Tuesday, February 21, 2017
Story Inspirations: Stoneheart
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The Fisher King is a part of the old Arthurian legends. It tells the tale of a king who is wounded in battle (usually in the legs, crippling him). As his health deteriorates, so does his spirit and his kingdom. If the king is healed, his land will flourish once again- but if he dies, his land will be cursed forever.
In Stoneheart, which was originally titled The Stonehearted King, a young prince is cursed with a heart of stone, incapable of feeling any strong emotion. His fate is tied to that of his land, and one cannot be healed without the other.
Once again, love is the central theme to this story. I guess you can tell where my thoughts drift most often.... love, love, let's have some more love. Brotherly love, fatherly love, motherly love, romantic love, oooh! And you know what we need more of? I know, LOVE!!! >:D
This story came to me in the evening while I was listening to a song from one of my all-time favorite shows, Riverdance. This song, called The Heart's Cry has little to do with the story for the most part. But the choruses were the entire basis for both King Stoneheart's curse and *SPOILER!!!* the breaking of it. *END SPOILER!!!* The lyrics are as follows-
(Time holds the heart's key)
Key to everything is love....
(Love makes the heart flower)
Flower into a deep desire....
(Passion in the heart's cry)
Passion and desire.....
As these moving chords resonated in my mind for the hundred-billionth time, I wondered what sort of story might go along with such a song. Whipping out some paper to sketch out a quick outline, I quickly formulated the tale and began writing. I wrote... all... night. Almost, anyway. It was a mad rush of writing. The first draft was pretty rough, and it went thought a huge re-write once I got around to adding it to the fairy tale collection. The original ending was much more simplistic, and still managed to have some logic loops that I couldn't stand.
Stoneheart is the story that had the most typos of the entire book, and this was mostly because I lost the file somewhere along the lines and had to re-type the story completely from a manuscript I'd printed out after the first night I wrote it. So while my eyes read the manuscript, my fingers typed what I saw, resulting in quite a few spelling mistakes and half-repeaed sentences.
This story was also the hardest to illustrate. Five full-color watercolor illustrations lined with black ink seemed like a great idea in the beginning, but I quickly found that combination to be challenging due to the black ink's tendency to bleed. -_-
There was one illustration that didn't make it into the book, and remained uncolored. The reason? Well, I started it somewhat late in the formatting process and I didn't want to ruin the rest of the document by squeezing in another picture, thus upsetting the word placement in every other story in the book. I sometimes wonder if I should have just bitten the bullet and put it in. Here it is... you can tell me your thoughts. :)
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(Images copyright Emmarayn Redding. All rights reserved. Song and lyrics copyright Bill Whelan)