Behind the Scene - The Blue Men!

To celebrate the first chapter of Fire On Fire, THE BLUE MEN, being published to my website (click here if you would like to have a gander), I thought I would share a "behind the scene!"

So, Fire On Fire originally began with Chapter Two, but after getting about a fourth of the way through writing it, I realized that the handsome traveler walking into the tavern cliche wasn't me. I love wide, loud, cinematic scenes, and I determined that my goal with this story was to provide a ride, not a research assignment. I wanted to grab the reader and throw them right into the action.

Being a sailor is a huge part of Aiden's character, so a battle scene with sea monsters was the perfect opening to the story, to teach about the world, his powers, the character relationships and roles, and the kinds of creatures and conflicts that would inevitably come about going forward. 

This is also where I had to state my first line, the hook to pull you through the entirety of the story and connect the rest of the chapters: The best journeys take you home.

Structure - Just like the novel, individual chapters should have a three-act structure: set-up, inciting incident (jumping off point), obstacles, confrontation/climax, and resolution.
  • Set-Up: I set the scene and then segwayed into what I call my Supernatural or GOT intro: ya know, when the disposable characters get sacrificed for the sake of the plot. This leads to a cranky Aiden, woken by all the loud noise, eight years after the Prologue.
    • There was far more preparation for this book than I ever anticipated. This is in part because I made the creative decision to be historically accurate and have Aiden speak full Scots. Thankfully, my editor is also Scottish, so she really helped me tweak the Scots, Irish, Welsh, and French in the book. In this scene, I didn't go too heavy because the reader is essentially learning a new language as they navigate their way through the book.
    • There was also the decision on whether to make Aiden a stowaway or a guest on the ship, and his decision to stay drunk and eat rats in the stores with his only real companion, Gara, really helps to portray the headspace the character is in at this point of the story.
  • Inciting Incident: Another of my goals for this book was to introduce little-known creatures of Scottish lore to the rest of the world, and the Men of the Minch were a good place to start. If you think a storm on the open ocean would be scary, imagine if the waves were lethal, blue warriors!
  • Obstacles: I introduced Edward into the story because I needed another character for Aiden to interact with, and this was a great opportunity to display Aiden's leadership abilities and natural fatherly instincts. 
  • Confrontation/Climax: I also had to learn about the parts of a ship and how they work so that I could get my characters out of this monstrous situation I put them in. I had to give just enough info to not bog down the reader, but also make it believable for all those historical fantasy buffs out there.
  • Resolution: During the wrap-up, you finally get an actual conversation out of Aiden, as well as an introduction to who he is in this world. Then, I ended the chapter at the conclusion of his current story and at the beginning of this new chapter in his life, the story we are about to embark on. He is almost home, to Edinburgh, to the castle on the hill.

Hopefully, this all came through while reading about the blue men in the first chapter of Fire On Fire. Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Slàinte Mhath! XOXO, Kyrstie


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