The first book I ever wrote was garbage.
But more on that later.
I grew up with fantasy stories. Lord of the Rings. Harry Potter. You know the drill. They made me want to be a ranger or an auror when I grew up. But then I was exposed to the action adventure genre and suddenly I wanted to be an archaeologist who fought Nazis. And then a detective. And a librarian. And maybe a private investigator.
And then I finally realized the one career that could include every single one of those:
A writer can live all of those lives in a day.
That’s the beauty of creating fiction.
However, this sort of indecision managed to also leak through in my writing. Those familiar with my published fantasy series, The Arkis Tales, might be surprised to learn that its original concept featured characters living in the real, modern world who experience a different story genre in each book. For example, they’d face a cop drama with a bank robbery in one book and then a treasure hunt in the next. I couldn’t decide on a genre, so that seemed like the best solution. I’m sure you’ll see more than your fair share of pieces of that old project throughout this blog series, so I won’t digress too terribly much.
One thing led to another and The Arkis Tales evolved into what it is now: A saga following heroes who travel from book to book, fighting battles in a war over the realms within said books. The Arkis itself is limitless. Originally created as a sanctuary in the war, it houses all of the written realms, like a divinely vast library. Every genre represented (see how I worked that in there?), ready to be explored and protected by our heroes.
The lore is fairly extensive–Keepers, Galdere, Queens of Avalon, Dark magic, Light magic, and so on–if you’re interested, you should definitely check out the recently republished first book of the series: Things As They Were.
If you don’t care quite as much as I do, allow me to jump to what’s relevant to this blog series.
The basic concept of the Arkis easily inspired the real-life founding of The Little Arkis Shoppe. In fact, The Little Arkis Shoppe is featured in the series. We just simply took it from page to reality–with a few twists, of course. But a bookish store celebrating stories and the growth and life-giving elements they represent is not the only thing we brought from lore to reality.
You see, within this namesake fantasy series, I learned the power of taking complete garbage (remember my first book I mentioned) and turning it into a story so powerful it can literally save lives. I mean, it saved mine, at least.
There are magical beings who battle over realms within stories in The Arkis Tales, but there are also magical beings who create those worlds in the first place. Anyone can write words on a page. But, in Arkis lore, only Creators can bring a story to life. (There’s a little more to that, but for the sake of this post, we’re just hitting the basics).
Creators began as chaotic beings who carried the potential to self-destruct if their chaos remained unchecked and overwhelming. Sound familiar? In The Arkis Tales, co-existence with the Galdere, a race of immortal beings whose magic primarily involves organization (not as boring as it sounds), is a mutually beneficial situation. This gives order to the Creators so their chaos can be channeled and celebrated in its fullest, without harming them or anyone else around them.
According to the lore, there are only seven Creators and they’re all female–but right here, right now, anyone reading this is a Creator. Whether your art of choice is formed with words or paint or clay, you Create. You give life to your creations and inspire those around you.
Now we just need to harness that creative mayhem that’s brewing inside you, add a little Galderean touch, and turn your chaotic vibes into a story crafted by a Creator.
For tips on how to start this process before we dive in deeper, read my intro post here.