An Orphans of Haven Question!? #writing #fantasy #SciFi #literature #Fiction

Hi Jim,

I’m an art student at the University of New Hampshire and was looking for a subject for my next painting. I was thinking about doing one of Qira as I just finished the Orphans of Haven and I really relate to her. If you’re okay with me doing that, I was hoping you could provide me a little bit more of an in-depth description of what she looks like? I’d be happy to share the final results on your blog if you’d like?

Thanks,
Kate


Hi Kate,

That would be awesome! I’d be thrilled to have you take your stab at creating your vision of her. In fact, if anyone is inspired by my stories to do something like this, I welcome you sharing these things with open arms! I would love to see what you come up with!!

Where to begin?

Well first of all, are we talking about humanoid or dragon form?

We’ll go through both just in case….

Dragonform:

41079303_534669653660437_9066413543649181696_n(As no doubt you’ve seen by now, this is what her face looks like.)

Her features are a lot less rigid than some of The Story of Raiya’s counter parts. If you look at the cover there, what you can see of the dragons is far more sharp and spiky.

cropped-21475940_3653208088791_91509122_n2.jpg

This was done intentionally to illustrate the differences between Terran-born dragons as they evolved to their new climate, and the original elders who came here from another world. Qira is among the first to start displaying differences, which is why so many older dragons are confused by her size and age.

All right, so her description is fairly straightforward… her scales are bluish gray all down her body. Her dragonform is actually much more humanoid than some might expect. She is about the size of an average human, her neck is slightly longer than that of a human’s and far more bendable (she can turn her head a lot further than we can). Her chest is something closer to that of a snake’s in that it’s a lighter gray and far smoother than the rest of her body.

Her anatomy also resembled a humanoid; two front legs and two back. The claws on all four are similar to human hands. She has four fingers on each with a sharp nail on the end. Her teeth are silvery and extremely lustrous. Though most dragons stand normally on all fours, Qira actually alternates between that and being bipedal. As she spends more time with humans, she actually opts to spend more time on her hind legs. Her mane goes to the bottom of her neck where it becomes solid spikes that are the same color. The spikes remain consistent in size until they get to her tail where they start to shrink. Her tail is roughly 2/3 the length of the rest of her body. It is extremely sharp at the end.

Her eyes are probably her most striking feature. They look like human eyes. However, one thing I should note is that they constantly look sad, for some reason.

Her build is skinny to muscular. Keep in mind, she’s underfed during the first act of the story, but well-exercised. So why she appears thin, her arms and legs should be well toned.

Finally, her wings. She has a pair of wings that sprout from her shoulders. They should resemble demon wings with a spike at the joint where they curve. The muscle areas should be the same color as her scales where the actual flaps should be more like her mane.

So what about her human form? Well that ones easy.

Drakin-Orphans-of-Haven-Poster-Final

In the book, she appears once as a slender humanoid female. Again, well toned like in her dragon form, but she does have some differences… Her hair is silver and extremely lustrous, matching her dragon mane. Her eyes are nearly identical in both forms. Her skin is extremely pale with a faint shade of grayish blue in elect areas. Her ears match her dragon ears. They are slightly enlarged and pointed. She typically wears a white evening gown.

Here’s the original image of the model for reference…

12249689_1675854512658579_429201649381362701_n

(Care of the Boston Film Family Photography and  Nicole Hailer)

Both of these should give you a good idea of what she looks like in both forms. I hope this helps you come up with something really great for her! I can’t wait to see it!

Thanks and good luck!

-Jim

 



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Plot flaws… How to and NOT to handle them!! #Writing #Author #Advice

Dear Jim,

I stumbled on your blog and honestly, the timing couldn’t be better. I’ve put out the second book in my series and have run into a problem. A big problem… A major plot flaw has been uncovered by my readers! I’m not sure how I missed something so obvious and honestly, I’m not sure how it missed editing! I don’t know what to do now, I feel like a fool and my readers have been asking me about it like crazy. I don’t know what to tell them! Do you have any advice for me?

Thanks,
(Requested to remain anonymous)


Hello,

Phew… well let me just say… I understand why you wanted to remain anonymous, so don’t worry about that. You’re right, this is a pretty big problem. If the book has already hit mass market, pulling it back now is ill-advised. Admittedly, I’m not a huge fan of shadow editing when people have already read the book. There’s certainly nothing wrong with putting out a second edition with some corrections or alterations, that happens all the time. Compare a 1st Edition of something like Lord of the Rings to one that was just published. Huge difference.

I’m not too surprised that editing missed this. Editing is mostly to make our amateurish writing look professional. Though we’re great story tellers, in my experience, writers really struggle with grammar and punctuation when telling their story. They get so engrossed that everything else goes out the window. That’s why so many become reclusive when they’re writing. In short, don’t blame the editors. Did you have anyone beta read your story? That’s where plot flaws should come up. Beta readers are the ones who would catch something like.  Anyway, that’s something to consider. Now, how should you handle this?

First, don’t panic. While this is a big issue, you’re published, you’ve got people reading your book, and they seem to be enjoying it other than this flaw. That’s certainly better than what happened with my worst book. I’m still not sure why, but Soul Siphon was my least-read novel. I’ve thought about retiring it, which is too bad, because I thought it was a good story. So you’re actually in a lot better shape there.

Okay, so now that we’ve gone over what not to do… what should you do? The best advice I can give you a two-syllable word; ‘retcon’. Are you planning on writing another sequel? You mentioned that it was a series. The best thing to do would be to take that plot flaw and flesh it out. Address it and make it part of your story. Flaws can be explained and built into the book. It can also be used to your advantage, because right now you’ve got people shrugging about it. Imagine you explain it out logically in your next book the resounding ‘OH!” from your readers. A good story teller is one who can tell an entertaining story. A master storyteller is one who can quickly adjust their narrative to be able to explain such flaws on the fly.

So what if you really can’t… like you’re stuck and you really don’t think you can retcon a plot flaw? Well… in that case, though I truly advise against this… you put out a public statement about it. Do NOT ignore this. It’s going to keep coming up and readers will go nuts. Put out a public statement, announce that you’re making edits, and offer free copies to anyone that can prove they purchased the original, should they want it. Customer service is key to success in these cases. However, I strong recommend you go with my first recommendation!!

Either way, I wouldn’t sweat it too much. The literary community tends to be… fairly forgiving about such things. Do what you need to and move on from it.

Hope this helps, but let’s open this one up. Readers, what do you think? How should this person handle this?



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

From My Writing Playlist #Music #Metal #Writing

 Not one of their newer songs, but I have to admit, this one grew on me. I’ve never really been a fan of their lead vocalist, but good music, good song topics (history/war), and a sort of neutral take is all something I very much enjoy.

When to listen: As with most Sabaton songs, they’re really trying to tell a story. These are brainstorming songs when you’re trying to come up with inspiration for plot or character development.



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim