One of the most famous success stories of evolution are sharks. They have inhabited the Earth’s oceans for four hundred million years, long before the dinosaurs. The key to their success is the simplicity of both their biology and lifestyle. The story of evolution is survival of the fittest and the simplest life form is often the strongest. Their bodies are very streamlined and ideal for swimming and their teeth and jaws are ideal for tackling all kinds of prey. Their lifestyle is so simple that all they do throughout their lifetimes is swim, eat, and reproduce and that’s it! Their success is what has allowed sharks to survive one mass extinction level event after another. It is very likely that sharks will continue to exist long after humanity has gone extinct. Fishermen can try to overfish and exterminate sharks, but the sharks will ultimately outlast mankind just as they did the dinosaurs. I will be featuring a reverse engineered shark in my dinosaur book and I will be drawing inspiration from a prehistoric species of shark called Hybodus, which means “humped tooth”. Hybodus was able to survive the Jurassic oceans for two reasons. First, the spikes on its fins gave it protection against large predators like pliosaurs. Second, Hybodus had two different kinds of teeth; sharp teeth for slicing through fish and squid and another set that was flat for crushing shellfish and crustaceans. This allowed Hybodus to thrive on a wide variety of prey in the competitive sea. I will also be drawing inspiration from other sharks I have learned about on Shark Week. I should give you a heads up that I will not be including a Megalodon-like shark in my dinosaur book since not even the scientists in the story will go that far.
Walking with Dinosaurs – Series 1 – Episode 6 – Death of a Dynasty – Picture shows: Tyrannosaurus
For one hundred and fifty million years, the most successful breed of dinosaur would be the theropods. Theropods are mainly the carnivorous dinosaurs, which were the ancestors of birds. Examples of theropods include Tyrannosaurus Rex, Velociraptors, and Spinosaurus. However, I believe that these real life examples have been used too often and it is long overdue for something other than the classics. With this in mind, I am thinking creating a theropod that is bigger and badder than Tyrannosaurus Rex. It will be a combination between all of the classic theropods in a single creature. Just thinking of this behemoth gives me goosebumps. As excited as I am in creating this new theropod, I am glad it did not exist in real life because I would die of fright just looking at it!
It may be too soon to say, but I believe I have acquired enough medieval inspiration for my fantasy books for a while. For my third fantasy book, I will be drawing inspiration from the English Civil War of the 17th century, which saw the English monarchy going to war against Parliament. The war started due to unpopular taxes to fund wars with Scotland and Ireland, land from the Commonwealth being seized by noble landowners, and Puritans clashed with Catholics. At the end of the war, Parliament won and King Charles I was subsequently executed. However, Charles’s death turned him into a martyr, resulting in the royalists regaining control of the government and establishing Charles II as King of England. For my third fantasy book, I will depict an attempt to overthrow the imperial monarchy due to unpopular policies. The main character will be forced into exile while his followers wage a years-long war to reclaim the Imperial Throne in his name. In order to write this story, I will need to rewrite my original outline. Also, some of my more extreme story ideas will be discarded and replace them with ideas grounded in realism.
This post is fitting considering what is happening in the world today. When diseases such as the Black Death spread across medieval Europe, there were individuals who wandered the streets of ravaged towns. These people possessed an appearance that was the stuff of nightmares. In reality, these people were doctors, more specifically plague doctors. Plague doctors wore masks that made them look like ravens. This may look frightening, but it had a very practical design. The beak section of the mask was filled with sweet-smelling substances that were meant to keep viruses from infecting the doctor. Essentially, the plague doctor’s mask was an early version of a gas mask while their hoods and cloaks were an early version of hazmat suits. In my third fantasy novel, the main villain will be wearing a mask that resembles that of a plague doctor.
In previous posts, I spoke of a man named Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick AKA the Kingmaker. Warwick is famous for making Edward IV King of England, but was discarded shortly afterwards, which resulted in him betraying Edward three times. I will focus on Warwick’s first betrayal, which almost destroyed England as a kingdom. Warwick’s first betrayal involved him orchestrating tax riots in northern England, which were fueled by rumors that the king’s in-laws were taking tax money for themselves. Later on, Warwick published an open letter that not only repeated the accusations against the king’s in-laws, but also invited anyone who shared this opinion to rally at Canterbury and take up arms against the king. After Warwick’s allies gathered, they defeated and captured Edward IV. However, Warwick captured and imprisoned Edward without a coherent plan to replace and to kill him. This resulted in the fragile peace Edward IV built to collapse with astonishing speed. During this time, Warwick took his frustration and hatred in a killing spree meant to exterminate as many of Edward’s in-laws as possible. In addition, the unrest Warwick engineered in the north backfired on him and spread south like wildfire. Desperate to restore order, Warwick tried to rally other nobles to his cause, but they just laughed at him because he arrested the king and started all the trouble in the first place. In the end, England could not function without a king to lead it and Warwick’s scheming and wounded vanity drove the kingdom into anarchy. For my third fantasy book, I will be heavily draw inspiration from Warwick’s first betrayal in order to portray the villains’ actions.
