can include sorcery for the bad guys, and magical/supernatural assistance for the good guys. Make no mistake, my characters don’t just have evil spirits and good gods doing battle for them; but, depending on whose side you’re on, one of these will fuel your power.
Other themes include revenge, redemption, forgiveness, the meaning of life, the meaning of battle, true unity among mankind, family, romance, and yes, many more.
Expect Something Like Bleach (Anime)
One of those themes listed above has always been very interesting to me: the meaning of battle. Have you ever thought about why we find action and (basically) violence so exciting and interesting? To a certain degree, isn’t this rather bothersome to acknowledge how violent we are as a society?
Why do we desire battle? Why is it “cool” when we watch movies where people kill each other in epic, creative, or even dark ways?
Although I don’t consider Bleach to be a very philosophical anime, the question of desiring battle and why you should fight DOES come up. Particularly when Ichigo is trying to defeat his inner Hollow: he is told that he needs to have a “killer instinct”…which means he SHOULDN’T have a reason to fight. He should fight simply to be powerful. And that means defeating more and more enemies. For a brief moment, we see Ichigo have this sense of “killer instinct”…because, well, he defeats his inner Hollow thusly.
I never liked those reasons for fighting. I refused to believe that our love for fighting is so misplaced that it only revolves around a desire for power over others. It seemed wrong, and selfish.
So, one major theme in my series is determining WHY you should fight, if it’s for good reasons, etc. The way you fight and what you’re fighting for determines the way your magical abilities will express themselves.
Yup, a little complicated, but in a good way.
So these are just a few things to expect from my series…but many more, of course 🙂
I really hope all of you find my series interesting, or at least give it a chance. I know an author testifying about his own work is kinda lame, but that’s all I can give you right now (besides reviews from readers, of course).