That was what my wife asked me yesterday: “Do you see it as you write it? And do you hear the dialogue?”
The answer to both is yes. As the story unfolds, it’s like a movie playing in my head. I’d like to get some background music playing with it, too, but I haven’t yet mastered that facet of the art.
If I don’t see it, I reckon the reader won’t see it, either. I had some help with the lake monster from The Temple, pictured above: it’s really just the Liopleurodon from Tim Haines’ Walking with Dinosaurs, and I emailed artist Kirk DouPonce with the applicable clip from the movie. But I had to add the lake, the cliffs of Kara Karram, and King Ryons’ army reacting to the unexpected intrusion. Nothing to go on there but my imagination.
Kirk uses live models to pose as story characters on my covers. Because he takes the trouble to read the books before he goes to work on them, he sometimes paints a character exactly as I imagine him or her to be. I don’t know how he does that.
I watch a lot of movies and read a lot of books because it helps me to harness my imagination. In my mind, the characters that populate the stories are as real as Kirk’s models. Sometimes I find myself casting movie and TV actors to portray them; and when that works, it works really well indeed. Wes Studi as Ysbott the Snake. John Nettles as Lord Chutt. And so on–it really works. And it gets me cranked up to imagine and describe things and people that I haven’t seen in any movie. I can even see and hear Helki the Rod–and I don’t know of any actor that can play him.
Patty’s last question, though, isn’t quite so easy to answer: “When you’re seeing and hearing all these things, how do you come back?”
But we don’t have to worry about that until I start having trouble coming back.
Oops! I was so busy writing today, I almost forgot to post my newswithviews column. So here it is.
I’ve been trying to hack my way through other jobs so I can go back to writing The Temptation, and finally managed it this morning. The story has been much on my mind. How much? Well, only ardent readers of my Bell Mountain books will appreciate this, but last night I dreamed my cousin married one of my villains, Ysbott the Snake. That startled me so much, it woke me up.
I love this video! Most if it’s taken from Tim Haines’ Walking with Prehistoric Beasts, and a lot of the animals in it have already appeared in my Bell Mountain books. If you’ve read them all, you’ll recognize quite a few of them–the mammoths that stampeded through Market City, the giant birds that stalk the plains around Lintum Forest, the big but inoffensive knuckle-bears, the Thunder King’s pet saber-toothed cat, the death-dog that almost made a meal of Ryons and Cavall: and of course the great beast that carried the boy king to his city.
Anyhow, except for what our own imaginations may provide, this is about as close as you can come to seeing these critters in the flesh. Enjoy it! And have a happy Labor Day.
The weather is telling me I’d better shift into high gear if I want to finish writing The Temptation before it gets too cold to write outside. Yeah, I could work indoors–but when it comes to my books, I’d much rather work outdoors.
I’m typing up the latest chapter set, which will give me 25 completed chapters. The Lord has not yet shown me how to end the story. All sorts of action is going on, in and out of Obann City and the ruins of Old Obann: my characters are very busy. All I can do is pray for inspiration and plug on. I know from experience that the ending of the book will be given to me in a sudden burst: that’s how He likes to give it to me.
I really wonder what it’ll be!
A leftid named B. Davin has given my Bell Mountain a 1-star customer review on amazon.com because he doesn’t like one of my blog posts on the subject of the former president–which has nothing whatsoever to do with the merits of my book.
I was unable to figure out how to give amazon a reason for reporting this review as abuse, but I know that a few of you do know how to do this, and I’d appreciate your help. This person has acted out of pure spite, for a political reason, and I don’t want to see him get away with it.
Jack climbing the wall of the Palace of Obann–don’t look down, Jack!–had hardly a more difficult time than we’ve been having since our computer’s hard drive died last weekend. But like our hero, we’re making progress.
Tomorrow morning Adam the tech is coming over to re-install our regular computer. Thanks to the old keyboard here, I was able to write and send my Newswithviews column today. And among the many reasons why getting the old hoss back is a very good thing, I’m just about ready to type and submit another set of chapters of The Temptation.
What will Lord Chutt find as he digs up the ruins of Old Obann? Will Lord Orth come back, or will he venture farther into the East to preach to the Heathen? And will Gurun’s brothers finally make it to Lintum Forest, where their sister is?
To those of you who are new to this blog, I hope you’ll soon make acquaintance with my books. All nine of them (so far: more will come) are available for your examination. Just click “Books” and you’ll get the covers, featuring Kirk DouPonce’s glorious artwork, and sample chapters. Or you can look them up on amazon.com and read the Customer Reviews. If this sounds like a commercial, that’s only because it is. But you can’t blame a writer for wanting readers!
I got the quarterly sales figures for my books today. When I finished wailing and rending my garments, I comforted myself with the knowledge that at least they’re doing better than some other books, including these:
Hobart and Gzunt Go to the Foot Doctor. The oddly misshapen twins both think they have corns, but it turns out that nothing’s wrong.
The Homeless Person’s Guide to the Stock Market. They’re kidding, right?
Toward a Digital Future for the Teaching of Welsh Dialects in Tanzania’s Secondary Schools, with Japanese Subtitles. This one’ll set you back $549.99. No takers yet.
Joe Collidge’s Larn To tel Time! Boook.
This is the definitive manual for persons approaching their 35th birthdays and still in undergraduate studies, who have not yet mastered the skill of telling time by a clock or watch.
I’m sure there are others.
Time for a commercial break.
If any of you out there have read my books, and liked them, and belong to a Christian homeschooling association, I’d be very much obliged if you’d drop them a line recommending my books. I’ve been trying for years to break into this market, and I haven’t done it yet.
The books are all available from amazon.com, or directly from the publisher, Storehouse Press via the Chalcedon Store at http://www.chalcedon.edu , and there are nine of them in the series so far, with No. 10 due to be published some months from now. But our advertising budget is small, microscopic even, and we are very much dependent on word-of-mouth recommendations from readers.
End of commercial.