As part of my author guest blog series I am proud to present another guest blog spot. The Bow of Destiny I am very excited andthe author of
The Bow of Destiny
So go get your copy!
A Challenging Character
Point of view in fiction can be a tricky aspect of writing to master. I’m not sure I’ll ever do it. However, when I shifted to deep point of view with The Bow of Destiny, I tried something a bit daring. When using deep POV, an author tries to get the reader as deeply into the point of view character’s experiences as possible.
With the opening of The Bow of Destiny, I had several aspects of main character Athson to show as part of the deep POV experience. These aspects were challenging for me to show so I took a few chances. As a result, the reader finds the opening pages confusing – on purpose. Without revealing everything to those who haven’t read the book yet, Athson has some rather confusing perspectives that affect him so I took the rather unorthodox opportunity to let the reader in on his troubles very early. It’s confusing because he’s confused and troubled. However, the POV never shifts from Athson, only how he experiences an unnerving situation. Here’s some of how that reads:
When his dead father touched his hand, Athson almost dropped the arrow. He squeezed his eyes shut. Ignore him. Focus. He took a slow, deep breath. Not this, not now.
“That’s it, slow breaths, steady your hands.” His father helped him nock the arrow.
“You’re not here. You’re dead.” Athson whispered lest he startle his prey. He didn’t need help with the arrow.
“And Athson, make sure you keep that secret I trusted with you.” Ath’s hand dropped away.
“I’ve held my tongue.” Athson’s lip quivered and he forced his hands steady. A memory and nothing more. That’s what he got for forgetting his medicine. But he had kept the secret over the years since his father taught him the bow that day.
Athson knelt on one knee with an arrow nocked and gauged each target. Wind gusted and flattened grass in its weaving dance. Waves boomed against the Sea of Mist’s rocky shore beneath the cliff’s edge two hundred strides distant. The pheasant was trickier, he decided. The rabbit would do. His gaze shifted between the two animals. No shakes, no more old memories while cleaning the kill. He brushed the vane feather with his thumb. But the memory didn’t bode well.
Athson eased into his stance at the shaded edge of forest, waiting unseen by his prey. The wind fell still. He drew the arrow to his cheek, aimed, and exhaled. A litter of kits hopped near his intended meal. He blinked. No killing a mother. He shifted targets and released.
The arrow sprang away in silence and pierced the green-feathered head.
Athson strode from hiding, high grass tangling at his shins. The rabbit and her litter scrambled into their hole. “You’re safe this time.”
He squatted by the pheasant and plucked out chestnut tail feathers. When he cut the striped neck, Athson shut his eyes. The less blood seen, the better, to avoid the memories. Athson yanked his arrow loose with a grunt. “Sarneth sends me to the middle of nowhere so I waste time hunting.” Father plucked the arrows with more care. Maybe his father should have used other things with the same care.
He thrust with his belt-knife and gutted the bird. Torn innards stank. Images flashed behind his eyes of bodies writhing as weapons were yanked free. He swallowed. Why this, why now? He sat on his heels and counted the months since his last fit. Over a year, and his elvish tincture of Soul’s-ease lay forgotten at the ranger station. Not good. He needed that medicine. He rubbed his temples. Fits were hard, but seeing things later confused him. He sighed. Days of parsing reality lay ahead. Gweld, his elven friend and fellow ranger, would be disappointed at his laxness with the medicine.
He buried the bird’s offal well away from his camp. Athson brushed a hand over his eyes with a sigh. No shakes, no memories. He took a deep breath and marched away, teeth grinding. He needed to seek peace and not anger. The wind picked at foliage and birds called in the forest. But tension clung to his shoulders.
At his campsite Athson hung his kill over his fire from a makeshift spit. Early chill sent him gathering more firewood, a worthless duty at an empty border. He eyed the stand of fir trees, doing anything but thinking. They were a good windbreak but wouldn’t guard against that night’s nip. Building a canopy of fir limbs near the fire at the opening would warm his cold feet.
The breeze rose stiff with the promise of a frigid bite later as Athson gathered armloads of deadwood. “I’ll need that canopy.” The gust blew stiffer.
Athson frowned at the smoke marking his position for miles when he approached his camp and muttered in dissatisfaction. Rocky ground and no smokeless pit-fire. He shrugged off the irritation. “There’re no trolls this far west in the Auguron Forest.”
Racing the dusk while gathering firewood was all the excitement Athson encountered. He snagged another fallen limb, hurrying more now to check his roasting pheasant than to beat nightfall.
The wind shifted and carried the hint of smoke from his campfire. Sudden nausea left him unsteady. Memory of other fire on a different night quickened his heart. Athson snagged the last of the wood for his final armload.
“You take this bag and hide.”
“Leave me alone mother, you’re long gone.” Athson coughed and stumbled over roots.
Smoke curls through the thatch over the rafters. His mother shoves food and a coat into the bag.
That wasn’t now, that was ten years past. He groaned and blinked a tear away.
So that’s an introduction to Athson and his troubles. It’s challenging to read because the reader is asked to jump in and start swimming with a situation that’s unfamiliar. But this opening scene reveals so much about Athson’s past as well as a few intriguing mysteries about him. What are his secrets, for instance? Also notice that italics and a change in tense are used to designate Athson re-living the past as part of his present. These were all chances I took to present the story and the character’s predicament from the start.
To find out more about Athson and The Bow of Destiny, have a look at the book from this link to view it at your favorite e-book retailer. Also, feel free to keep up with news about The Bow of Hart Saga from my website.
About the Author
P.H. Solomon lives in the greater Birmingham, AL area where he strongly dislikes yard work and sanding the deck rail. However, he performs these duties to maintain a nice home for his loved ones as well as the family’s German Shepherds. In his spare time, P. H. rides herd as a Computer Whisperer on large computers called servers (harmonica not required). Additionally, he enjoys reading, running, most sports and fantasy football. Having a degree in Anthropology, he also has a wide array of more “serious” interests in addition to working regularly to hone his writing. The Bow of Destiny is his first novel-length title with more soon to come.
Book 2 of The Bow of Hart Saga: An Arrow against the Wind due out within a few months (Winter 2017). It can currently be found for pre-release orders at these select online retailers: Barnes & Noble, Kobo & iBooks.
Book 3 of The Bow of Hart Saga: The White Arrow is due out Fall of 2017 (tentatively).
About the book
“When his dead father touched his hand, Athson almost dropped the arrow.” The hunt begins…
Haunted by his past. Hunted in the present. Uncertain what is real.
Athson has seen things that aren’t there and suffered fits since being tragically orphaned as a child at the hands of trolls and Corgren the wizard. When a strange will mentioning a mysterious bow comes into his possession, he’s not sure it’s real. But the trolls that soon pursue him are all too real and dangerous. And what’s worse, these raiders serve Corgren and his master, the hidden dragon, Magdronu, who are responsible for the destruction of his childhood home. Athson is drawn into a quest for the concealed Bow of Hart by the mystic Withling, Hastra, but he isn’t always sure what’s real and who his enemies are. With Corgren and Magdronu involved, Athson must face not only frequent danger but his grasp on reality and the reasons behind his tragic past.