An American Elf…On Steroids

Just kidding.

angsalvor_-_nils_blommer_1850

Swedish ‘Meadow Elves’ 1805 by Nils Blommer.  They’re a lot more dignified than mine.

So after I kicked A Vintage Heart out the door, I got back to work on An American Elf and it promptly went bat-crap crazy on me.  You see, I pretty much finished the rough draft a year ago when A Vintage Heart leap-frogged it.  So, I was like, okay, pick up where I left off and I’ll have the little beauty out the door a month.  Oh, yeah.

No.

Something was missing from Act One and no sooner did I seriously ponder that and the story split into three different novels in my head.  And I’m like, nooooo!  Well, but I kinda have to let it do that, because Brandr, the Heroine’s love interest, is such a complex character.  He’s blows my freakin’ mind and he doesn’t make sense if I don’t go back and let him have his day.

Yeah, I’m not sure how well this will qualify for Romance Genre.

The thing is Brandr is Bianca’s *future husband from a past time period.*  Let that sink in for a minute.

Did I mention this was a Time Travel?

I think I’m going to have to map this one out on the wall with markers and stickers and little bits of yarn.  And maybe sock puppets.  Nah, skip the sock puppets and hand me the ibuprofen.

I’m in for a ride.

My name is Bianca and I am an elf, an American elf. I break stuff and make a mess. Sometimes, I say words that horrify my much more dignified twin sister and I’ve been known to flip people off. Sorry.

Characters Without Stories

They’re like lost puppies, poor things.  Ever once in a while, I’ll accidentally create one and then he’ll just sit there, waiting.

For example, I created a really great character to play Bianca’s leading man in An American Elf.  But, he didn’t turn out to be a good counterpoint for her.  So, Brandr got the job and Liam (placeholder name, poor guy) got benched.  In retrospect, I think he just needs his own story.

My very visual imagination is like a huge warehouse crammed with little bits and pieces of stories and settings and these poor storyless characters who can only take a number and step aside.

Sorry, I will get to you one day, promise.

Last time Liam snagged my attention away from my present projects, he wanted to be a vampire.  And I was like, “No, freakin’ way.  I ain’t doin’ stinkin’ blood-suckin’ dead guys again!”  But, I should note that my characters always win arguments like that.  So, we’ll see.

Okay, back to revisions on A Vintage Heart. 

‘Yesterday’s Enterprise’ Star Trek Next Gen

star-trek-next-gen-12463I’m working on the rules for my own Time Travel story, so I’m watching and reading a lot of other Time Travel stories.  That includes Star Trek.  In fact, almost all of my favorite episodes are Time Travel ones.

After watching ‘Yesterday’s Enterprise’ a bazillion times, I think what really bumps it over similar tales is the fact that Guinan, the character played by Whoopi Goldberg has some awareness and memory of the time shift.  The other characters do not, which makes it kind of jarring and feeling like something’s missing.  All that great development, all of that action and plot doesn’t mean as much when no one remembers.  But, Guinan remembers and the viewer can follow her and she pulls it altogether and makes the story work.  And that, I think, is what puts this one in the Top Ten Time Travel Tales.

No, I don’t know what other tales on the list.  I’ll do a post on that when I figure it out.

Here’s a YouTube trailer for this episode-  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUn3ZxYmE6c

All seasons of Star Trek the Next Generation are available on Blu-Ray and are on Netflix.

https://www.amazon.com/Star-Trek-Next-Generation-Season/dp/B00BHWG0EK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1479840370&sr=8-1&keywords=star+trek+the+next+generation+season+3

The Hero in Disguise

mv5bnji3nzi2mjy2mf5bml5banbnxkftztywmdm5odu5__v1_Like Zorro, the hero in An American Elf lives a double-life, hiding his true identity, his true species.  This is an Alternate Timeline story in which elves are virtually extinct and Brandr (the hero) has hidden among humans for hundreds of years.  Now, he’s encountered his time traveling wife again, but she doesn’t know him.

The fun part is I get to figure out how to disguise this guy.

I’ve always loved ‘hero in disguise’ stories.  Not superheroes.  More like The Princess Bride and The Scarlet Pimpernel and, yes, Zorro.

Antonio Banderas is a total studmuffin and swords are cool.  Seriously cool.2e1dfeba3a5810da13406aec29e3301a

The history of the Zorro stories-   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zorro

Here’s a clip from the film version of The Scarlet Pimpernel.  Three pointes if you recognize the actor playing the bad guy.  The dialogue in this story is riveting.  I want to write like that when I grow up.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TtAM7YDap6o

Edited to Add Later:   I think I’ll rewatch The Scarlet Pimpernel.  The hero in that one is basically invisible.  With Zorro, you see the black mask and cape and you know.  No one takes Sir Percy seriously because they think he’s a fop.  He’s effectively invisible.  That’s what my guy needs to be.  By the way, I’ve read The Scarlet Pimpernel many times and only the film version with Anthony Andrews and Jane Seymour will do.  😉  The novel is public domain now and sometimes I think of putting my own spin on it one day.

Elves Gone Nutty

Sorry, couldn’t think of a better title.

angsalvor_-_nils_blommer_1850

‘Meadow Elves’ by Nils Blommer

Anyway, I’ve been pondering An American Elf, it’s Theme, genre, subgenre, basic structure, that kind of thing.  Gotta nail the Theme before anything else work though.  I’ve been thinking it’s Urban Fantasy, but it’s first in a Time Travel series.  So, I’d call it Historical Fantasy.  It’s a Paranormal Romance, but more swashbuckling than the dark and broody fare you’ll typically find under that heading.  For now, I think I’d better just stick with the Time Travel label.

With elves.

It occurred to me yesterday that it will become obvious about half way through that the Hero is unhinged.  That is, he’s losing his mind, not exactly in the human sense.  But, he’s insane, and the Heroine won’t realize this until after she’s fallen in love with him.  So, then I’m reminded of what it’s like for families with loved ones who suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s and such.  True love means holding to that ‘In sickness and in health’ clause.  The Heroine can’t just throw up her hands and say, “Well, goshdarnit, you’re a really hot elf, but this isn’t the gig I signed up for.  Buh-bye.”

That is going to be so hard to write.

Awesome.  🙂

Watching Your Characters Grow Up

meandbaby2*This is a picture of me with my youngest child.  She’s big enough to steal my shoes and walk right out the door now.*

Maybe it’s because I’m a mom, but I have to write stories in which the characters start out immature in whatever way and then grow up.

No one is born an Alpha Male or a Kick-Butt Heroine.  We grow into that and I enjoy the process.  This is the main reason I cannot read some Romance novels – the characters already have it all together.

But, that’s just me.

In preparing my previously ePublished stories for Indie Pub, I get to go back and reread what they were like, good kids really, but naïve, sheltered, undiscovered and unexplored strengths and talents, but didn’t have a clue.

Then, I get to leap ahead and work on the last book in the Ice Princess Trilogy and in the first scene the same girl has grown into a fierce woman, half elf, and on a mission to rescue an extremely rare male elf from a notorious vampire stronghold.

The little girl who used to be scared of her own shadow turns to the Prefect and says,

“You know I have the power to take him, regardless.  You only need decide what sort of mess I leave behind.”

Love that.