Posts Tagged ‘cauldron’

A Change Is As Good As A Rest

Posted: June 17, 2012 in Horror, Novels
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I found that Magick  ran into the buffers after 20,000 words, when the story started to get ahead of itself.

Another idea has popped up: an ancient cauldron, gateway to the Celtic Otherworld, which wreaks havoc on the Welsh coast. Cauldron is getting on for 5,000 words, mainly the “backstory” of the artefact, set around the time of AD60. This involved quite a bit of research of Roman and Celtic history and legend and this part of the novel will be split up and interweaved with the main narrative, with links between past and present.

As well as Cauldron, I’ve knocked up a short story called “Jolly Beating Weather” about two public schoolboys called Boris and David beating a tramp to death during the last term at School, as part of an organised ritual event. That was good fun to write.

Now it’s back to Magick. I started to piece together the intervening chronology of the ritual, which will sit within the main narrative (perhaps with a nudge from Cauldron, doing the same thing for that). This has involved quite a bit of reading, including Crowley’s book on “Magick in Theory and Practice”. The highlight has been discovering the analysis of some nursery rhymes in terms of their ritual meaning! I’ll post these up some other time as they deserve a closer look.

So, as they say, a change is as good as a rest.

Cauldron

Posted: June 9, 2012 in Horror, Novels
Tags: , ,

Okay, a story idea popped into my head. Here is the blurb:

AD75… the Romans are ready to crush the Druids at Ynys Mon in Wales. Led by Agricola, they are tasked with the search for a mysterious object, the Cauldron of Annwn, the mythical gateway to the Underworld. The cauldron is later lost at sea, as a vessel founders in the crashing waves.

 Two thousand years later… a father and son travel to the Welsh coastal village of Little Harbour in search of tranquillity after a family breakup. They stumble upon an unfolding disaster, with a series of deaths and unsettling events as the fog-bank creeps closer to the shoreline.

 What happens when the Cauldron is disturbed and the dead rise from the sea?

This is interesting for a number of reasons.

The setting is inspired by holidays in Wales and a longstanding desire to write something based on Celtic myth, set by the sea, in the picturesque village of Little Haven in Pembrokeshire.

There are a number of inspirations for the story… the 2000AD “Slaine” strip, which is a thoroughly-researched and lavishly illustrated graphic novel; the Arthurian trilogy (starting with “The Winter King”)  written by Bernard Cornwell; a visit to the awesome Macha’s Fort near Armagh; my own story “King for A Day” inspired by the Wicker Man.

I looked upon the characters as a creative writing exercise. I chose the protagonists and supporting characters using lists of “who” and “what” and “why”. The antagonists have to be defined in terms of “who” but the “why” is – at this moment – a desire to obtain the Cauldron.

PROTAGONISTS

Who: Father and Son

What: The two principal characters, told through their POVs

Why: Coincidence: holiday retreat, relationship bonding, outdoors sports

SUPPORTING

Who: Daughter, Mother, Grandmother

What: Owner and staff of the Schooner pub, with an associated mystery

Why: (SPOILER) Watchers of the Cauldron, guardians, Triple Goddess manifestation

ANTAGONISTS

Who: ???

What: Treasure-hunters, rich patron

Why: seeking powerful artefacts, specific knowledge of Cauldron (?)

I might change the antagonists’ motivation. At the moment I prefer the idea of the antagonist knowing the risks involved. However, it may be better to have an unwitting antagonist – perhaps a developer looking to install an energy-generating wave barrage, a ruthless and unpleasant character. This is a back-pocket option as I prefer the greater scope for ruthlessness that a treasure-hunter offers.

There is also the all-important category of “red jumpers” – called after the Star Trek characters who always end up dead! The expert of this must be James Herbert, who lavishes great attention on the supporting characters who end up dead in a half-dozen pages.

Then there is the plot. This is a fairly simple conflict: an ancient phenomenon is disturbed, releasing danger, and the balance must be restored. This will involve an element of back-story set in AD75. The plot’s conflict will be resolved by restoring the cauldron to Angelsey, through the resolution of a series of sub-conflicts, relating in some way to the back-story. There are thirty-six dramatic situations to choose from, according to Georges Polti and Carlo Gozzi.

Now it’s getting a bit boring and technical! I’ll have a bash at this, try and get to 10,000 or 20,000 words. This sits alongside “MAGICK” which is still very much in hand, but which really needs a Loch Ness visit to allow a first rewrite of the first section and development of the second section. Plus all the other ideas that need some work, rather than springing magically from brain to page.