Category Archives: Blog entries

The archetype

So now that I have covered four of the most common archetypes, we should talk about why I have covered them.

Archetypes exist for a reason, they are things that exist throughout littature, reguardless of region, language, or religion. These are not things that any one author created, but something the collective of all creative minds have shared throughout time. While it isn’t necessary for all or even any to be used, they are effective literary tools that are easily understood.

What is the reason I felt like I should toss my voice in the wind? There are a lot of modern stories which are attempting to challenge the archetype system and writers who claim it is boring and predictable. This is a problem with story telling at it’s core.

When we tell stories, we want people to understand them. We want the reader to: learn whatever wisdom we wish to impart, entertain for a measure of time, and be able to tell others about the story. This is true for almost every story ever written, reguardless of origin.

So why are archetypes used, it doesn’t seem like they are nessarry? Well, it all comes down to the first and last goals of a story.

The first goal of a story is to be understood. There are lots of things we do to accommodate this. We use a common language, the proper use of grammer, use words that can be understood, provide context for words or ideas being introduced, and the use of recognizable story elements. This is effective communication at its most basic. So if you remember; archetypes exist everywhere in the world, and are practically universal. As such, when you use them the readers can easily understand the basic motivations and premise of the tale without having to strain themselves.

This ties into the last goal of a story as well. If a story is easily understood it is easier to remember. We want our stories to be memorable, the reason is two fold. First if it’s memorable then it’s both easier to convey your message or wisdom into the mind of the reader. Secondly it’s more likely they will share your story with others.

A story lives and dies in the mind of the reader. The text on a page or screen only help guide the mind to create that story. No one would have a best seller novel if the story wasn’t memorable. This is why we should use archetypes correctly. They are tools to help people understand the story.

If they understand it, they can remember it. If they remember it, they can share it. If they share it, the story never dies.

The Mentor

Week four of our series is here! This will be the last one, and next week we will be tying up archetypes in general.

The Mentor is probably the single most common archetype in my opinion. No matter where your protagonist falls on the moral scale, they almost always need a little help learning the ropes before they achieve their goals.

You’ve heard the saying “When the student is ready the master appears” or something to that effect. While you can trace the wisdom/proverb to an origin point, proverbs are by nature true long before anyone utters them. So that is where our mentor archetype comes in.

In my first novel “The Crystal Seal” you can also find this displayed in Mistar appearing very early in Cyan’s journey. This is very common in Fantasy, and several other genres as well. But why is it so common? And why (in the Crystal seal) was Mistar at that inn at the precise moment Cyan was there?

The commonality of the mentor is a bit paradoxical if I’m being honest. A story needs flow, and characters need growth. A teacher, or mentor, is the easiest explanation we can accept. Why do they grow in knowledge, strength, status, etc? Because, they had instructions from someone else who knew how.

This is something we all have experienced ourselves. None of us have lived by ourselves, on an island with no contact to anyone, for our entire lives (I know because the wifi there is terrible). We had people teach us a fair bit of what we know and can do. And not all mentors are kind and well meaning. Even bullies, and villains can be mentors too. Oh sure we picked up some things on our own along the way, but a story without any mentor at all tends to enter the dangerous waters of bad story telling.

I’m not saying you HAVE to have a mentor figure take up valuable time that could be spent on awesome X or exciting Y, but you do need to have some sort of consistent and understandable method of gaining new knowledge or character growth. A mentor has already gained said knowledge and growth, and is able to lead the student towards the goal. This is why mentors make poor protagonists (normally, but of course there are exceptions) because there is little room for them to grow.

Now back to Mistar. Why was he in that inn anyway? How long was he staying there? Well the story gives us clues, such as how familiar people seem to be with him, and his tab on the inn is also somewhat covered, so you can guess longer than a night, less than a month? Foreign currency is hard to judge the value of, especially when it’s fictional. Anyway, the story also asserts he wanders, and Mistar himself states he does teach, albeit not often.

In most cases the reason a teacher is standing at the ready doesn’t matter too much. Even so, there should be a reason right? In “The Candescent Vessel” (book two of the trilogy), we get more clues and reason for Mistar being there. Why not tell the reader up front though? Well, if I’m honest, my favorite teacher’s are the ones you don’t fully understand. They don’t need extensive backstory to be effective, just enough to hint at previous growth to show they aren’t completely crazy. But being a little crazy allows the reader some wiggle room in imagining said backstory, which is always fun.

