Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Hello Reader!  The title above is the title for the seventh chapter in The Proxy Wars: Dramatis Personae.  As stated in a previous post, which is linked to in this blog post, the chapter is dedicated to showing the two worlds that Briok must now tread in.  Hopefully it's not so Harry Potter-ish that it looks like I'm imitating J.K. Rowling.

I was really struggling with what this blog post should be about.  Either I would give a character list, or update on the query search for an agent.  Since the latter is going nowhere, I think a list of important characters is the best thing to do.  It's a pretty big list, so the most important will go ahead of the jump.

Briok Cwornas Adam Cwartel: Four names, definite allusion to Albus Brian Wulfric Dumbledore.  Briok is the main character of the entire story, just not the first book Dramatis Personae.  The reason for this is that I needed an introduction, that's what the title means after all, to the characters of the story.  So, I use Amar in that capacity.  He is the last Magna Beast ever, and is thereby tasked with killing the last two Howlamegas.  He is only 14 years old at the beginning of the story.  By the end of Personae, he'll have finished his first year of high school, or Upper School as the novel calls it.

Amar the Mind Priest: The mentor to the Magna Beasts since the seventh generation of the line.  He is one of the Mahabura, an alien species capable of manipulating the elements of mythology.  They can do this because they are actually made up of those elements.  Fire Mahabura are actually fire, etc.  Amar the Mind Priest is capable of manipulating the mind.  I understand there's no scientific way that this could be possible.  That's why I would probably define my story as a fantasy novel rather than call it science fiction.

Arthur Fourgun: He was once the greatest Mag soldier.  He is now a crippled, blind author of several best-selling novels about the history of the Magna Beasts and Howlamegas.  He is another mentor of the Magna Beasts, serving in that capacity since the 22nd generation of Magna Beasts.  Two points to remember: there are only 26 Magna Beasts, meaning Briok is the 26th.  The second point is that Mags in general live for several centuries because of a special healing ability that evolved in their species.  They're like starfish, but they can actually concentrate where the regrowth or repair can occur.  Another sidenote is that the Magna Beasts are capable of living for much longer, and heal without having to concentrate on the site of repair

Tory Cross: The mafia boss who is in control of the Cross Family.  I've based my mafia world on the little characteristics of the Yakuza that I know, as well as a few Godfather tidbits.  I wanted to create something troubled, where the weight of their actions sits heavily on their shoulders.  So, Tory is my channel through which I can show my hesitant love for Greek tragedy.  His inherent traits bring about tragedy for him and his family.

Kilik the Howlamega: Kilik is the main antagonist for much of the story.  His son, the 26th and final Howlamega, comes much later in the story.  Kilik is cursed with long life just as Amar is, but he experiences bodily degradation unlike Amar.  His natural healing abilities are constantly combatting this curse, and the toll is very visible on him.  He is also the ruler of Territoria, the gigantic land concession won by the Howlas after the Fourth World War that ended in 3070, 26 years before the events of Dramatis Personae.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Deus Ex machina

For anyone that's familiar with the term, Deus Ex Machina seems a bit inappropriate for a chapter title.  But so does Dramatis Personae for a book title.  Basically, it means "God out of the machine".  It's a device that refers to a solution in a novel that comes out of the blue to solve a plot point.  In this chapter, the main focus is on Amar and Arthur Fourgun.

Amar is the mentor for the Magna Beasts (the title given to leaders of the Mag people).  He's been alive for millenia, sort've a curse thing that's never really explained.  I don't think there really needs to be an explanation.  The curse affects him adversely, and this tragedy is all that needs to be shown.  He trains the Magna Beasts in the physical aspect of their mission, teaching them how to fight and use their inherited skills.  Arthur Fourgun is a former soldier in the Mag army who was blinded by the Howlamega.  Since he was blinded, he became another wise elder figure for the Magna Beasts, teaching them about their history and preparing them for the psychological aspects of murder and warfare. 