When we think of a romantic relationship between a human and an elf, we think of Aragorn and Arwen from The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. However, hardcore Tolkein fans know that his original love story between a human and an elf revolved around Beren and Luthien. This love story was so personally significant to Tolkein that he had Beren and Luthien’s names engraved on his and his wife’s graves. As a writer, I am an amateur when it comes to romance even though I have portrayed romantic relationships in the past. The reason for this is because I never could put enough emotional and spiritual depth. With my third fantasy book, I will be attempting to portray a deeper romantic relationship between my main character and female lead. It will be the deepest and most complex romance I have ever written and it will be my equivalent of Beren and Luthien.
Fantasy characters tend to have a strong sense of friendship and togetherness when they go on quests. Easily my favorite example of this would be the chemistry between the hobbits in The Lord of the Rings, which consist of Frodo Baggins, Samwise Gamgee, Meriadoc “Merry” Brandybuck, and Peregrin “Pippin” Took. The fellowship the hobbits share have inspired relationships between fantasy characters for decades. For example, George R. R. Martin loosely based Jon Snow and his companions in the Night’s Watch on Frodo and company. In particular, Samwell Tarly is clearly based on Samwise Gamgee. I am thinking of loosely basing the relationships of my main character in my third fantasy book on the chemistry between these four hobbits.
There have been cases in which superheroes had personal servants who were not only their most prized employees, but also their trusted confidants and loyal friends. Two of the most prominent examples would be the butlers of Batman and Iron-Man, Alfred Pennyworth and Edwin Jarvis respectively. For my new superhero book, I will be giving my main character a personal servant, but instead of a butler, his servant will be his housekeeper. Unlike some housekeepers, this character will dress like a butler instead of a maid. This character will be thirty years older than her employer and will be of Irish nationality.
I have decided to dedicate this character to my great grandparents. My father told me many entertaining stories about my great grandparents. My great grandfather was a tall, strong man who came to America from Ireland at around the turn of the century in 1900. My great grandmother was a petite yet powerful woman and a devout Christian. The stories I hear about my great grandmother are particularly entertaining especially with how she interacted with my grandfather and his brothers. My grandfather and his brothers were the biggest and toughest men in their hometown and the only thing they feared was my great grandmother; their sainted mother. Despite her small size, my great grandmother had willpower that was as strong and unbreakable as solid iron.
With these facts in mind, my housekeeper character will be a combination between my two great grandparents. She will be Irish like my great grandfather and she will be small yet fierce like my great grandmother. Both of my great grandparents lived before my time so making a character based on them will be my way of meeting them. I have included my parents, sister, and grandmother in my books so I have decided to branch out and include some of the mother loved ones in my books.
Police officers have always had a complex relationship with superheroes. Some cops view superheroes as vigilantes that need to be stopped while others support superheroes because they are too big to judge. I am thinking of including a cop character in my new superhero book and they will have a very complex relationship with the main superhero. To add to complexity, the cop will be related to the superhero in question and they won’t know until later. With the superhero persona, this cop would hunt them down and view them as a public menace. With the secret identity, the cop would view the superhero as a loving family member. When the cop discovers that their kin and the superhero are one and the same, things will become even more complicated between them. This police character will be a combination between Commissioner James Gordon from the Batman comics and Captain Quentin Lance from the show Arrow.
In the past, when I wrote superhero stories, I would not include sidekicks. Now, with my new superhero story, I am changing my mind. I am thinking of making the story about a single hero with three sidekicks that will consist of two boys and one girl, which will mirror Batman’s three most famous sidekicks; Nightwing, Batgirl, and Robin. However, all three of these sidekicks will have their own unique powers instead of relying on gadgets and martial arts. In terms of personality, these sidekicks will be similar to the Top Gear boys; Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond. One will be obsessed with power and constantly make mistakes, one will be old-fashioned and detail oriented, and one will be loud and flashy. Overall, these three kids will serve as comic relief yet still put up a significant fight against criminals when they have to.