Friday, May 24, 2013

Promo and Guest Post: The Long Way

Young Adult


Published by BookRix: 5/19/2012

In a move that defies all logic and likelihood, a young boy named Spiff is called upon to carry
out the most important quest that has ever been undertaken. His mission drags him headlong
across the face of the world, through a veritable pantheon of hardships and threats that are at once
chilling and baffling. Along the way he meets dragons and madmen, and learns that the lovable
and the monstrous are two sides of the same coin.

Conceived as a darkly whimsical loose retelling of the Tolkien saga, The Long Way poses the
question that high fantasy rarely cares to ask: Why?

Aaron Redfern has been reading and writing fantasy since a time when he could count his age on his fingers. He went to Williams College and studied English, a language in which he was already proficient, and although he learned almost nothing from the English professors, dead poets and novelists taught him a great deal. While at college, he fell thoroughly in love with New England. He has decided never to leave and currently resides near Northampton, Massachusetts.

Aaron has written three novels, including The Long Way and its sequel, The Forgotten Way. His short-fiction titles include Stories About the Rain and Crawl.

Buy this eBook on BookRix 

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Guest Post:

How to Make Your Characters Feel Real

Part Two: Our Bodies, Ourselves

Good characters are the basis for any good story. They're what draws you in and makes you feel connected to what you're reading, so if the characters feel shallow—especially the characters who you spend the most time with as a reader—then the whole story feels shallow. Writing deep characters that feel like real people is one of the toughest challenges of writing fiction. So how do you keep your characters from feeling like cardboard cutouts? What makes the difference between a character who feels vivid and one who feels like a disembodied name doing unimportant things in blank space—or worse yet, one whose actions all seem completely random and disconnected?

It's important to give your characters a sense of physicality, a sense that they exist in a body rather than just on a page. Your character's physical form is the key to his or her interaction with the world. Are they tall or short, wide or narrow? Are they perceived as beautiful or ugly; do they perceive themselves as beautiful or ugly? Does he rub his scar and remember the past? Does she have traits or abilities that set her apart from everyone else?

An elf and a dwarf are going to literally see things differently. Suppose they're standing next to a stone wall. The elf can see over the wall easily and look out onto the valley below; the dwarf mainly sees the wall. As much as I prefer Tolkien's representation of Gimli, Peter Jackson sometimes handles this aspect of the character better. Poor Gimli is unable to see over the ramparts of Helm's Deep, so he has to try to find another way to get a view.

In The Long Way, one of the characters is a flying mouse. His body is so different from that of the human main character that his whole way of interacting with objects has to be different. While Spiff trudges, runs, and crouches, Euclid hovers, zips, and flutters. He can hardly lift anything, but on the other hand, he can dart up into the sky and become unseen. I had to keep all of these things firmly in mind while writing the character in order to make him make sense. The sequel, The Forgotten Way, gave me an even greater challenge; one of the main characters has an eye in the back of her head, and she can see behind her at all times. I had to actually force myself to take this into account time and time again while writing the story. She has an entirely different way of seeing the world, and it shapes how she tells the story. It has to—otherwise, she wouldn't fit into her own skin.

Making sure your characters are embodied is a critical part of making them feel real. Your character may have a keen mind and moral depth, but if she doesn't have a body too, she's just going to feel abstract.

If you missed Part One of How to Make Your Characters Feel Real, you can find the post on Mom With a Kindle:

Virtual Book Tour - May 13 - June 7

May 13 - Reading Addiction Blog Tours - Meet and Greet
May 14 - The Avid Reader - Interview/PROMO
May 15 - Ki0lu &Mimi - PROMO
May 16 - BookRix - Review/Giveaway
May 17 - Mom With a Kindle - Guest Post/PROMO
May 18- Pink Fluffy Hearts - PROMO
May 19 - Simply Me - Interview/PROMO
May 20 - Magnolia Blossom Review - Review/Interview
May 23 - A Life Through Books - Review
May 24 - Must Read Faster - Guest Post/PROMO
May 25 -  Texas Book Nook - Review
May 27 - Becky's Barmy Book Blog - Guest Post/PROMO
May 28 - Book Nerd Paradise - Review
May 29 - Imaginings - Review
June 2 - Wormy Hole - Review
June 3 - Word By Word - Review
June 4 - My Cozie Corner- Review
June 7 - RABT Reviews - Review

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