Fiction Writing and Other Oddities

Friday, July 22, 2011

Guest Author: LJ DeLeon

I'd like to welcome LJ DeLeon today. She's a terrific writer of fantasy using the legend of the werewolf in some very unique ways.

Why Fantasy Requires Research

I know it sounds strange to say I researched to write fantasy. After all, it is fantasy. But I love history, and even more, I love myths, discovering the common themes between cultures, and how I can use or abuse them.

So why research? Because from childhood forward we have read books with Fae, were-animals, angels, gargoyles, and demons in them and have preconceived ideas of what is acceptable and what isn’t.

I combined Greek, Roman, Celtic, Gaelic, Norse, and Germanic myths, then turned them upside down. I also used a variety of religious beliefs. The Warriors for Light series uses a female deity for all non-humans.

Fantasy, like science fiction, has to be grounded in some kind of reality. When people say bad science makes bad science fiction, the same applies for fantasy. Bad world building makes bad fantasy, but your world must be grounded in a set of believable physics. If I want a character to defy gravity, there has to be gravity.

Here is an example within the Warriors for Light series. One of the problems with werewolves throughout fiction is what happens to their clothes when they change. Does their clothing rip to shreds or do they strip before changing? I chose to have my Weres able to shift— or phase—from one form to another without destroying their clothing or suffering pain. It happens in a twinkling of an eye.

My Weres are born, not made, and phasing is magical. Every Were I write will be able to phase this way. Therefore, I am always consistent within the Warriors for Light world. My readers can rely upon this consistency. How did I come to this decision? I researched a variety of shapeshifter myths and decided which ones worked best for my world.

As you read the Warriors for Light series, you will find that some traditional creatures fulfill different roles than you might expect. Their history will also be unique. That’s intentional. I wanted to keep the reader guessing about who is good and who is evil. It’s more fun to read when you aren’t quite sure about the characters and to have some surprises. Yet, in my world “Honor is the ultimate seduction.”

Peek into my world. Plan to be surprised, to laugh, to cry, and sigh.

To read the first chapter of Warrior’s Rise, Dragon Child, and Absolution at my website Click Books—Warriors for Light

I love to hear from readers. Feel free to send me an email or message.

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Thank you, LJ!

1 comment:

Amy said...

I'm always interested in reading what goes into a book, no matter the genre. This was particularly interesting because so many people assume you just make everything up on the fly, but even with fantasy, there's a considerable amount of research and thought in building a new world, isn't there?