Monday, May 01, 2006

Journey Bread

How like a Fantasy Quest it is - the road to publication.
Some writers are solitary heroes on their lonely journey.
Some collect a band of loyal companions (critique groups or cliques).
Often includes a dwarf, a one-eyed mercenary, a drunken ministrel, a sluttish tavern maid and a reluctant wizard, according to the Turkey City Lexicon - which see.
Our writer heroes meet many obstacles and monsters on this quest like queries, formats and synopses ( chasms and deserts and devious mazes), post office and e-query glitches ( wicked messengers), scamming agents (demons), vicious fellow travellers (minor devilkins) and secret societies that may test or divert the heroes - as not quite right.
They collect talismans on the way (or plot coupons - again courtesy of the Turkey City Lexicon) such as agents, blogs, conventions and all the while have to decipher the hidden language in the Secret Books of the King, the fragments of Ancient Lore while battling storm and bitter wind and slush.
They tend to ignore good and plain advice from a chance, anonymous traveller ( because, yanno, they are naive, yet suspicious ) and are blind to their own weaknesses because they know they are heroes, after all and no one has ever travelled this road before or been so brave ( the bones of others by the wayside notwithstanding.)
Some are flawed with peculiar weaknesses ( shyness, obligations, conceit, a shady erotica e-pub past or worse iUniverse) which they strive to overcome at the same time they face the challenges of the quest.

It all explains the imperative behind Trilogies, too.
Because the heroes soon learn that after the first Quest is complete and they have trapped the wiley dragon (publisher)and made him give up the key to the golden treasure; another is laid upon them, they must travel ( yet again) the entire kingdom to gather an army (pleading for the citizen's indulgence, attention and support.)
Woe and suffering and cries of anguish erupt from the heroes stalled in the desolation of various hells ( mid-list, genre-boxes) until they embarque on the third and final quest that discovers the Princess ( she's not a virgin, and not particularly faithful, but oh well) - in New York.
Then they write their Memoirs.

But hey, it's the Story, the Journey - not the Hero - that counts in the end.


Ric said...

Nice to see you enjoyed the Turkey City Lexicon as much as I did.

The journey is long; persevere.

Bernita said...

T'was a hoot, Ric.

Erik Ivan James said...

Well, I don't know what is a Turkey City Lexicon. But your post today does bring home the point to me that "It's all about the story".
The person of the story's writer is minor.

Bernita said...

There's a link on Miss Snark's, Erik.The essay lists cliches, conventions and innocent newby mistakes.
Concerns Sci-fi but many apply to other genres.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

I don't know what a Turkey City Lexicon is either...LOL...I had to read the post twice...LOL

Eureka! I got it!'re talking about the "Long and Winding Road" (forgive the Beatle pun) to publication....ahhh..."I see said the blind man!"

Bernita said...

Hey, Bonnie, you should look it up and read it - it's fun and good.
My husband spewed coffee over your joke this morning.

Ballpoint Wren said...

Here it is: The Turkey City Lexicon, in all its eyeball-kicking glory.

Bernita, I love your hanger cartoons!

Bernita said...

Thank you, Bonnie, and thank you.
Love your Mojo saga!

Anonymous said...

Great post, Bernita.

I'm the guy on the quest who likes to get to the inn early and have a quiet dinner with fellow travelers by torchlight.

Candice Gilmer said...

It makes me wonder, in any genre of writing, how to make a story new and original, how to create something fresh out of tired cliche and really bring it into a new light...

Bernita said...

Sometimes these mockery-dockery sites slip over the line and confuse convention with cliche, Candice.
Every house has walls, floor and a roof, but they don't necessarily look alike.

Saw you there, Jason, from my seat in the corner beside the firplace.I was the one in the cloak.