Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Across the Threshold of Dream


Lest anyone be afeared of my losing that bizarre and esotericness I emblazon across my banner I have for your amusement a rather weird and strange tale, echoing of mad dreams, perhaps assisted by the Dark Muse herself.

Late last night I was working on a new title for a brand new opening I have written for Blood of Our Fathers. Originally Heroes of the Fallen and Blood were one book, but at its voluminous size I decided to submit it in half and it was thusly accepted, but that brought its own problems of making sure things were edited and for book 2 making an adjustment for the sake of continuity for the possible reader who has not read Heroes.

I have written a new opening for Blood and was thinking on what I would like to title the opening chapter. I delight in naming each chapter as if it is it's own short story, plain numbers bore me, but I was at a loss for what to title this new opening. It involves a major character from Heroes=Amaron who is sometimes known as the Lion. Then I started thinking about some of my favorite pulp fantasy writers titles and I remembered an unused title by Karl Edward Wagner. He was going to write the then as yet untold tale of how Conan became king of Aquilonia and he was going to title it Day of the Lion. But L.Sprauge DeCamp who had the rights squashed that idea because he wanted to write that story himself. So KEW wrote The Road of Kings one of the best Conan pastiches, and Day of the Lion went unused. I should mention that DOTL was a play on Robert E. Howard's only Conan novel Hour of the Dragon and was a tale set after Conan has become king of the worlds greatest nation.I have discussed Karl's work before here.

Because of the possibility of using a Lion reference and name for my chapter I thought perhaps I would use the discarded title from a great influence and so I went to sleep.

I dreamt I was in a biker bar talking with Karl and playing pool, getting along famously until I mentioned I was going to use his discarded title. He was not happy-he said we better step outside or some such. I said fine because I've been in a scrap or two, to quote Charlie Daniels, we went outside and exchanged fisticuffs. Needless to say neither one of us were definitively winning the fight and I awoke in the morning resolving that I would not use the title as it was not mine, not in the proper homage and to boot KEW did not want me to use it.

It wasn't until I was well into my day that I read online from some of the sites I frequent, that I realized today is the 15 year anniversary of Karl Edward Wagners death. I would think it an interesting coincidence but I don't believe in coincidence. So perhaps it was the Dark Muse that Wagner wrote about, playing with both alive and dead authors creating malevolent discord among those that should be friends.

10 comments:

Karen Gowen said...

I can't even tell you how many times a writing problem or situation has been resolved for me through sleeping and dreaming. And apparently this is more common than you might think because in a writing book I read, the author said if you get stuck, go take a nap.

Scott Oden said...

Great post, David! Naps help me with plotting :)

David J. West said...

I saw that mentioned or rather heard that on a recent Writing Excuses podcast.

David J. West said...

Hey Scott thanks for dropping by I appreciate it. You're half the reason I realized what today was.

M. Gray said...

I wish I was as creative awake as I am in a dream...

David J. West said...

I have a book I keep of my weirder dreams-I use it for scenes sometimes.

Melanie Goldmund said...

I wish I had cool dreams like that.

*wistful sigh*

David J. West said...

Melanie, I know you have got it in you-judging from your fan-fiction- I want to see what you can do with your own novel.

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

that is so so funny! He obviously had something to say to you!

David J. West said...

Yeah and more ghost stories are right around the corner since it is All Hallows Eve time.