What Made My Stories Work

A long time ago I wrote stories for the Elf Quest collections, a series titled Blood of Ten Chiefs. Six books were planned, only five were published, even though the stories for the sixth volume had been accepted and paid for. It was the publisher’s decision, not the editors.

Those stories all worked. It was some of the best writing and story-telling that I had done. I wanted to write more stories as good as those were, but put them in a far future venue. I had character names and attributes, futuristic settings, super-advanced technologies, and lots of plot ideas, but nothing ever came of it.

It took me years, I don’t know how many, to figure that out. It wasn’t action, and adventure, and high story arcs, and long complex plots that had worked. None of my Freefoot stories had any of that. My stories were about ordinary people (in their terms), living ordinary lives, dealing with occasional unusual problems. I applied that understanding to what I now call Star Kings (I can’t change the title, Darcy did the cover long ago), and I came up with workable ideas for a cycle of twelve stories. I’ve written three so far, and am working on a fourth.