Tag Archives: Azai


One thing a writer needs to learn is how to write concise but interest promotional materials for his/her works. It’s tough; how do you condense 50,000, or worse, 300,00 words of epic story into a one-page summary that is at all satisfying? Almost any work of fiction is going to be better than it sounds.

Yet this is a must-learn skill for developing writers. In one sense, you’re a salesman pitching a product to agents and editors. If you can’t motivate them to sample your product, you won’t get far.

Here’s my draft for FRAGILE GODS. Feedback welcome.

When protectors become killers…

For thousands of years, elemental titans known as the Drim have guarded and served the Dolmec people. Now, for the first time in history, they have turned violent, and not even the priests who follow them understand why.

The unexamined life is not worth living.

Damek is annoyed when his older brother, Azai, advises him to abandon a quiet scholarly life for the chance to help Azai to stop a war. Though Damek does not share his brother’s ambition and arrogance, he realizes his existence has become tepid and stale. But when Azai instead incites lifelong pacifists to take up arms, Damek is forced to question his brother’s motives.

The penalty for success…

The proud general Shoji has won every battle he’s ever faced, and is determined to spend what’s left of his life quietly with his family. But the Emperor-god he serves has other plans.

At every turn, the lives of mortals are driven by the deities they love or fear. But what happens when the gods themselves fail?



Cliche Dodging: The Heroes’ Council

Council of ElrdonI’ve reached a point in FRAGILE GODS that’s annoying me. And the reason it’s annoying me is that it’s been done to death.

The first dangers have been survived, the early challenges surmounted. Now the author needs to explain to the reader some of the wider politics of our fictional world, while the heroes need to understand their course of action for the next book (or in some cases, three).

Enter the  Heroes’ Council, where high ranking members various factions congregate to explain to protagonist (or have him explain to them) just what to do next. Tempers may flare, sides will quarrel, heroic sacrifices might be offered.

Tolkien had the Council of Elrond. George Lucas used war rooms congregated around a holographic presentation, or in the prequels, the Jedi Council.

Brandon Sanderson’s version was to have a heist gangleader outline ideas on a chalkboard while his crew chimed in.

I’ve reached a point in the plot where just such a council has occurred, and I’m thoroughly nonplussed by the idea. Yet in terms of plot, it was necessary; Azai is heading north specifically to convince several tribe chiefs of his plan. And the big chieftain would be out of character not to involve trusted advisors and friends.

Are there alternatives to the cliche scene?