Thursday, May 22, 2008

Epoch - The First Beginning

Epoch had one false start, back before I knew what it was really going to be about. After the concept came together in my head(see my last post), I took a stab at the story that proved to be the wrong direction.

Originally, Vincent was to be playing soccer when he saw the elf, and his brother Max was dead. Max, in this version, had been a soccer star when he'd had an unfortunate accident, and Vincent was expected to fill his shoes completely. He wasn't any good at soccer, and he resented his parents for pressuring him into it. Then he sees an elf hiding under the bleachers, and realizes his life is about to get a lot more complicated.

That was the way Epoch would have started, but then I had an even better idea. Another look at that 2003 comet book reminded me there were lots of ways the world could end, and wouldn't it be fun to start an end-of-the-world novel with all those ideas together? I changed the location from a soccer field to a school science fair, and then other great ideas suggested themselves. For starters, Max was now very much alive. Then came the idea to make Vincent's family religious, and more ideas sprang forth from there. Plus, I was able to give Vincent a best friend (Big Tom) and an enemy (Barnaby) and introduce them both in the same scene.

I didn't throw away the original beginning. I like the idea of a character having to fill the role of his dead brother before coming into his own. It didn't work for Epoch, but maybe I can use it in the future. Who can say?

Epoch - The Concept

One of the most common questions authors get asked is, where do you get your ideas? Sometimes that question is a little more specific, such as where did I get the idea for a particular book. I tell people who ask me that my ideas come from all over, plucked from the world around me and the events happening in it. When a few of those ideas come together, I have the concept for a novel.

The ideas for Epoch came from many places, and didn't solidify into a concept until sometime in early 2005. I'd just finished the sequel to Attack of the Intergalactic Soul Hunters, and I wanted to write a stand-alone book before moving on to Soul Hunters 3. In the summer of 2004 came across a book that predicted a comet would destroy the world in 2003, and that gave me a good laugh. It got me thinking of the apocalypse, however, and it reminded me of something else I'd read while visiting my sister in Vancouver.

You see? Ideas from all over.

Anyway, my sister's roommate had a very funny computer game, and the instruction manual for it was just as entertaining. Mixed in with the details of how to play the game were random jokes, and one of those jokes came in the troubleshooting section. There were some serious troubleshooting questions about what to do if the game doesn't load and things of that nature, and then there was one like this:

What if your computer is covered with insects?

The answer stated that the insects indicated the end of one age and the beginning of another, like the Age of Aquarius or something. I very clearly remember the next line: "There is nothing you can do. Our epoch has come to an end."

When I read about the comet impact that didn't happen, my mind immediately pulled up that line, "our epoch has come to an end." What if, I thought, the dominant species of Earth has only a limited time on the planet - an epoch? What if human beings are just the latest in a long line of dominant species? What if creatures of myth and fantasy - elves, pixies, trolls - were actually creatures from history whose epoch had come and gone? And what if humanity's time is almost up?

All that came together in my mind, and I knew I had a book. What was more, I couldn't wait to start writing it.

That's how Epoch was born.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Worlds Of Tim - Welcome!

Hello and welcome to Worlds of Tim! My name is Timothy Carter, and I created this blog to interact with the people who read my books. Worlds of Tim is a look behind the scenes for the creation of my novels - "special features", if you will. It is my hope this blog will serve to give a richer experience to the people who have enjoyed my work.

I write primarily for the Middle-Grade and Young Adult market. In English, that means kids aged 8 to 10, and teenagers. Currently, I have two MG and one YA novels in print. They are: Attack of the Intergalactic Soul Hunters, my first published novel; Closets, my first ebook; and Epoch, my most recent novel. I will discuss each book, and include new novels as they are published.

While I'm discussing the stories, characters, and themes of my books, I invite visitors to this blog to leave comments. Tell me how I'm doing, and let me know if there is something you want me to talk about. I look forward everything you, my readers, have to say.