From the title of this post, I’m probably right in assuming that you’re thinking that this will be some deep meaningful post about feelings, and you’re sort of right in assuming that. In the book, there is war, fighting, death, blood and gore, but there is also happy moments, and romance, and the building of relationships, both romantically and as friendships. I was out cycling today, doing something called a chaingang (basically a long sustained effort where the group takes turns to be on the front), it was 32 miles of hell, not including having to ride to the location where the group met up, and where we stopped for a coffee and rode back (total 62 miles). But it occurred to me that I was riding with a bunch of strangers, of whom I had only met once (last week), but seemed like I had known them for much longer. So I pondered and thought about why this is, and yes, the answer is seemingly obvious, a shared common interest. The lads I was riding with were friendly and welcoming, all with their own goals, but all respected one another’s goals, and unconsciously would help others to achieve those goals. Now, you’re probably wondering, “well are they going to come and help write your book? edit it?”, well, obviously no, I would have to have known for a lot longer to even tell them I’m writing a book. But talking to them, riding with them, made me wonder, this is how friendships build in real life…yes, but it can also be applied to fictional writing!
Life is the best inspiration for writing, you may not know it, but there is a main plot (you), sub plots (people around you), and other main plots (your friends, spouse, girlfriend, family etc). I have four characters, three of them are good friends from knowing each other for a long time, sharing common interests with each, but the friendship is also helped by the fact that the families/houses/legions are sworn allegiances. They’ve travelled together, hunted together, run riot and generally been cheeky children for the early part of their lives (I mean, who isn’t? No body’s perfect). But one thing stands in the way, one thing that most people (I feel), don’t appreciate in modern society, which is transport. See, in the time ‘Right of Legions’ is set in, the main types of transportation are; horses, sailing, walking, and, in some rare instances, flying dragons…but that won’t happen for some time I’m afraid to say. So, planning out the book, part of my bible is the drawing of my world (which I need to edit slightly…and will be posted up), as families, and legions live far away from each other, occupying sub-kingdoms, maintaining their legions, causing visiting to be difficult. Thus, when my three friends (the fourth comes along after…or now if you’re talking about current writing rather than the back story), meet, they’ll be meeting for what?…the third, fourth, fifth, time in their lives…I’m making it sound like these characters are only friends with people from other legions, rather than within their own legion and city, but, you see my point?
Currently, at University, one of my best friends, of whom I met at college, who taught me a lot and helped me figure out who I really was, went to university in Wales, about 150-200 miles from Southampton. Luckily, however, there is a direct train from Soton (shortened Southampton) to Cardiff, but, if this was medieval times, it would take me about a week (maybe a bit less, or a bit more) to go and see him, rather than a 2 and a half to 3 hour train journey. Meaning, when the time comes, about 5-6 chapters later on in the book, I’ll need to ensure that the characters’ relationships are a believable, strong friendships, rather than saying ‘(name) had been friends with (name) from when they were 5’ or whatever. It’s about building that relationship between characters, and character profile, so when the time comes that something happens to any of them, then you’ll be upset because so and so died, and, most importantly, that so and so have lost a good friend.