These two, in this chapter, find the God from the machine and even create one of their own in order to solve the following problem.  But the excerpt is not from this, because I promised action this time around.  So, the excerpt is from Chapter 9: Capo di tutti Capi.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Ties That Bind

That's the title to the fifth chapter.  I'm sure you might be thinking right about now, well this book seems pretty episodic young author!  It might be.  I don't think it is, I hope it isn't.  I've named each chapter to underline, put in bold, and italicize the chapter's theme.  So, as a bit of a conceit, this blog will be dedicated to underlining, putting in bold, and italicizing each chapter title that I have as of now for The Proxy Wars: Dramatis Personae.

For Chapter 1, the title is the Joker and the Thief.  The chapter title does refer to the Bob Dylan song and Jimi Hendrix cover.  If you look up the meaning of the song, you'll see it's about changing the established order.  And that's exactly what my joker and my thief in the chapter are trying to do.

Chapter 2's title, Three Days Later, is pretty upfront.  I start up the story three days after the events of the previous chapter.  It's a bit more forward than I'm actually used to, but not everything can mean something.

Chapter 3, Runaway is again another very upfront title.  Briok, our young hero, runs away from his mentor Amar.  Not to reveal too much about the chapter, but he gets into an enormous amount of trouble with the mafias because of this.

Chapter 4, An Answer for Everything.  This may look upfront, but it actually isn't because it's a direct rebuke to anyone who is begging for answers from the book.  There've been 78 pages before this of action and plot-thickening, with no real explanation for the events.  Here, everything gets fleshed out, while revealing a deeper history to the whole plot.  This shows that one event from far in the past affects moments in the present.

Chapter 5, The Ties That Bind.  I've already explained this, but I'll give a brief overview here.  It's a Protestant phrase, basically talking about the wonderful bonds of love.  I wanted to show in this chapter how those bonds can be strained and strengthened.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

An Answer for Everything

That is the title for chapter four.  Here the characters are all staying put and the action from previous chapters slows down by a lot.  There are only two major characters interacting throughout this entire chapter: Briok and Amar.  It's a question and answer session that of course answers some questions, but then reveals many more of them for the reader to dig into.  My only qualm about this chapter is that I may be putting too many questions in the book that WON'T be answered until much, much later in the story.  I'm talking next book later.  It's a major concern, but hopefully the coherent thematic story I'm trying to weave is going to lift the book over such a tremendous hill.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009


I promise, I won't RUNAWAY with this post. Sorry, I'm a chronic pun teller. Is that what they're called? Anyways, that's the title to the third chapter of the novel Proxy Wars: Dramatis Personae.

Recently, I've revamped my query letter. The summary portion of the novel is pasted below. Again, tell me what you think of it, bring your honest criticism, don't be afraid to be harsh. I really do appreciate it. What I'm looking for are answers to two simple questions: A) Does it get you interested? B) Do you want to read more? Thank you for spending a part of your day to consider this.

The novel centers on Amar, immortal mentor to the Magna Beasts - monarchs of the alien Mags. Opposed to them are the Howlas who are led by their counterparts to the Magna Beasts, the Howlamegas. The long running holy war between the two species arrives on Earth in 2015.  More than a thousand years later in 3096 the last Magna Beast has arisen on the island country of Atlantis. Dramatis Personae focuses on Amar's attempts to train the young Briok Cwartel. As he grapples with his new pupil's adolescence, Amar also searches desperately for a way to end the war, and thereby his troubled life as well.

Meanwhile, Howlian mafias have risen to prominence within the country's power structure. At the apex of their power, the largest boss Howard Crim betrays his protege Tory Cross. Enraged, the young Tory wages war against both Atlantis and his former mentor using the recently invented laser gun. His blind bid for power threatens not only to rip apart his soul, but everything Amar has worked for.

There you go. I worked damn hard to distill the story within those two paragraphs. Honestly, every book I've read about queries has said to distill the story even further. But I've read several query letters that got agents not only interested in the product, but also ended up starting authors on their careers. They've all had longer summaries than my two short paragraphs. So, hopefully this is good enough for them. Anyways, it's late, and I've got to wake up before sunrise because I'm a food vampire now. Ramadan does that to you. Until next time then.