HAPPY NEW YEAR!
I can think of no better way to ring in the new year than by promoting a fellow author.
I’m delighted to welcome fantasy author Charles Yallowitz to my blog. Charles recently released his latest novel, Warlord of the Forgotten Age, the 15th and final book in the Legends of Windemere series.
Charles is a prolific author whose accomplishments are too numerous to mention in an introduction. I’ll try to do him justice at the end of this post. Now over to Charles, who will tell us about his writing experience and newest book.
Buy the book HERE
Thank you to Tina Frisco for helping me promote my latest release, Legends of Windemere: Warlord of the Forgotten Age. This is the final book of my fantasy adventure series, so I’ve been thinking a lot about the long journey. 15 volumes and 19 years later, I’m not the same person I was when I started. How could I be? One thing I did when I finished was looking at how I progressed along with the series. Something this massive would show hints to my own development as a person, right? Hence, the topic of what novel writing can teach us about ourselves.
The first thing I learned about myself goes back to the old favorite of pantser or plotter/planner. As much as I love pants, I’m definitely more of a planner considering I put a lot of early work into outlines and character bios. For a long series, I try to have the main story plotted out and the main cast designed before I even start. This helps me maintain continuity and stay on target with foreshadowing. Sure, I typically had to rewrite the next outline after I finished a book, but the major plot points remained intact. That right there shows that I’m not 100% planner, which I think is the norm. We gravitate more toward one than the other, but there’s at least a spark of the opposite in our work. As much as I plan stuff out, outlines rarely survive the first draft process. I merge, add, and erase sections while characters refuse to go along with some ideas. You have to learn how to roll with this because a natural flow is better than forcing stuff.
You also learn about your own limits and boundaries. How far are you willing to go with an action or romance scene? What language are you comfortable with? These are questions that we may answer without realizing it. For me, I found that cursing didn’t work well for Legends of Windemere while it felt like a necessity for my Bedlam series. Two different worlds and tones, which also effected the violence aspect. I went for a little gore in my fantasy stuff because you have undead monsters and medieval weapons aren’t as clean as bullets. Zombies ooze, vampires drink blood, and warriors can lose limbs, which I accepted without a problem. Oddly enough, I had a harder time when it came to the sexual limits. For the life of me, I can never bring myself to write the actual act. Kissing, hugging, making out, removal of clothing without mentioning certain parts, and the afterglow were all done. Actual sex? It just didn’t feel like it was a necessity, which means I learned a limit.
We end up putting our opinions and thoughts on the world in our stories too. It isn’t always apparent at first, but you can catch it on an editing run. Many times, it will be a sudden ping in your head that part of yourself slipped into a scene. I’ve found that half of these incidents had to be removed because it wasn’t in character and the rest worked because they were subtler. You get passionate about something that isn’t writing and then get passionate about the story, the two can cross wires without realizing it. The best example from me involves Fizzle the Drite (a small dragon with dragonfly wings) coming across a homeless child in the sewers. He’s a character who has always been in the wild where orphaned animals are either left to die or adopted by another animal. Fizzle would even step in to raise the kids, but his understanding was that it was the wilderness. To him, cities were supposed to be different and seeing the abandonment of a small child confuses him to the point where he thinks it’s plain wrong. He asks questions about why people let it happen, which I realized came from me because it’s something I personally don’t understand. So, a character and story can end up being a voice for the author to vent confusion and frustration about a social situation.
I’ve been kind of dancing around the big one, which is we can learn how we see the concept of good and evil. This is probably more so for adventure writers like myself who pit heroes against villains. Getting straight to the point, I realized long ago that evil wins too often in the real world. Either that or we pay too much attention to evil while good is dancing around in the background asking for even a half-hearted clap. Call me naïve and foolish *waits for the shouting to stop*, but I don’t like escaping reality to read about a world that comes off just as stressful and unbalanced as our own. Yeah, I’m getting very close to social commentary, but my point is that this led to my personal goal for writing. It’s to entertain and give people an adventure that will help them forget the world for a while. Making a point is nice and can make a story stronger, but I really find myself more interested in using my stories to make a reader shed some of their stress. It could even be hope. If these fictional characters can prove that good conquers evil then why can’t the flesh and blood citizens of our world not to do the same?
Again, thank you to Tina for letting me be on her blog. Please check out Legends of Windemere: Warlord of the Forgotten Age and enjoy the adventure.
About Charles Yallowitz
Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After his wife decided that she was tired of hearing the same stories repeatedly, she convinced him that it would make more sense to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house under orders to shut up and get to work, Charles brings you Legends of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you, and his wife is happy he finally has someone else to play with.
All cover art done by JASON PEDERSEN