This time I used some examples out of my own books, hopefully that helps explain what a mentor’s role in the story is. They aren’t the protagonist (normally), they are a powerful tool to facilitate growth both in knowledge and understanding for the student and the reader.

So why is it that a teacher appears when the student is ready? Quite simply, it’s because the student is finally open and ready to be taught. There is almost always someone ready to teach, if only the student is open to the lesson. And in my in the case of Mistar with my trilogy? Well, you’ll just have to read and see for yourself.

The Hero

Bare with me everyone, and settle in. This is going to be a long one haha.

What is a hero, why do we write them, do they even really exist? That would be a good thesis statement huh? Well modern writers seem to have trouble writing heroes. They think heroes are boring, and “cookie cutter”, but honestly those are excuses. Excuses being made by lazy writers.

Harsh? Yeah, maybe. But I’m not going to lie, we need heroes.

A hero is a pillar to aspire to. Heroes are a moral role model. So do they come in one shape? No, not really, but not because of what they stand for, but how they reach it. I’m sure nearly everyone has heard of “The Heroes Journey”. Truly a hero is not the end result but the path in which they traveled to become one.

Have you struggled with making the right decisions? Have you had trouble taking the high road when you have been wronged? Do you struggle with being a positive influence with everyone you meet? Is the endurance to keep going on when things become incredibly hard sound like yesterday for you? What makes someone a hero isn’t the “can’t do wrong” or “make’s the right choices”, it’s the struggle and overcoming of hard situations. The kind of situations, that we the readers, would have great difficulty taking action in the same way.

Their morals are not how we don’t relate to them, it’s how we should aspire to be like them. We identify with the struggle, we should seek to become able to also make the heroic decision in those struggles. It is incredibly difficult, and in our world we tend to only see darkness everywhere we look. That is why we need heroes in our stories, morals are instinctual, but do not happen automatically.

We all know when things feel unfair when they happen to us. Why then is it so much harder to see unjust things that happen to others? How can we be so cutting with our words when if those words were turned on us we would cry foul? Is it because we don’t want heroes anymore? Do we empathize with villains and antiheroes instead? Are we content to remain children forever whining about how unfair the world is? Is that not why we write heroes? Are we not trying to show that there is a better way? A responsible way?

We don’t write heroes that don’t have struggles, for if they struggled not they would they not be heroes? Honestly, look anywhere, look everywhere, we have examples of heroes in our world every day. Does the firefighter whine that the building is too hot to enter, or do they duck their head and charge in to search for the trapped people? Do the hospital workers turn you away because you could get them sick? or do they let you in and treat your aliment as best as they are able? Does the police say “nah, there is gun fire over there, I could get hurt” or do they try and stop the violence?

What makes those heroes different then the ones we write is they go through stressful things that a lot of us cannot always relate to. The heroes we write can be shown to struggle with more everyday things and over come them as well. Not to say any of those people in my examples don’t also struggle with everything we do, but when you see them you don’t see those struggles you see their heroic actions. We cannot get inside each others head and read their thoughts (Thank the good Lord for that haha), but in stories we can see that the heroes are not so different from you or me.

So when I hear fellow creatives say things like “heroes are boring” or “heroes are all the same”, I know what they are really saying is “I don’t want to grow up, and writing someone who does grow up and becomes something more is hard”

That’s all I have today, let me know what you think in the comments.

Summer Reading Sale!

Hey Everyone!

Sorry for the late announcement, but my summer of reading sale is just just around the corner! If you haven’t had a chance to read The Sage of Hytrae trilogy, the next few days are going to be exciting! To both encourage and celebrate summer reading my ebooks are going to be heavily discounted as follows.

The Crystal Seal, The intro into the trilogy will be free for 4 days. Those free days are: July 29th – Aug 1st

The Candescent Vessel, and The Sorcerer’s Gamble (Books 2 and 3 in the trilogy respectively) will be on sale for just $0.99 on: July 29th – Aug 3rd

Thank you all for your support throughout the years, and especially lately. I hope everyone stays safe and healthy, and may God bless you and keep you.

Summer update for 2020

Hey everyone!

Exciting news, I am once again doing a “summer of reading” where in july you will be able to pick up one or more of The Sage of Hytrae books for a discount! I am going to be promoting this heavier than any promition to date, so hopefully we will see many new people ready to read these exciting tales. I will have more exact details on pricing and dates in the next week or two.

