Saturday, August 01, 2009

Like Diamond Tears From Emerald Eyes - by Eric James Stone

Here's the story behind the story:

Warning: Contains spoilers for the story.

I've been a member of the Codex Writers Forum since it was founded in early 2004. Codex has an annual Halloween story contest, and I've participated every year. Contestants are required to write a story based in part on a "seed" given by another contestant. Generally, the story should also have something Halloweenish about it.

Codexian Rick Novy (published in IGMS #3) gave me the following seed for the 2007 contest:
Your character must keep his or her face concealed at all times because something about the face is horribly wrong.

A friend of mine told me he might be editing a sword and sorcery anthology and suggested that I should write a sword-and-sorcery story, although he couldn't guarantee he'd accept it. Being one Stone, I decided I could kill two birds by writing a sword-and-sorcery story for the Halloween contest.

Some of the ideas for the story came from taking usual genre conventions and twisting them. So the story has a short, smart warrior and a tall, dumb wizard. The story makes fun of the adventurers hanging out in the bar, which is where all too many stories begin.

As for the seed, I thought about what might be wrong with someone's face, and thought at first about having no face at all, just an emptiness. Then I came up with the idea that the face had been stolen by a wizard. Finally, I realized the face had been switched with a jeweled replica.

I wrote the story and entered it in the contest. It took second -- which thrilled me, because I had never placed in the Halloween contest before.

I'm currently writing another story about Jerton and Larindo, so hopefully you haven't seen the last of them.

"Like Diamond Tears From Emerald Eyes" by Eric James Stone is available now in issue 13 of Orson Scott Card's InterGalactic Medicine Show

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