Monday, September 19, 2022

Creating a Fantasy World and Reviews of Megadeth, House of the Dragon, Moonfall, and Morbius

Creating a Fantasy World by Deniz Bevan

As a lifelong Tolkien fan, I shied away from writing fantasy for many years, because I knew I could never develop a world as complex and consistent (even within its deliberate inconsistencies!) as that of Middle-earth.
But then I found myself writing about a talking, time-travelling cat...
From there, minor intrusions into fantasy realms became a possibility.
And suddenly, I found myself reimagining a fairy-tale. But, again, as a Tolkien fan, I wanted to be as accurate and consistent as I could.
I had three main elements: a Kraken-type creature; an ancient family spell; and the story of Beauty and the Beast.
I couldn’t address every aspect of these things, but I tried to get the nomenclature, personification, and history right!
The kraken was easiest; my kraken remains formless and vague. She is at the mercy of the spells cast by the humans that control her.
The spells were great fun to invent (a tiny bit of linguistic playtime!) and I ended up using the word “witch” for the antagonist, although I’m not entirely convinced that it’s an accurate term. She only really has one main evil action, as part of her family’s history: Capture the current generation from Frederick’s family to take on the role of the Beast.
And Beauty and the Beast? I read ‘em all! Or as many as I could, from the original story by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve (in French!) to endless variations on the tale (including the brilliant recent one by Wendy Mass in her Twice Upon a Time series).
I also had great fun collecting images on my Story Inspirations board on Pinterest.
Do you enjoy story research?

Druid’s Moon
By Deniz Bevan

Print ISBN 9781939844866
eBook ISBN 9781939844873

A firm believer in burning the candle at both ends, Deniz Bevan is generally writing a new novel while editing another and blogging about her reading and research adventures. Other days, she tries to stay off the web altogether, as she delves into the history, mystery, and romance of her characters’ lives.

Find Druid’s Moon on iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and Goodreads


Megadeth – The Sick, the Dying, and the Dead

At sixty-one years old, Dave is still angry, and that’s not a bad thing.
Not sure if I like this better than Dystopia (the last album) but I give him credit – it’s a strong album.
Some of the standout tracks are Night Stalkers, Soldier On, We’ll be Back, and the cover of the old Sammy Hagar tune This Planet’s on Fire, featuring Sammy Hagar!
If you are a fan, this will thrill you. If not, this will not change your mind.

House of the Dragon

Very similar in tone to Game of Thrones.
Features all the requisite gore, nudity, and language you’d expect from HBO.
My overall impression is that I like it but I don’t love it. Maybe that will change over time. Perhaps it’s because the story is moving forward in time but not really going anywhere. Or perhaps it’s Martin’s obsession with incest. Take your pick.


Another end of the world from Roland Emmerich.
Leave your brain completely out of the room and suspend all belief. It will at times unintentionally make you laugh. With Halle Berry! Then again, she did do Catwoman…


Had high hopes for it. They were shattered quickly.
I was mildly entertained and mildly bored by this film.
However, this is one of those movies that the more you think about it, the worse it gets.
With the exception of Jared Leto, who is a fine actor, this movie was a failure in almost every way.

Have you created a fantasy world? Heard the new Megadeth? Seen House of the Dragon or either movie?
Offline for most of next week but I will be back October 5 for
Insecure Writer’s Support Group day!


Elephant's Child said...

Congratulations Deniz. Tolkien is a very hard act to follow isn't he? Very, very hard.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

A kraken! That sounds like a fun book to have written.

And it startles me that the singer for Megadeth is in his 60s. :) I don't know why...I should be able to do the math, ha.

Annalisa Crawford said...

I loved Megadeth back in the day - to be honest, I didn't know they were still around, so I'll be checking out the new album.

Congrats to Deniz!

Natalie Aguirre said...

Congrats on your book, Deniz. It sounds really interesting with the kraken and magic. And thanks for letting me know that I'm not missing too much by not watching the Game of Thrones spinoff.

Deniz Bevan said...

Thanks so much, Alex, for hosting me, and thank you, everyone! :-)
Ooh, new Megadeth! I still have my old cassettes :p

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Thanks for featuring Deniz and Druid's Moon.

PT Dilloway said...

I don't think I've heard anyone say anything good about Morbius or Moonfall.

Shady Del Knight said...

Hi, Alex!

Thanks for introducing author Deniz and her book. It was exciting just to read how it came together. It's hard to fathom that the Megadeth guys are as old as Granny Clampett. I think Moonfall would be the best bet for me because I have no problem suspending all belief and tend to like movies that are unintentionally funny.

Have a great week, good buddy Alex!

Elizabeth Mueller said...

ROFL! At first I thought it was you, Alex, who wrote a book about the time-traveling cat, not Deniz Bevan! *sigh*

Her book likes fantastic!

And yes, I love researching and learning for my writing!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Congrats to Deniz. Her book sounds great. I feel exactly like you do about House of the Dragon. Of all the prequels they could have done, why pick the one about the crazy, incestuous, narcisstic Targaryeons? And Morbius had so many opportunities to be a good movie and instead it was so blah!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Elizabeth, he looks it...

Annalisa, he's still going!

Deniz, you're welcome.

Diane, happy to!

PT, there's a definite reason for that...