More writing is underway, and I am still hopeful at getting a new book out this fall. This writing does include a new Hytrae based trilogy, which is my current “active” effort. I will have more to announce for that in the next couple of months.


I know this year has been crazy, and I hope all of you are healthy and safe. As always,

may God bless you and keep you.

Thanks again!

Hey Everyone,

Thanks to everyone who checked out my promotional book give-a-way. I hope everyone who decided to download it reads it and enjoys it. The price will remain at the lower entry of $0.99 (USD) for The Crystal Seal.

I hope to have some new project updates to post in the next month or so, please stay tuned!

Until next time, May God bless you and keep you.

Last Chance to get The Crystal Seal ebook for Free!

Hey Everyone!

Today is your last chance to get The Crystal Seal ebook at no cost to you! The adventure begins here, and doesn’t cost you anything! Hop over to Amazon and grab it today!

All of my ebooks are (and always have been) DRM free, so you are free to use whatever ebook app you please to enjoy the story. And don’t forget to drop a review if you enjoyed it. It really does help.

The Crystal Seal is Free right now on Amazon!

Hey Everyone!

Just a reminder that Today the first installment of The Sage of Hytrae is Free! The Crystal Seal (ebook edition) can be purchased on Amazon.com and downloaded to any kindle, or device with a kindle app absolutely free!

This free promotion is to celebrate The Crystal Seal turning five years old this month! Find out how the adventure begins today!

Oh, and don’t forget to leave a review if you enjoyed the book. It really helps other people find it.

March Update

Hey Everyone!

This month The Crystal Seal turns 5 years old! It originally released on March 31st 2015, and kicked off The Sage of Hytrae Trilogy. As a celebration of this event The Crystal Seal ebook will be free from March 5th until the 9th. So if you haven’t had a chance please do give the first installment a read, for the best price Free!

In addition to that, you might have noticed all my currently published ebooks have dropped in price. You can now normally get The Crystal Seal for $0.99, and both The Candescent Vessel / The Sorcerer’s Gamble for $2.99. Paper backs for all books are still $9.99 sadly. This is due to printing and distribution costs.

I’m also looking into alternate forms of funding for publishing new books. I have been funding everything out of my own pocket and that causes some difficulty since my funds are limited fairly often. I will always be publishing to everyone that I can, and I won’t ask for additional pay walls for such things. So I’m not really sure what I can offer in this type of model besides maybe sneak peaks, polls, additional/alternative artworks, and possibly some form of dialog (like a discord server to ask questions and hang out?). Nothing is set in stone yet, and I am open for feedback.

Regardless, I am still hoping to get a new book written for this year. I have been quite busy so progress has been slow, so it will probably be a fall release at best again.

Anyway, thanks so much for stopping by and until next time.

May God bless you and Keep you,

 

 

February Update

Hey Everyone!

Happy new year… oh little late for that haha. Yes the silence has passed, 2020 is planned to be a great year! This year The Crystal Seal is five years old this year! Crazy to think back to that time, my first book, the one that started the trilogy. Really, it was the first personal project I ever finished of any kind.

To celebrate I’m going to be throwing up a sale and price reduction on the kindle versions of all three books! Its not yet, but soon. I have some minor things I need to do first before I can throw up the sale (mostly make it more obvious that there are three books in the series haha). So I will have another post in the near future letting everyone know when the sale and price reductions are live.

Why tell everyone now then? I don’t even have a date to announce after all (I’m thinking early march ish). Well accountability is the first reason. If I tell people I’m more likely to actually get it done. Secondly, nothing is more frustrating to buy something just for it to have a price reduction, or a sale shortly after. So don’t buy kindle right now! *laughter* no one has bought it in months, but hey I can dream. Reminder, if you buy the paperback, you can get the corresponding ebook for free when you buy on amazon.

Anywho, what else? Surely that’s not all right? Well no, not all, but I have even less details about the next one. I am planning on releasing a new book this year! its not finished yet, I might have previously announced working on it, but maybe not. I know its not much to go on, well I guess next  to nothing to go on. But hey, look for something new to read towards the end of the year from me all the same. I will have more updates on this and any other projects later on.

Well happy Valentine’s everyone! Until next time, May God Bless you and Keep you.