Calling all elves, dragons, fae and phantoms – help my author out!

Hey, this is Eristor here. I’ve hacked into Mirriam’s WordPress account. (Yeah, I know how to do this. I see her do it all the time). Anyway, she’s in a little bit of a bog here, trying to plan her second book. (I’m hoping she isn’t quite as cruel to me this time around; but you know her. She has this thing for what she calls ‘wrenching hearts,’ whatever that means.)

So anyway, she’s introducing this prophet Eilam (who isn’t really a prophet, but Sienna’s telling me to shut up and not spill any more information) and  then we have to deal with the half-crazy Alden and his Monster (who isn’t really a monster, but Sienna’s hitting me so I’ll shut up) and then we have to go meet the King of the Wood elves with whom I have a like/hate relationship to ask for help, we were just ditched by the Faren and the pirate captain Marcus… so anyways, just answer a few questions and I think it’ll help her out and we can get under way again.

Oh, yeah – uh, thanks.

1. Does it irritate you when you feel there are ‘too many characters’?

2. How many is too many?

3. Is it different when they’re all memorable or simply ‘there’?

4. Does it irritate you when people go from place to place? (I’m not sure this one matters since she’s going to have to place-hop anyway if we’re going to get from the docks to Cansrell to Tirran…)

5. Would you rather have two shorter books or one long book?

Hey, this is Sienna. Since Eristor wasn’g going to give you one I decided to take over and post an excerpt from The Shadows Fall, to see how you like it. And just because I’m mean like that, you get to see when I first met Eristor. He was NOT very polite, to say the least.

She ran as fast has her feet could take her; tears sliding rapidly down her face as she sobbed in large gasps. She wanted answers. She wanted to believe that she was back inNew York. And more than anything she wanted her parents; to feel the strong arms of her father around her, to have her mother smooth the hair from her forehead and tell her everything was going to be all right. Blindly, she turned a sharp left and ran smack into something with all of the force in her body. The collision shocked her and sent her falling backwards, crashing painfully to the ground.

            “Ow,” she groaned, and looked up to see what she had run into. She found herself looking at a pair of frigid blue eyes set in a face that appeared to have been chiseled out of stone – a straight nose, high, prominent cheekbones, full lips. Long, blue-black hair hung past his broad shoulders, and he was dressed in black pants and boots and a long-sleeved white shirt open at the collar, with broad leather straps crossed over his chest. She saw that they were holding a sheath to his back in which sat two long, silver sticks. Double-edged blades gleamed dangerously at each end.

            And their owner was looking at her with utter contempt.

            All this Sienna absorbed in a split second’s time as she lay, staring, from her position on the floor. The man gazed down at her for an agonizing heartbeat, his lip curled slightly before he brushed past her and continued down the hall, his footsteps echoing in her ears.

            Sienna knew that her mouth was hanging open; and there was nothing she could do about it. Of all the absolutely rude, selfish, inconsiderate and inhuman-

            “Are you all right?” She looked, startled, into another, new face – handsome, with short, dark blond hair and friendly gray eyes. The newcomer helped her up off the floor and she saw with some relief that he did not have pointed ears. He looked a bit younger than the black-haired man who had knocked her down.

            “Thanks,” said Sienna gratefully as she wiped the tear-streaks from her face. She looked down and brushed off her clothes with a quick swipe. With horror she realized that she was still in the white dressing-gown, and no matter how beautiful it was, she had to face the fact that she had just run into two good-looking young men while wearing her bed-clothes.

            Her face flushed a bright, crimson red as she reached up to push some of her hair out of her face. “What’s your name?” she asked, trying to push aside her mortified feelings.

            The young man smiled kindly at her. “Tylir.” He reached down and helped her up off the floor with a swift pull. “And you are?”

            “Sienna – Sienna Hunter,” she said, returning the friendly smile and feeling a little more at ease. “And thanks.” She desperately hoped her  face wasn’t red and blotchy from crying.

            He laughed. “It was nothing. If you don’t mind my asking, what happened to make you end up so… unceremoniously on the floor?” His face portrayed more than a hint of humor.

            Sienna wondered for a moment if he was making fun of her, but he looked genuinely concerned for her welfare. “I ran into that – him, I mean. That guy.” She pointed down the hall where the mysterious – and inconsiderate – personage had disappeared. “And he just… walked off and left me!” She hadn’t meant to add that last part, but it popped out on its own.

            “Oh.” Tylir’s face fell into a displeased frown. He glanced back at Sienna. “Excuse me.” He smiled briefly once more and then stormed off in the direction the blue-eyed man had gone.

Well, there you go. The ever-kind, polite Tylir – and Eristor in all his rude, impolite glory. I assure you, he changes for the better.  By the way this is Mirriam; yeah, my characters hacked my WordPress (I didn’t know they knew how to do that – nothing is sacred!!) and so I decided to end this with a character Questionnaire. Enjoy =)

Here are the rules:

1-) Choose 3 of your Cs
2-) Make your Cs answer these questions
3-) Tag 3 other people

My C’s: Eristor, Alec and Marcus. Wooot! =D


Do you want a hug?
Eristor: There’s this thing called ‘personal space’…?

Alec: Uh, er, I, um – do you have to?

Marcus: Only if it’s from a beautiful lady. *wink* (Marcus, Marcus, Marcus… *facepalm*)

Do you have any kids?
Eristor: …I’m leaving. (Me: *grabs Eristor’s arm* NO, you’re not! *looks at audience* He does NOT have any kids. Yet).

Alec: *horrified* NO! I’m sixteen, for crying out loud!!! Hang on… I’m sixteen? I had a BIRTHDAY!

Marcus: *sighs* No.

Have you killed anyone?
Eristor: …yes. Can I go now? 

Alec: Um, well… I’ve fought Merrows. But I haven’t killed anybody yet.
Marcus: What a ridiculous question. Of COURSE I have!

Love anyone?
Eristor: …I refuse to answer.

Alec: Uh, in a family-way, yes?

Marcus: Yes, in fact. Kate. My wife. Before she died.

What is your job?
Eristor: I’m SUPPOSED to be ruling; but I can’t until my father is dead. So the steward is ruling right now, since my father abdicated.
Alec: Uh, well, save the world. I’m not sure how, though.

Marcus: Job? Try being a captain of a pirate ship.

Favorite season?
Eristor: Winter.

Alec: Summer!

Marcus: Fall!

Who’s your best friend?
Eristor: Tylir.

Alec: My sister Sienna ^_^

Marcus: Ni’ran, my first mate. Nothing like a 7-foot-tall sea elf to keep a rowdy crew in shape.

Eristor: Practicing with Kelehb sticks and riding. Reading, sometimes.

Alec: Adventure! Skateboarding! Motorcycling! And sometimes video games. Not that they have those here. <_<

Marcus: Raiding another ship is always exciting.

What are you going to do when this tag is over?
Eristor: Sit and wait for Mirriam to write something.

Alec: I’ll go find something to eat.

Marcus: Do some sailing!

What is your eye color?
Eristor: It’s usually blue. Changes with my mood.

Alec: Aaahh, brown. *psh*

Marcus: Gold.

Are you good? Or bad?
Eristor: Good, I guess.

Alec: Duh, I’m GOOD! I’m trying to save the world, right?

Marcus: This is debateable.

What is your greatest fear?
Eristor: …

Alec: I won’t be able to save the world or keep Sienna safe.

Marcus: Why on earth would I tell you!? Do I know you?

What do you think of your parents?
Eristor: …I loved my mother. I want to kill my father.

Alec: Oh, they’re awesome. I just wish they were here.

Marcus: I’d rather not discuss this.

Any siblings?
Eristor: A sister. I’d rather not talk about her.

Alec: A sister! She’s awesome, but she can be annoying sometimes. Older sister syndrome and all.

Marcus: I have a younger brother.

Was it fun to answer all these questions?
Eristor: …can I leave yet?

Alec: Sure! I had nothing else to do.

Marcus: …well, *ahem* it’s… all right?

Do you have any weaknesses?
Eristor: I am LEAVING! (Me: NO, YOU’RE NOT! *forces him to stay seated* Love is his ‘weakness,’ for those of you who don’t know).

Alec: Uh, the fact that I have no idea what I’m doing might be considered a weakness.

Marcus: Nothing comes to mind! ^_^

Your favorite element?
Eristor: …’element’? Are you serious? How about fire? To burn this stupid questionnaire?

Alec: Sun! Heat! …are these elements?

Marcus: Water and wind!

Do you care what others think of you?
Eristor: Not really.

Alec: Well, yeah. I mean, not as much as a GIRL, maybe, but still.

Marcus: I’m a pirate. Now ask the me that again.

Your theme song?
Eristor: Mirriam says it’s ‘Serenata’ by Immediate Music.

Alec: Yeah! Uh…. I forget what it is… Oh, yeah “BBC Robin Hood Soundtrack 10”. Wow.

Marcus: The celtic song by Jon Maiocco.

What’s your species?
Eristor: Elf.

Alec: Human!

Marcus: Human.

I tag: Well, since this one was so fun, I tag anybody who wants to do it =D

Well, there you go, folks  – sorry Eristor wasn’t cooperating as well as he might have, he’s been in sort of a slump. Probably because he’s irritated at Valentine, one of my  friend’s characters. They don’t get along.

~ Ëarwen


17 thoughts on “Calling all elves, dragons, fae and phantoms – help my author out!

  1. 1. Does it irritate you when you feel there are ‘too many characters’?

    it doesn’t *irritate* me persay but a confused reader is not a happy reader. 😉

    2. How many is too many?

    so many that you need a character list to look at, often.

    3. Is it different when they’re all memorable or simply ‘there’?

    not so VERY different but, like I said, character lists make it all better. XD

    4. Does it irritate you when people go from place to place? (I’m not sure this one matters since she’s going to have to place-hop anyway if we’re going to get from the docks to Cansrell to Tirran…)

    only if it’s done in a very confusing manner. 😉

    5. Would you rather have two shorter books or one long book?


    the reason being that if one has two short books one has to wait for the other one to be published. XD shorter books are easier to buy though. XD that didn’t help much


    PS haha I finally trusted you enough to put my e-mail address there. XD

  2. MWAHAHAHA, lovely! These kinds of posts always crack me up ;P I love your characters! Okay, to answer thine questions…

    1. Does it irritate you when you feel there are ‘too many characters’?
    Somewhat. Though I love the diversity and fun of meeting many characters, it turns out rather hard to follow and that makes my brain hurt.

    2. How many is too many?
    Like… more than five seems like too many, at least for characters that are VERY involved in the story. Based off of the first draft of your book that I read, that would be the travelers, the ones that we follow a lot. But characters like your bad guys, or characters that you met at the beginning but don’t show up for much of the story, are more like minor characters and more of those don’t make my brain hurt 🙂 (Did that make sense?)
    3. Is it different when they’re all memorable or simply ‘there’?
    Oh, well I kind of just answered that up top! Again, a large number of characters that we as readers are following gets rather complicated, but when you have a basic amount of the ones we really get involved with because their involved in the story, that’s great. And more of characters that just THERE are fine in larger numbers (to me at least) as long as they don’t get a whole lotta description and attention.

    4. Does it irritate you when people go from place to place? (I’m not sure this one matters since she’s going to have to place-hop anyway if we’re going to get from the docks to Cansrell to Tirran…)
    Not really! It adds a lot of background and story as the characters hop along 🙂 As long as you use most of the description for places the characters are ACTUALLY really involved with. Otherwise, details that are used just to mention a place they’re passing by don’t remain in my head and don’t carry much significance.

    5. Would you rather have two shorter books or one long book?
    Uh uh uh uh uh………. two… shorter? I’m not sure! Depends on the complexity of the plots.

    Thanks for sharing, Mirriam! (errr, and Eristor, and Sienna, and Alec and Marcus) 😀

  3. Haha – nice snippet, Miss Mirriam!!

    My dear cranky Eristor –

    As for characters, as long as they have a reason for being in the story, have an OBJECTIVE, and are needed for the plot, I don’t think it matters how many there are. (Just don’t give them each like three names if there are a lot 😀 My dad says that’s what War and Peace is like….)

    Personally, I loooove characters possibly more than plots and I like to have a lot to choose from when I pick my favorites 🙂

    I would rather have people place hop than stay in one place, as long as they have a point for going where they’re going.

    And as for two short books versus one long book….hmmm. How long is long?

    Pleasure to meet you, Eristor. Glad you and Sienna are getting along better. 😉

    – Ellyn

  4. Valentine says that Eristor needs lots and lots of hugs from all of his fan girls. And puddings too. Tapioca puddings to sweeten him up.

    • Eristor has lots of fangirls in my inner circle *grins* Not that he cares. He only has eyes for one. Though he doesn’t know it yet. And he has NEVER HAD TAPIOCA PUDDING!!! O_O

  5. Hahhahhah!! I love it when you have your characters answering questions!!! Eristor sounds interesting. 😀 And you’re book sounds really good!!! 😀

  6. WAIT!…MARCUS WAS MARRIED????????????????? O_O

    Ahem. Sorry about that. Just had to let the shock out. Sooo…Great post! I’ll see what I can do with the questions Eristor so…*bluntly* posed. 😉

    1. It can get distracting if there are too many “major” characters. That can lead to confusion on the reader’s part.
    2. I’m not sure. I think it varies. If it is firmly established in the reader’s mind that THIS person is the protagonist, THIS person is the villain, etc, it’s less confusing to have a bunch of important secondary characters than it would be to just have a mass of main characters. Am I making sense? 😛
    3. See Question #2. 😉 I like all my characters to be memorable in some way, but sometimes that’s just not possible, given the space limits and plot–you don’t want to distract from the story while characterizing secondary characters.
    4. No, as long as they really have a purpose to go from place to place.
    5. Either way. So long as I don’t have to wait long between the two shorter books. 😉

    And of course, I loved the excerpt. 😉
    And the questionnaire. But, I must notice, you didn’t tag anyone. 🙂

    Thanks, Eristor and Sienna, for hijacking her blog! (Damian and Avarona say hello! They haven’t spoken with you in a while.)


  7. 1. Does it irritate you when you feel there are ‘too many characters’?

    ARE YOU KIDDING?! NO! That’s what made Harry Potter like… AMAZING. It felt REAL. The thing is, don’t introduce HUNDREDS of characters at once. You keep them around long enough so people get to know who is who and DON’T give them similar names. That way, everyone can keep track. Also, if your story DOES end up long, it IS better to have MORE characters (less if it’s short). If you don’t have enough for a long book, it feels empty. The more for a long book, the better 🙂 If it’s a shortish book then less characters or if feels conjested 🙂

    2. How many is too many?

    Depends, in Harry Potter there’s: Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Neville, Luna, Cho, Fred, George, Percy, Bill, Charlie, Teddy Lupin, Remus Lupin, Sirius, James, Lily, Snape, Draco, Lucious, Narcissa, Bellatrix, Voldemort, Dumbledore, Flitwick, Tonks, MacGonagal, Rosemerta, Haggrid, Grwap, Dean, Cedric, Molly, Arthur, Doloras, Minister of Magic, second prime minister of magic, Angelina, Pansey, Crabb, Goyle, Penelope, Oliver Wood, Lee Jordan, Bathilda, Peeves, Wormtail, Gorgavich, Fleur, Victor Krum, Madam Something… (forget her name); Victor Krum’s professor; Sybill, Patill and her twin; Ronella??; Slughorn; Neville’s Grandma and parents; Lockhart, Moody, Kingsley, Mundagus, Luna’s dad, Dobby, Kreacher, Griphook, Adromadis, Teddy Tonks, Collin Creevy, Susan Bones, members of the Wizennott, Sprout, Hootch, etc. PLUS other badguys PLUS other professors PLUS other kids whose names escape me! 🙂 Plus I have hundreds of characters as well 🙂 here’s a list of SOME of the names. Don’t know if they have a list of the ghost names or not, but THAT list is fairly accurate 😀 It gives you an idea of how HUGE the world is there 😉

    3. Is it different when they’re all memorable or simply ‘there’?

    Sometimes you need the memorable ones and a lot of these help! 🙂 Just be sure your book is long enough for a LOT of memorable ones and it’ll rock. But you also need lots of “just there” characters to give the book a sense of: ‘there’s LOTS of people in this world and they all have names even if we don’t see the lives of EVERYONE here’ 🙂

    4. Does it irritate you when people go from place to place? (I’m not sure this one matters since she’s going to have to place-hop anyway if we’re going to get from the docks to Cansrell to Tirran…) No! New places are awesome! 😀

    5. Would you rather have two shorter books or one long book? Two longer books?! 😀 The longer the better! 😀

  8. 1. Does it irritate you when you feel there are ‘too many characters’?

    I’ve never known this to be a problem, especially if each character has a distinct name (i.e. not like Eowyn and Eomer, or Theoden and Theodred…but even then, I’ve got used to it 😉 ). If each character is interesting, then the more the merrier, I say! Like Ellyn said, I prefer a lot of characters so that I can find one that I like.

    2. How many is too many?

    If they couldn’t all fit into a movie or TV series, then there may be too many.

    3. Is it different when they’re all memorable or simply ‘there’?

    I don’t think it makes much difference in regards to number…though I prefer as many characters to be memorable as possible (Dickens did that a lot).

    4. Does it irritate you when people go from place to place? (I’m not sure this one matters since she’s going to have to place-hop anyway if we’re going to get from the docks to Cansrell to Tirran…)

    Not at all; I love it when the setting changes! It only irritates me if they go somewhere and basically nothing happens. However, that can be used as “the calm before the storm”, so it just depends.

    5. Would you rather have two shorter books or one long book?

    Two, unless the first one feels incomplete.

    Hey, I rather like Eristor already. 🙂 Feel sorry for Sienna though…it always stinks to mortify oneself in front of self-composed people (or anyone, for that matter!).

  9. I always ask “Who is telling the story?” Or “Whose story is this?” And as a rule of thumb I don’t have more than 7 characters in the protagonist category, and I stick with one single POV.

    Jumping from place to place is inevitable unless something happens on the journey. I don’t need to grind through the travel log UNLESS something memorable happens there.

    Transitions from places however need to be tagged if you’ve got multiple view points. The best way to do that is chapter breaks I think.

    C.S. Lewis said you couldn’t have a book too long or cup of tea too deep for him, and I’m the same way. I love thick books. But most publishers right now are looking for trilogies, if that helps.

    I don’t think you can have massive amounts of characters and have them all be memorable? You wind up with throw aways the larger the group gets or repeats.

  10. *falls over DYING with laughter*
    That was HILARIOUS! *faint* Heeheeee! I’m gonna HAVE to do that! (And boy do I have one interesting character mix for you….)
    Hm… how many characters is too many…
    well – I’d say over 20! 😛 It’s hard to keep track. And I love more memorable characters than “just there”…unless you need a side kick dude in a red shirt that never makes it back… ^.^

    Love ya!

  11. 1. Does it bother me when there are too many characters?


    2. How many is too many?

    When a character list is necessary, it’s usually time to put the breaks on.

    3. Is it different when they’re all memorable or simply “there”?

    Sort of.

    4.Is it annoying when people hop from place to place?

    It depends on how it’s done.

    5. One long book or two shorter?

    ONE LONG BOOK!!!! The thicker the better.

  12. 1. Does it irritate you when you feel there are ‘too many characters’?
    Yes, unless you have a character list… then I’m fine.
    2. How many is too many?
    Over 20 without a list.
    3. Is it different when they’re all memorable or simply ‘there’?
    Oh yes. If they’re memorable I’ll remember who they are when I read about them, but if they’re just there then I have no idea who they are.
    4. Does it irritate you when people go from place to place?
    If it’s done sloppily yes.
    5. Would you rather have two shorter books or one long book?
    One loooooong book. The only reason I wanted to read HP was because it was so thick. *drools* I love thick books. For some reason I have trouble writing them though…

    I hope this was helpful Eristor, we don’t want you to be tortured too much for being a bad boy and hacking an account (How’d you know how to do that anyway?). And Sienna, stop hitting him. It’s not very becoming of you…

    In Christ,
    Emily Ann

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