Shady, it's at least watchable.

Susan, they really dropped the ball with Morbius.

J E Oneil said...

Really? I heard Jared Leto was the worst part of that movie. I guess everyone has their own opinion on why that movie is awful.

Mary Kirkland said...

I watched Morbius and I loved it. said...

Congratulations to Deniz! Much success with the new baby.

My brain doesn't take well to complicated storylines. While you're brilliant, Alex, I like your sci fi. I can follow your stories without brain pain. It's much appreciated.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

JE, Leto could only work with the crap they handed him.

Robyn, thanks! I couldn't do complicated anyway.

Liz A. said...

I have created numerous fantasy worlds. I just don't compare them to Tolkien. I'm not even in the same universe as him, and I'm okay with that.

Those movies sound horrid. It's bad when a movie gets worse the more you think about it.

Nilanjana Bose said...

Everyone doesn't need to be Tolkien, just like everyone doesn't have to Einstein. There's lots of space here.

I don't think I'm going to be watching any of those films.

Have a great week ahead.

Deniz Bevan said...

Thanks, everyone, for the support!
I didn't mind the latest House of the Dragon episode, but then I reread the relevant pages in Fire and Blood, and got annoyed by how much was changed...

Andrew Leon said...

I thought Morbius was fine for what it was.
Well, with the exception of the ending. Turning Matt Smith into a vampire-ish, too, was... unnecessary at best.

I responded to your question on my blog.

Joanne said...

Alex - you confirmed my thoughts on House of Dragons. The production is grand, but I don't know that I care, like I did with GOT.
Moonfall - same thing. I sorta gave up and zoomed. I like Halle and wanted to support her, but Patrick Wilson was so wooden.
And I like Jared Leto - Thirty Seconds to Mars, but this looked ridiculous.
Argggh . What happened to movies and Hollywood - I'm floundering here....

Is it me?

nashvillecats2 said...

Enjoyed Deniz's write very much Alex, thanks for posting it to us.


Christine Rains said...

Congratulations to Deniz! I totally love the research phase of any project. I can get lost for hours down rabbit holes of information. Morbius is on my to-be-watch list, but it keeps falling down that list for other things. I watched The Imperfects over the weekend, and that was really good.

Deniz Bevan said...

Oh yeah, that was the other problem -- I hadn't read anything about House of the Dragon before watching it, and I was NOT expecting Doctor Who to be nasty! Ha ha!

Sandra Cox said...

Many congrats to Deniz.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Deniz, guess I'm glad I haven't read the books.

Joanne, just a long stretch of blah right now.

Christine, haven't seen that one.

Deniz - funny! You should see his nastiness in Morbius. Wait, scratch that, too awful to watch.

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

A story that features animals in a fantasy setting seems like good market timing. In my D&D group, half the people I play with have made characters who are anthropomorphic. It's an interesting thing to see so many people in the furry community that are emerging and embracing fantasy as a way to express their love for animals.

Patricia JL said...

Congtrats Deinz!

I have heard nothing but bad things about Morbius, which is a shame IMO.

Sandra Cox said...

You did a great job of addressing your story elements.

Alex, Hope your weekend is filled with fun and good movies:)

Fundy Blue said...

Druid's Moon sounds like a good read. Congratulations to Deniz on its release. I don't currently have HBO, so I am enjoying "The Rings of Power" on Amazon Prime. I think it''s fabulous. Have a great week, Alex!

Birgit said...

Look how late I am here. I’ve just been so busy working and coming home exhausted. Anyhoo, I can say I live 8n a fantasy world of my own creation...some of the time. I just haven’t written anything. I have no desire to see these films so not s7rprised they didn’t do that well. Halle Berry is now Ariel in The Little Mermaid. I don’t care if Ariel is white, black, red, yellow or purple but she is supposed to be ...young. I saw the face of Halle Berry and it doesn’t even look like her....the CGI’d her face to the nth degree.

mail4rosey said...

I wanted to see Morbius because of Leto, but I never made it. Sounds like I didn't mis smuch.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sandra, no movies but good friends.

Fundy, it's really good, they just need to pick up the pace a bit.

H. R. Sinclair said...

Congratulations Deniz!

Cherie Colyer said...

Congrats, Deniz on your book. Fantasy worlds are so much fun to read about.

Alex, I had mediocre hopes for Morbius, and even those were shattered quickly.

Donna K. Weaver said...

Have you tried the new Lord of the Rings series. We were underwhelmed.

Sandra Cox said...

I don't think I'll be cozening up to House of the Dragon;)

James Pailly said...

I write science fiction, but I still take a lot of inspiration from Tolkien. Those deliberate inconsistencies he threw into his stories are really important. Real life is messy and doesn't make sense 100% of the time. A little touch of inconsistency can help make a fantasy (or Sci-Fi) world feel more real.

T. Powell Coltrin said...

I've seen Deniz's book on several blogs. Congratulations to her.

So I watched Game of Thrones to the end, but really don't want to go there again. Too violent. So it's probably a no for me on House of the Dragon. However, I might be in on Megadeth and Moonfall.


Deniz Bevan said...

Thanks so much, everyone!

Sandra Cox said...

Moonfall. What a great title!

Sandra Cox said...

PS. YOU have a joyous one;)