I would like to give a warm welcome now to author, Brian Freyermuth, who is joining us with his urban fantasy novel, DEMON DANCE!
Story: Behind the Scenes
By Brian Freyermuth
Everyone loves a good story. Whether or not you’re trudging through the wasteland, flying the Starship Enterprise, or running from a malignant demon with no eyes, a captivating story can transport you to other worlds filled with wonder and anticipation.
The Player Plays and the Reader Reads
Reading a novel is like jumping on a really long roller coaster, as the author chuckles manically before hitting the big red “ON” button. In Demon Dance, we follow Nick in his journey as he makes his way through the dangerous underworld of Seattle. We hold our breath when a demon attacks him at a neighborhood coffeeshop and become horrified when he discovers his sister-in-law’s silver cross on a burned corpse. In every story I write, I strive to immerse the reader so that it’s hard to remember they are reading about characters in the story and not observing the trials and successes of their good friends.
When I began my career as a designer on the game Fallout, I had a different task. As a reader you are sitting back and following the story, but as a player you are creating the story. In Fallout you are chosen to head out into the post-nuclear wasteland to try and find water for your people in Vault 13. All your decisions in the game, good or bad, have an impact on how the story is resolved.
It’s All in the Characters
At the heart of any good story are the characters and their choices. In a video game, you are the main protagonist, and your choices affect the world. What makes a story-based game exciting is when there are interesting characters around you, each one reacting to what you do.
In Fallout there is an area named Junktown where two feuding rivals try to take back the town. One is the upstanding mayor and head of the local law enforcement and the other is a nefarious underworld boss. Each has his own agenda, and you can choose to side with one or the other. Every decision you make causes them to rethink their goals and to react in their own way.
The characters in a novel do this as well. The protagonists are the driving force behind the story, and their decisions are the catalyst for everything, including how the other characters react. In Demon Dance, when Nick asks his friend to help trace the heart of a demon, Jake has to make his own decision. Can he handle the ramifications of helping out a friend?
The Beats of a Story
Whether you’re reading a 300 page novel or playing a 300 hour game, a good story will have certain elements that keep you going from one exciting moment to the next.
As the story progresses, it needs to answer questions while creating more. Some of my favorite missions in Star Trek: Starfleet Academy were part of the series “Prometheus Rising”. It was a mystery where each mission gave you a hint of an answer while giving you more questions to lead you to the next assignment.
The main character usually starts out in a normal existence (at least normal for that world) and then an event thrusts them into a new paradigm. Nick just wants to be a writer and mourn his wife, but his world is turned upside down when his sister-in-law is murdered by a demon. When it tries to kill an innocent child and her mother, he realizes their safety is bigger than his pain, and he’s the only one who can help them.
These are just a taste of what goes on behind the scenes, as the story engages us and keeps us wondering, “what’s next?” A good tale will bring us along to other worlds, helping us over the rough parts, sitting with us as we laugh or weep, and ultimately carry us away, just for a little bit, to places we could only imagine.
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You can run all you want, but the game's in your blood. And blood never forgets…
Nick St. James was born different. His extraordinary gifts have saved him time and time again, but they couldn't save the one thing he loved most: his wife.
Now he just wants to forget his old life, but more importantly, he wants to forget the magical underworld that lives beneath the "real" world. A place where a man's faith can determine the very fabric of reality. Where ancient forgotten gods walk hidden among us, and angels and demons fight for our very souls.
But nothing stays hidden forever. Nick's peaceful world is ripped apart when a demon slaughters his ex-partner and marks him for death. Now he must use all his gifts to find the one who summoned the nightmarish creature, but more importantly, he needs to find the one thing he lost long ago.
Since 1994, Brian Freyermuth has designed and wrote for bestselling video games such as the award winning Fallout, Star Trek: Starfleet Academy and WGA Award Nominee Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two. In July of 2011 he participated in a panel discussion at the San Diego Comicon where he explained how he helped bring a voice to Oswald the Lucky Rabbit for the first time in Disney’s history.Brian now has added novelist to his bestselling career. In April 2013 he released a hot new urban fantasy, Demon Dance, on Kindle. After only a couple of weeks it reached number 13 on Amazon’s Bestseller Rank for Kindle Urban Fantasy eBooks.Since the days of the Commodore 64, Brian spent his youth writing novels or playing games. Writing has always been a passion for him, whether it was entertaining his teachers with his short stories, creating elaborate characters for the role playing games he played with his friends, or creating screenplays for the home movies he made for his class projects. He earned a B.A. from the University of California Irvine in Comparative Literature which he uses in both writing for games as well as crafting his novels.Today, Brian leads a content team at Xaviant as they create an exciting new game, Lichdom: Redeemer, scheduled for release in the summer of 2014. When he’s not at his computer working on the sequel to Demon Dance, you can find him exploring the wilderness of Georgia with his wife, Juliet, and their son.For more information about the projects Brian has worked on and new projects, visit http://www.middark.com.Email: email@example.com
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