stories within stories

Just finished Chapter 12 (4/4/2017 — time machine post) and the reason why Quinn’s bloodline has “magic powers” is explained.

The chapter is pretty hilarious (to me, anyway) because the three main characters of the series — Quinn, Thalcu, and Varzo — are all (currently) teenagers who spend the truck ride bitching and bickering and pouting (because they’re riding off to certain death) and poor Zita has to play babysitter and tell a story to calm them all down.

She tells the story of how Quinn’s ancestor obtained certain abilities that she then passed down to her children, who later became the rulers of Qorlec.

I realized one thing today as I was writing it: I really love telling stories within stories.

I love having my characters sit down and tell each other stories.

In The Thieves of Nottica, all the Keymasters share their backstory while sitting around the fire.

In A Time of Darkness, various characters tell Cricket stories.

Neferre tells Cricket bedtime stories and also explains why the past is called “a time of darkness.”

Olorun tells Cricket history — which he naively views as “fact.”

And Helianthus enjoys telling Cricket about religion because he’s spiritual (I should really go back and put in a scene where he’s the one telling the story of the moon goddess and not Neferre).

In the second book of the series, Owllwin tells Cricket the horrific story of the first known elvan.

In the third book, it’s likely Cricket’s new sidekick will tell her a story. Eventually.

In Qorth, Qorth tells Cameron about the First Contact war between humans and aliens.

In Wicked Witch Boy, Francesa does a shadow puppet show for Tobias and Eldon.

Dunno. It’s just kind of a staple of my books to have the characters sit down for story time at least once. It’s also a fun way to build characters and lore without boring the audience. After screwing up with The Seaglass Stair, I think I’ll stick to it.