From the time I started on it, I knew mainly what I wanted my book to be for readers. I changed some things in the final version, of course, but a lot of the themes and ideas remained the same. I'm not here to tell you that it's going to become the next Harry Potter. I'm fully aware it's not, but I have a vision for it and I want to share it with you.
Easy to Pick Up
I've read books both easy to pick up and not so much. Some stories let you leap ahead chapters and chapters at a time pretty easily. They don't linger on the plot. Many of these books include children books and quick reads.
Other books are more complicated and deep. They're not bad books by any means, though they require a lot of the reader's commitment to keep going, especially in fantasy. They may rely on suspense, drama, and politics. Just think about Lord of the Rings.
I've read many wonderful books in both categories. I'm not placing either one on the top, but in my writing journey, I met a lot of writers wishing to write complicated stories fitting in the second category. Most of them were so overly complicated though as they told me that it's best if I read the world creation story before I delve into the main one. I got to the point where I would cringe hearing that. I don't know if you relate to that or not, but I wasn't interested in reading world creation story after world creation story while I'm not even aware of who the main character was or what the book was about. This would have been fine if I was reading a popular book like Lord of the Rings were the story and characters were already familiar and loved by readers, but after being asked this well into double digits, I became bored and realized that this is asking too much commitment off of the bat.
Now, from the beginning of my first outline with writing A Rokian's Curse, I already knew it wasn't going to be over complicated. If you are somewhat familiar with the tale, you'll know it is inspired off of an old Scottish ballad. Because of the simple nature, it doesn't require a lot of background information going in. On top of that, I became inspired to go a different route than a lot of people seeking to create languages and series before starting on their first chapter. I took pride in simplicity, in terms of beginnings at least.
It was at that point when I wanted my book to be easy to pick up and read. While many have told me it is a suspenseful novel, the crisis is introduced right away, the setting and main character established from page one. You don't have to read the creation of the universe and you don't have to bother knowing any of the characters' or races' history before the story starts.
A Forgotten Tale, Renewed
One element I really thrive on in my writing is folklore. I love folklore no matter the country it comes from. Mythology affects nearly everything we consume. It's in movies, games, media, books, etc. I never seem to grow tired from seeing unicorns, orcs, elves, and the like, but some of my most favorite folklore to read about is obscure.
When it comes to obscure mythologies, there are some that have been buried in the past for good reason. Sometimes they don't make any sense or are embarrassing to read, but every now and then, you might find a diamond in the rough. Disney took some beautiful (and sometimes very frightening,) stories to bring back from the dusty shelf of folklore, but there are still some out there that are really good and should be known to story lovers.
I thought the Scottish Ballad, "The Elfin Knight" was one of them. I took the story portrayed in the song and made a few tweaks to it so I could craft a new story from it. In the song, a handsome but outworldly knight threatens to marry a maiden against her will unless she performed three impossible tasks for him. Instead of becoming upset, the maiden said she would supply him all of these wishes if he completed three tasks simular in difficulty for her first. In defeat, he retreats and leaves her alone.
I wanted to tell this tale, but in a way that she would have to complete these tasks to save herself. This is my take on bringing a marvelous, forgotten tale alive again with a new world and characters.
Typical Fantasy, But in a New Light
Aside from bringing back an old piece of folklore to the modern world, I wish to do something similar to fantasy in general. Okay, that sounds like I created something revolutionary. It's not a super original idea for a book, nor did I try to make it alien from everything else.
It's about a curse, an adventure, and elves living in a magical forest, but I didn't allow that to restrict my imagination by birthing a world of magic inspired by the wonders of Scotland, finding characters with emotional journeys and fights, and creating some of my own races and creatures from the nature of Scottish folklore.
I wanted to tell a story with a unique feel, but still use some of my favorite tropes in fantasy. I don't know about you, but there are some things that people might label "cliche" in storytelling that I just don't grow tired of reading.
If you made it all the way down here, thank you so much for reading! I hope you find that as interesting as I do. It was an honor to share my vision with you and it will be an even greater one to share the story when the book comes out. If you have any thoughts leave a comment or reach me on social media. I'd like to hear from you!