Tag Archives: highlander

Big Magic of Roger Zelazny

I have never picked up a book by Roger Zelazny before last week, I wished I had years ago, The Chronicles of Amber is amazing and it is a great learning curve for any writer who wants to learn how to write descriptive battle scenes cohesively.

I at least, learned a new word through this book “parried” which is something I find useful since I am a fantasy and adventure author myself!

I have never found a book that wrote battle and fight scenes as good as this before, I highly recommend it to any author who wishes to write adventure or war stories!

I can see why Neil Gaiman has been inspired by this author, I can see a little bit of Stardust in the book, but I can also see that J.K Rowling might have been influenced by him too, the tarot cards for instance.

Though both might be exactly like me that it seems rather a strange fluke that some parts of these chronicles are so much alike to two of my novels, one finished and the other part finished.  In fact one of them is so much alike to this story, I have to make a few adjustments, because it could almost be a direct copy and what is rather strange about it is that the main character in my novel is called Amber.

I know in the chronicles Amber is a place, rather than a person’s name, but you get my drift? 

It’s weird, I have never read these novels before, nor heard many reviews about it, yet one of my novels is so alike it’s amazing and I have only got one hundred and ten pages into the first novel at the moment, what else will I discover about the chronicles in the next nine books?

This really makes me believe in Elizabeth Gilbert’s concept that ideas are alive, that they have souls and they find people who will bring them to life – you’ll find more about this in her book “Big Magic”, it’s a highly recommended read.

Are the Amber chronicles truly finished?  If ideas are alive and have a soul of their own, then they must have chosen me to continue their story a little – that’s scary and this is why I have to change so much!  Because I honestly was completely unaware about these chronicles until I picked up the book a couple of weeks ago!

Though I loved the story I was writing and though Paul kept pushing me to send it away to an agent, there was something nagging me in my instincts not to send it out, because there was something I needed do or something I needed to learn first.  It’s very strange.

I picked this book up because a friend online who knew a small amount about my plot grew concerned I was copying too much of one of her favourite novels from Roger Zelazny, I told her I have never heard of him nor the chronicles and that was true – I am so grateful to have such kind friends who tell me these things!  Imagine if I had published this book?

It has been an eye opening experience.

I actually though some of my story seemed reminiscent of Highlander by Gregory Widen and perhaps a little bit like the stories of Merlin and Edmund Spenser’s fairy queen with a little bit of time travelling thrown in, but I thought it was original enough. 

It might still be original enough, but I am not sure, hence why I won’t delete what I have done to the story, but I will copy my story and adjust things and keep all of the drafts, so one day, when I make friends I can trust with sharing unpublished works, I will show them and ask them which draft they prefer and see just how much of the Amber chronicles are really in them. 

Because I am a nervous creature and I hate coming across as a fraud, so it’s important to me to try and be unique; see the try there, it’s virtually impossible to be unique anyway as everything has been done, but ultimately it hasn’t been done by me.  So maybe, just maybe my work is far enough removed not to cause eyebrows to become raised?

This isn’t the first time a piece of work has been very close to my own and I found out after I wrote them and I doubt it will be the last.

Happy reading!

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My fantasy knowledge

My to read list is huge on Goodreads.com, and I have one book left from the library that I must read before the 4th of July, it hasn’t been read thoroughly yet because I tend to borrow the maximum each time I visit the library, note bibliophile present. The last book I have from the library that’s half read at present is “H.P Lovecraft’s book of horror” an anthology of 21 classic short horror stories which includes with my personal rating;

Supernatural horror in literature essay/introduction by H.P Lovecraft 9/10
The signalman by Charles Dickens 8/10
The house and the brain by Edward Bulwer-Lytton 8/10
The body snatcher by Robert Louis-Stevenson 2/10 (low rating yes, shock horror)
The spider by Hanns Heinz Ewers 10/10
The foot of the mummy by Theophile Gautier 9/10
The horla by Guy De Maupassant 8/10

The rest have yet to be read and they will include;

The fall of the house of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe
The dammed thing by Ambrose Bierce
The upper berth by F. Marion Crawford
The yellow sign by Robert W. Chambers
The shadows on the wall by Mary E. Wilkins-Freeman
The dead valley by Ralph Adams Cram
Fish head by Irvin S. Cobb
Lukundoo by Edward Lucas White
The double shadow by Clark Ashton Smith
The mark of the beast by Rudyard Kipling
Negotium Perambulans by E.F Benson
Mrs. Lunt by Hugh Walpole
The Hog by William Hope Hodgson
The great god Pan by Arthur Machen
Count Magnus by M.R James
Followed by the afterword by Lovecraft and the literature of cosmic fear:

Yesterday I finished Coraline by Neil Gaiman and other stories. Which were very compelling reads and I am what a readers quiz calls a polygamous reader, therefore I started reading H.P Lovecraft’s anthology before Coraline’s anthology, but I was so much more taken with Neil Gaiman than I was with H.P Lovecraft’s compilation, that I literally abandoned H.P Lovecraft until there was no more Neil Gaiman to read.

If I am having a good day with my health on the days I visit my work advisor I usually treat myself to a book or three at the local charity shops on the way home, it’s a habit I can’t get out of; unfortunately yesterday there were quite a few I liked, in fact, I would have by choice bought home five books, but I only had enough money for two. The ones I found and bought home were books three and four of the Eragon series (the inheritance cycle) by Christopher Paolini. I have never watched the movie Eragon and nor have I ever read the books. I had the first two books at home, never read and abandoned on the shelves until I could get the complete set and now I have them I am thrilled. Unfortunately, knowing me, it will probably be 3+ months before I start reading them, because I am currently reading 26 books according to my goodreads.com currently reading list.

