Monday 27 May 2013

Book Promo - The Long Way

Young Adult
Published by BookRix: 5/19/2012

In a move that defies all logic and likelihood, a young boy named Spiff is called upon to carry
out the most important quest that has ever been undertaken. His mission drags him headlong
across the face of the world, through a veritable pantheon of hardships and threats that are at once
chilling and baffling. Along the way he meets dragons and madmen, and learns that the lovable
and the monstrous are two sides of the same coin.

Conceived as a darkly whimsical loose retelling of the Tolkien saga, The Long Way poses the
question that high fantasy rarely cares to ask: Why?

Aaron Redfern
Aaron Redfern has been reading and writing fantasy since a time when he could count his age on his fingers. He went to Williams College and studied English, a language in which he was already proficient, and although he learned almost nothing from the English professors, dead poets and novelists taught him a great deal. While at college, he fell thoroughly in love with New England. He has decided never to leave and currently resides near Northampton, Massachusetts.

Aaron has written three novels, including The Long Way and its sequel, The Forgotten Way. His short-fiction titles include Stories About the Rain and Crawl.

Buy this eBook on BookRix 


Guest Post

Perspectives 101

One of the first decisions you have to make about any story before you can even start writing it is what perspective you'll use.  Should you choose first or third person?  An omniscient narrative voice or a close-up view inside the head of one character?  Third person past tense narration is a perfectly good default that's probably as old as civilization, and there's no shame in it; it's probably the right choice for the majority of stories.  But the important thing is to remember that your writing is a craft, and perspective is one of many tools you have available to make your work shine.  How to best use those tools depends on your goals for the story.

Third person gives you more of a distance from the characters than first person does.  This doesn't mean that your readers will feel like the characters are distant, it just means that you'll have sort of a null effect.  It's the standard.  Third person works very well if you want a storytelling tone, and it's practically essential if you want more than one character's perspective to tell the story.

If you do choose third person, you'll have a whole range of options, from zooming in on one character to hopping between multiple characters in different chapters to using an omniscient narrator that is so far back from the story that it can tell everything at once.  Having multiple viewpoint characters lets you add a lot of depth of perspective, and you can even play different character's ways of seeing the world off of each other.  If you've read George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series, you know how interesting it can be to see a conflict from many different angles, especially when the characters all have strong opinions that contradict each other.  Omniscient narration lets you move around even more easily and see even more, but you may lose a sense of closeness to the individual characters.  When choosing a third person perspective, it's important to consider a few key questions.  Where do you want the focus of your story to be?  How do you want the reader to relate to different characters?  What do you want your reader to know or not know?

First person, on the other hand, puts you as deep as you can go inside a single character's head. It may often have the disadvantage of distancing you more from everything else, though.  It's harder to interpret any other character's viewpoint, and readers won't have access to any information the narrator doesn't have.  Of course, sometimes that's not a disadvantage at all.  For instance, if you want to use an unreliable narrator with a distorted perspective, first person can help you lock the reader inside of that perspective, giving the distortion more weight or making it harder for the reader to discern the truth.  First person also makes it easier to hide things from the reader.  You can pretty easily get away with not revealing things as simple as your character's name and gender, and you can use this well in certain situations.  In third person stories, the reader trusts the all-knowing narrator to reveal everything that the viewpoint character knows—but in first person, the narrator has complete control over the story and can reveal or not reveal anything he or she chooses.

You can also mix and match, as long as you have a reason for it.  The Scar by China Mieville focuses on several viewpoint characters, but it also sometimes backs out to a more godlike perspective that shows things happening far away.  Surprisingly, that greater distance is able to convey even more of a sense of dread.  It's like some sinister force is granting you, the reader, terrible visions of what is coming for your beloved characters, and there's nothing you can do about it.  You can also mix first and third person with different characters.

And if you want, you can be even more experimental than that.  What happens if you put your narration in second person?  What can you do with present tense?  Is there a way to tell a story with a narrator looking forward into the future rather than back into the past?  You should never use any perspective just as a gimmick, but the sky's the limit on what you can do to bring out the best in your story.

No comments: