Guest Post: You as a character in the world you created

I’m entering The Talisman series

So, one blissful thing about being an author is that we get to create these worlds from our imaginations where basically anything can come to life (or on the page).  If we can think it, it can be done, right?  Just about any idea we can crunch down and manipulate into the world we’ve created can be added for the readers to enjoy.  Of course, it has to fit into the mythology, the lore, and the mechanics of the world, but once you hit those targets, the options are essentially limitless.  And that freedom is one of my favorite things about being an author.  

The other thing I love about writing is when readers reflect my own imagination and find inspiration for their own creativity in my work.  The main thing I want to do is get readers to follow my lead and start inventing universes of their own.  Start building entire worled profound and rich in imagination.  Now, I know that’s not for everyone, and I totally get it.  But if I can even spark the smallest idea in someone, I feel like I’ve accomplished part of my goal in writing.  Maybe not creating an entire world but adding something to an existing one.  An example of that could be the reader simply imagining themselves in the world the author (me) has created.  

Just as a quick side note, this is one of the things that I love about certain Fandoms.  The admiration for the world is so deep that the readers/viewers want to be a functioning part of it.  This leads to creating their own characters or ideas and, most times, even mirroring the rules of that world.  It’s kinda like how an author thinks of their OWN world.  “If I can follow the rules, why can’t I, or a version of me, or a creation of mine exist in that world too?”  This thinking is like the ultimate end goal for me writing The Talisman Series.  I want fanart, and fanfics, and fresh concepts on magic, and personalized Master Dragons and Synergist Knights, and all the wonderful things that happen when people take your ideas and feel inspired to expand on them. 

Here’s a little insight from me to help.  The creative process, for me, works like this:  1.  I get an idea I want to implement.  2.  I research it to become as knowledgeable as possible.  3.  I make sure it follows the rules and fits in with the world and characters I’ve made.  4.  I ask myself (and sometimes my son) if I read something like that, how would I find it?  Is it entertaining for me?  Would my audience appreciate this?  Is it original and cool?  5.  I pray it doesn’t create a retcon or contradiction with what I’ve already written.  LOL!

Well, today, I am going to take a hint from my readers.  I am going to implement my own creation philosophy, and I am going to do a little re-imagining of The Talisman Series with a character in it based on me!  How would I fit into this world?  Would I be an adult or a teen?  A Synergist Knight or a Master Dragon?  A bad guy, perhaps?  This is such a wonderful experiment that I hardly ever do with my work.  Infinite amounts of times, I’ve looked at my work and thought, “would this be a cool idea to use,” but I’ve never actually asked myself how I would react to a cool idea if I was IN the story.  Just on the outside as an omnipotent observer (the reader).

I’ll make this as simple as can be considering the metaphysical implications involved in such an experiment.  I will not include any fourth wall breaks, meaning my character only knows the world I’ve written.  I will assume my knowledge of the world reflects what is known ONLY by the end of book 5.  However, I will not be staying my current age.  As this is, in theory, a middle grade book, I will be casting myself as a middle-grader in order to be on level with the rest of the main cast.

So, Brett Salter…No, that name is boring.  I find names to be the best part about world building.  I name everything.  Characters, weapons, spells, places, items.  And I try to make the names embody who/what they represent.  But since this character is supposed to be me, I guess he needs my name too.  (Shucks!)

Next, knowing that each race in The Talisman Series world has its own special abilities, I would need to determine WHAT I want to be.  The humans have magic spells, the dragons have Dynes, the Minotaurs have their elemental abilities, the Nocturns have their dark manipulation skills, and the Garms can become invisible.  (And they stink.  Frowny face). 

I think I will select a human because I DEFINITELY want to be a member of The Alliance.  I think it would be cool to be a dragon, but I will go with what I know best for now.  Maybe if I dig this character, I can come up with a Master Dragon for him at a later point.  I’m always open to ideas too!

Now, for the fun part.  My character is going to want to get his hands on the fire Talisman as soon as possible.  And he’s going to probably gravitate towards the fire element with regards to spell type, attire, and possible partner for The Great Synergy.  Give me a fire dragon to bond with!!!  I’ve always felt the most drawn to the element of fire.  Whether it be selecting Charizard as my Pokémon back in the 90’s, or preferring the beach over the snow, or sometimes having a short fuse, or even liking spicy food, I’ve just always associated myself with fire.  

I would join The Alliance as soon as possible.  Because like Rome, I think protecting the people close to me is both honorable and important in a situation like the characters face in my books.  I would offer my talents as aid to The Alliance, but probably after a ton of waffling.  I’m not really the type to jump up and take control as a leader.  That’s why I would stick around Rome and Julian.  Take some pointers, as it were, right?  I think “me” as a work of fiction would be pretty similar to how I am in real life.  Interested in doing what is right and joining a cause I found worthy.  A hero in training rather than a leader of the revolution.  But that’s just me.

If I can’t find a fire dragon to bond with, I would dedicate my time to learning a specific spell.  The Talisman Series is full of magic casters who know a plethora of spells, but I find mastering a spell that no one else uses is the way to go.  Characters like Jericho and Mr. Jones are called on constantly for the magical abilities that only they possess.  And it’s good to be needed!  Find me a great support spell or a healing spell, and all of the sudden, I find myself as an integral member in any party ready to set out for adventure.  Plus, being off the front lines raises my survivability tenfold against Darkbrands, right?

Lastly, I would just HAVE to change the name.  Call it my “Synergist Moniker” or whatever you want, but Brett Salter is not a very battle-savy sounding name is it?  How about Coal Winterwood?  I feel like that gives a nice juxtaposition of the first name being a briquette used to start fires and the surname being a freezing piece of kindling with which to start the fire.  It pairs nicely to also give you the contrasting heat senses perhaps not giving you a clear definition of me or what I’m about.  Am I hot or cold?  Red or white.  Good or bad?  Some level of ambiguity can be pivotal in writing mysterious characters, and it all starts with the name.  

It’s a pretty interesting concept to take a world of fiction and place yourself in it.  How would you react to certain situations?  What conflicts would you avoid or entertain?  What characters would you interact with?  What skills would you bring to the table?  And since I am a lover of all things action and fantasy, I find myself wondering if I were to enter The Talisman Series, what would the results be?  If I ever found my series gathering enough of a following to have regular readers hoping to be sorted by house like Harry Potter, or bequeathed a magical item like in Percy Jackson, or obtaining a semblance like in RWBY, then I would be on floating on C.L.O.U.D. 9.  I already have the best fans but imagine the catalog of incredibly awesome and original things that could be done in my universe with everyone imagining together!

Brett Salter


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