I am writing this today at the bequest of the wand from my book, The Lost Cactus. The problem is, he is a little upset with the way I’ve depicted him, and has stated that he’d like to change his profile in follow up books…into a sword.
I told him no and that’s when the problems started.
So, the question is, should a wand be able to talk, can I stop him now that he does and will I ever hear the last of it from the wand union?
First of all I need to fill you in on a few details, mainly how I got in to this mess to begin with.
The Recipe for a Good Fantasy Novel…or so I Thought.
When I was younger, yep some time ago in the middle of the Jurassic Period, I began reading the Hobbit, a story which is currently being murdered in the cinemas by an overly long script, a focus on the darker side of the plot and stretching the storyline to breaking point. Anyway, after reading this wonderful tale, I then, as most others do, went on to read The Lord of the Rings trilogy. My heart and mind were in unison…they both loved fantasy and after reading David Eddings and Terry Brooks offerings to the genre, my love for fantasy was set.
Later on in life, around the time man began to walk upright, I read other types of books, non-fiction, historical fiction, crime and conspiracy novels and of course, due to my work, a lot of Tom Clancy…wow, but how good was red Storm Rising and how bad are the Rainbow Six novels in comparison.
Anyway, before I waffle write about my reading past, I must now go onto my writing present. When I began slowly chiselling out the stones that would begin my opening to TLC…we’re now into the bronze age but I couldn’t afford the papyrus…I wondered what was the correct format for the perfect Fantasy Novel and here’s what I came up with.
1. A hero/heroine MC of some sort…a dark past essential if you want to go with the gloomy atmosphere.
2. A heroine or gorgeous boyfriend if the MC is the wrong sex…though these days, you can play around with the formula depending on how risky you want to be.
3. An evil, up to no good, bad guy…probably one of the most fun characters to write if you want to really mess up the reader…think of Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs…was he really that bad, or just miss understood? If you thought the later, you’re one of the messed up readers…he ate people!
4. A great cast of characters to annoy, please, frustrate and generally try to kill the MC.
5. An ideal setting, anywhere will do, but it needs depth, believability, and the odd dragon really helps.
6. A way of preforming the magic…you could use a wand, and this is where my whole heart ache began.
What is a Wand?
J K Rowling used the ubiquitous stick wand, Tolkien, the wonderful staff wand, Eddings an Orb of massive power and King Arthur used a rather large Sword given to him by an ex-girlfriend who hid out in a lake after he dumped her…not a lot of people know about this part of the Arthurian legend as historians have tried to hush it up, but basically he dumped her after she demanded he get rid of the whole castle idea and go more open plan.
So, what type of wand should I go for in my story, the stick, sword or orb. Well, I thought I could spice it up a bit, make the whole story more modern and …well…he’s not happy about what I chose…to say the least.
The Wand Union Problems
So wandy, I’m not going to use his real name, goes and tells the union and all hell breaks lose. The next thing I know, I’m being visited by a couple of wands and shown a picture of a wizard who refused to listen to his. He was subsequently held hostage while the wand union re-negotiated wand rights with the good guys union.
This is the picture they showed me…it made me cold all over.
The big question now is, should I change the wand into a sword as it has requested, or am I just giving in. My MC has said we should sack him and he’d prefer a gun anyway, especially given the amount of gnomes in the sequel. The heroine has said I should keep the wand as hers comes in so handy…she has a vanity mirror and I think her ego is starting to get the better of her. And then I’ve got the whole union thing to deal with. They say that…
‘a fantasy story needs a wand, one approved by the union and that has recieved all the correct health and magic at work briefings’
So I’m stuck. What I really could do with is some advice, but the wizards are avoiding me, other fantasy writers don’t want to get embroiled in this contentious issue and the publishers say it’s my problem, I made him talk, I get him to shut up and play ball.
But a wand can’t play ball…or can he?