Thursday, March 7, 2013

Times Change and Seasons Turn

You never know what dangers
lurk around the corner.

In the south, the warmth of spring is already being noticed. In the mid-Atlantic region, daylight lingers for longer periods each day. To those still snow-bound in the northern climes, don't despair, spring’s a'comin. Time and seasons turn in more than just our lives. Our characters move through time and space--and sometimes they cause us authors problems when doing so. What is expected to be a simple act, getting the hero from Point A to Point B is only planned as a shift of sufficient time for the appropriate distance to be travelled. Simple.

Or maybe not. I write fantasies and you never know when an evil mage will cast a spell, or a dragon kidnap the hero. In my historical westerns, nature in the form of a twister literally throws road-blocks in the hero’s path or an armed gunman interferes and cuts short the time the hero needs to complete his rescue. (Hurry up, get the girl off the railroad track. The 8:15 is rolling down the grade.)

Whatever the reason, whether caused by the influence of television or movies, or the pace of modern life, a good tale is no longer sufficient for today's novel. In response to expectations of contemporary readers, authors have had to shift from a traditional role of storyteller to the expediter of change. The hero might find forgiveness for failing to save a friend and as a result of his change re-discover happiness—and love.

The passage of time is one method to exact change. In conjunction with a chapter change or a scene break, a simple passage of a season (or two) can be handled with an appropriate transition to set the time and stage. Other situations of the passage of time present a more involved challenge. In Dragon Destiny, time and seasons turned to enable Anastasia to change from a young woman in a trapped life to a vibrant adult ready to control her own destiny. (And no, despite that one aspect used to illustrate how times and turns change, Dragon Destiny is not a coming of age story, but an action-filled, romantic fantasy.)

Sometimes a book imitates life. Time slows and your focus narrows to the moment. You turn page at a frantic pace. Or there is a slow breath, full of anticipation.

As times turn and seasons change, may your fans multiply and your reviews be full of stars. Thanks for joining me. Until next time. ~Helen

The works of multi-published author Helen Henderson crosses genres from historical adventures and westerns to science fiction and fantasy. In the realm of fantasy, she authored the Dragshi Chronicles and the Windmaster series. Join her on journeys through the stars, back to the past, or among fantasy worlds of the imagination. First stop:


Big Mike said...

I know about you and dragon's HH. You're scary.

Michael Davis (
Author of the Year (2008 and 2009)
Award of Excellence (2012)