Writing 101, Day Seven: Give and Take

Write a post based on the contrast between two things — whether people, objects, emotions, places, or something else.

Today’s twist: write your post in the form of a dialogue. You can create a strong opposition between the two speakers — a lovers’ quarrel or a fierce political debate, for example. Or you could aim to highlight the difference in tone and style between the two different speakers — your call!

Actually, this reminds me of one of my earlier posts, a response to a writing challenge: https://legendsoflorata.wordpress.com/2013/08/03/types-of-relationship-on-lorata/

Most cultures on Lorata are very accepting of different types of relationships.  After all, love is a matter of the heart, and why should biology get in the way of that?  Still, no planet is perfect, and Lorata does have a few places where relationships are expected to consist of only a male and a female, and even then it is very restrictive for them.  I refer to the desert culture in my world, which is mentioned only briefly in Book One, but which becomes part of the main story in Book Two, when Vénes tries to learn about his own heritage.  He learns that this seclusive culture expects arranged relationships to be adhered to, and that even when someone dies, taking a new partner is not allowed.  All this from the same culture that accepts the taking of slaves as completely reasonable.  Needless to say, he does not stay there for very long.  

One of the challenges to writing is putting something into your work that goes against what you believe in.  It’s easy to write about dragons when you love dragons, and knights or princes saving the maidens… or, yes, the ladies themselves becoming heroines.  I have a magical faerie forest, a playful bard, and all kinds of elves.  What’s harder to do is explain why someone is evil, to justify their actions, to describe what drives them.  A long… long… time ago, when I came up the idea for Lorata and all the elves and dragons, my ideas were what is now Book Three: The Mistry Shores of Cioria.  But I found that I needed to explain why the king was the way he was, and how the prince had turned so evil.  I mean, what drives someone to take over an entire kingdom and then kill anyone who dares to rebel?  How would they justify their actions?  Well, that’s when I started going back.  In Book Three, Zarrek is grown up and working towards his own ideals, which were shaped and formed way back in youth– in Book One.  But then why would he go to Cioria at all?  He spent all of Book Two working to become a prince worthy of Onsira–what happened??  I won’t give it up, since it’s at the end.

It’s just as difficult to add in things that go against what I believe.  I have had to stop trying to rationalize, sometimes.  Why does the desert culture hate same-sex relationships?  Why do they think slavery is ok?  Why are they so strict about the things that should be left to the heart?  I had to let go.  Don’t even try rationalize what doesn’t make sense! It was sort of a leap of faith.  They hate because they hate, and that’s the way they are. It’s their nature, even if a little rational thought and compassion could change that.  Just like here on Earth we have people who can’t accept things outside their paradigm.  There are times when characters have motives, and times when that’s just who they are.  This is definitely one way that writing can make you grow mentally!

About Legends of Lorata

Eleanor Willow is the author of the high fantasy series Legends of Lorata, which takes place on a medieval-style world filled with elves, dragons, and faeries. There is also a fourth race, one that is rare and magical: the angelic Starr. Lorata is a distant planet watched over by four deities: good, evil, elemental, and celestial-- and there are plenty of legends about them all! One of the most important ones is the prophecy of Jenh's champion, Loracaz, who is promised to return to the realm whenever evil threatens to take hold. There are currently three books completed, and the first one can be read online. Book four is currently being written, and a fifth will most likely be in the future.
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