That doesn’t need to get any longer does it? I am I have to start on the fifth to fourteenth book of the Wizard of Oz series before I can think of moving onto another series, also I have the last book of the Fifty Shades of Grey to read as well.
Oh the life of a bibliophile is far too short!

It’s stupid to think that I get through an average of 1 to 4 books a week and that my “to read” list is currently 4647 and that expands by no less than 20 books per week. It’s ridiculous, even if I was immortal and glued my arse to a chair and read 24/7 I would never ever catch up in reading unless there was a total ban for thousands of years of new material being published!

I hope in the future there will be a little chip inside people’s brains where you can download information immediately by the press of a button; I would opt to be a literary and historical know-all and I would also want to be proficient in all creative mediums and telepathy.

I get huge bouts of depression because I can’t do more than one thing at once. I want to read, but I have to go through a painstaking process of choosing which book gets my attention at that precise moment; but then I want to paint or write and I am sitting back thinking, well one things has to be put on hold, which will it be? What shall I do? I have so many things to write about and so many ideas, that I can never knuckle down and write them, because as I am writing I am being flooded with too much future work, that I surrender and do nothing.

I don’t suffer from writers block, I suffer from writers flood and because of that, I don’t write a majority of the time. Because it sends me mad, I write gibberish and I lack focus, because I think as I concentrate on other things, many things at once.
You can probably see this problem in my updates here.

I am a huge fantasy fan, but I don’t know much of the most commonly known fantasy books and movies because I refrain from watching or reading them if they’re popular, because they normally end up being frustrating commercialised entities that are constantly pushing out new material every few months. When I sit down to read a book and it’s a series, I like to think I have the whole series ready on my shelves before I start. If there are more books in that series coming out months later, it infuriates me, because I don’t always remember what happened in the books in great details and I do not like re-reading books if I can absolutely help it; (too many books and so little time).

The books I have not read and the movies I have not watched so far, that are popular in fantasy and family genres.

Eragon series books and movies
How to train your dragon books and movies?
The books after Harry Potter’s Goblet of Fire haven’t been read yet
The movies past Harry Potter’s order of the phoenix
Once upon a time TV series
Supernatural TV series
The lion the witch and the wardrobe book
Narnia books
Final fantasy games
World of Warcraft games
Game of thrones TV series and books
Blood ties TV series
Twilight movie and books
True blood TV series and books
Nanny McPhee and the big bang
The Terminator movies
Maleficent movie

So as you can see, I have not watch nor read the biggies; but I do know a lot of fantasy that gets people scratching their heads at me and wondering what the hell I am talking about.

Those include;

The Gor series of books
Diary of a wimpy vampire books
The Sandman comics by Neil Gaiman (though they are becoming popular)
The weirdstone of Brisingamen by Alan Garner
The play your own adventure books and fighting fantasies of Ian Livingstone and Steve Jackson
Nightmare TV series
Raven TV series
Highlander TV series
The fact there are 14 stories of OZ from the Wizard of OZ and that nobody knows the world completely, that is a complete bafflement for many
The Deptford mice books
Troll movie 1986
Critters movies
Tremors movies
The Disney movie – the gnome mobile
Shirley Temple’s movie – the blue bird
Angels in America movie
Dogma the movie

So, go feast yourself on these so-called unheard of books and movies.

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Rigorous planning

I have been going through some rigorous planning of a rather complicated storyline for the last couple of weeks and it has almost consumed me; I’ve drawn up maps and personality profiles of the places and people involved and I’ve never been so thorough and I’ve never enjoyed myself so much either.

If I ever finish this story it would probably have to be published in a multitude of volumes for its sheer size, this is all thanks to the inspiring fourteen books I’ve been reading of the Land of Oz written by L Frank Baum, The Harry Potter series by J.K Rowling and the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S Lewis; not to forget also the Dragonlance series of books and the immortal highlander, all of these things are meshing within my mind and are giving me great ideas.

I can’t tell you what the story is going to be about other than it’s going to be a fantasy novel for sure with some horror thrown in for good measure, I wouldn’t suggest at all that it will be as family friendly as the books I’ve mentioned above but I can guarantee that if this gigantic story ever gets finished and published that it would be a thrilling read for generations to come; full of action, adventure, fairy-tale, romance, heartbreak, betrayal, revenge, vampires, slavery, struggles, imprisonment and steamy sex.

Why can’t I share a snippet of the storyline with you?  Well, I’ve noticed I am one of these annoying writers that when she shares her plot the plot loses its magic and I find myself unable to finish it; stories which remain a secret have ended up becoming finished so I am not taking any chances anymore and now I understand why legendary writers tend to guard their stories as top secrets until they’ve finished so fiercely… I think I might end up doing the same.  Do you know that I have started twenty seven stories in the last seven years and I’ve only finished two of them and they were short stories?  All of them were plots that were shared with others and at least eight of those plots were used to spark off other people (who also write) to write something similar to me, I don’t know, call me a snob if you like but that just loses the magic for me and I don’t do well competing with my writing, I don’t like it becoming a contest, and I think that’s why I didn’t partake in NaNoWriMo like I wanted.

I have found which market I want to write for and although I may not become as well known in that market as others who are more diverse I am happy in finding my feet amongst fantasy and horror for adults and fantasy and horror erotica.

I just promise myself I won’t be tempted to get my books published via e-readers because I want my standards to be professional, not dissing e-reader writers at all but the editing is usually sloppy I’ve found (since I’ve bought my kindle and read a few) and I find that unacceptable.

So, forgive me if my poetry has gone on the back bench a bit and please understand I am involved in something a little more exciting, though I will endeavor to try and post at least two poems a week as I don’t want my blog to falter.

I’ll post soon xx

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