No new thing under the sun – or is there?

Writing flowWriting: so many of us who do it have a love/hate relationship with the process. I like my story; Night Shift is a fantasy set in a modern-day fictional U.S. city which removes the hard work of creating a whole new world, which authors of stories set on alien planets need to do. The story has some religious questions which I find fascinating to explore. The story is told through the eyes of the female main character, and I get to make her somebody I would look up to in real life: doesn’t let people walk over her but has many of the same flaws as the rest of us. I adore character-driven stories, and am having a blast with the dynamic between Devorah and Kazimir.

Yet – the story falls short of some big dreams of mine. It’s set in an American city rather than a lesser known city in another country. As a reader, I love to read about places I’ve never been to.

The female main character is a blonde, blue-eyed Caucasian. Well, in my defense, I did that to contrast with her demon persona. You wouldn’t know she was a demon if you saw her strolling down the street in human form, you would just notice a blonde, blue-eye Caucasian chick. And I’m sure some readers will roll their eyes over that.

Kazimir could be described as the proverbial bad boy turned mostly good. There’s enough of an edge to make him unpredictable. Oh golly, not that again! In my defense, he popped out of my head that way, fully formed, like Athena from Zeus. His personality clicks with Devorah perfectly. But I’m sure some readers will roll their eyes over that also, and if I read that in a book nowadays, I might roll my eyes too.

What’s at stake in this story? Humanity! All the demons in hell might overrun the Earth and Satan might grab everybody’s souls! *sigh*

Well, that’s not all there is to the story, of course. Some of it’s very personal for Devorah as she tries to find out who really killed her police chief father, and why, and how to fix what’s happened to him after death. The angels in the story have a few flaws themselves; they exaggerate and do some subtle coercion because the end justifies the means. By the end of the story, it could be said that Kazimir faces bigger changes than Devorah.

A writer friend of mine reminded me that there really are no new stories, it’s the spin we put on the old ones that make them fresh and interesting. I hope readers will think my novel has an interesting enough spin to spend a dollar or two on it – but that’s yet to be seen. If you’re a member of Scribophile and are interesting in critiquing an early draft, you can “favorite” me or send me a message to find out which groups I post chapters to. Sincere, polite crits are always welcome.

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2 thoughts on “No new thing under the sun – or is there?

  1. As a worshiper of the Order of the Infinite, I take issue with your friend. New plots, new story lines, new themes? Who knows? Maybe yes; maybe no. Yet there are new experiences and infinite possibilities every moment of this wondrous life. Hop on the bus, and sing along: Infinity bottles of beer on the wall, infinity bottles of beer. If one of those bottles should happen to fall, infinity bottles of beer on the wall…

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    • Thanks Ken. 🙂 I take your point, still, I struggle a bit with wanting to be different (in a good way). I’m not really the type to start trends, though, so maybe I’m better off where I am!

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