Tag Archives: research

Taking Hearts

I had a bit of trouble sleeping last night, so I decided to do a bit of work on Memories. With the maps mostly built, I really need to work on everything else in the game (characters, plot, etc). I want the game to have a sort of fairy tale feel, because I think it is literally going to involve people losing their hearts (what I’ve been calling “heart magic”). So I went researching fairy tales a bit on my tablet and came across this story:

I’m sure this must be a fairy tale but I haven’t been able to find it – saw it as a puppet show, complete with a beating flying heart, when I was a child and still remember it quite well to this day. It was called The Heartless Princess and I’m recounting it to the best of my four-years-old-little-girl-memory:

There once was a princess who, when she was born, was gifted with beauty and many other desirable attributes. In exchange for these gifts her parents were only asked to give the witch one thing: the princess’ heart “for safe keeping”. The princess’ parents, just delighted to at last have a daughter, foolishly acepted the terms and the witch quickly departed with the baby’s beating heart locked securely in a magic box.

The princess grew to be just as promised but was a cold and cruel girl. Her parents could not find any prince or nobleman she would accept as a suitor so desperately issued a challenge that whoever was accepted by her, whether low born or high, would have her hand in marriage. A young man (I think it was actually a prince from a far away land, in the show I saw) discovered the secret that where her heart should be beating was instead silence. He knew then that she could never be won until her heart was returned to her.

The young man set out on a perilous jorney to hunt down the witch who had taken her heart. After a perilous journey and many trials the young man found the witch’s lair and the magic box. A fierce battle caused him to be severly wounded but not before he broke the lock on the magic box which held her heart. As he collapsed the last thing he saw was the beating heart, finally free and flying it’s way swiftly back to the princess where it belonged.

The princess was suddenly overcome with fear for the young man and sent out a party of soldiers to his aid to bring him safely back to the castle. He arrived deathly cold and with barely a heartbeat but she cried warm tears on him and his heart responded with a strong rhythm. He regained his health and the princess remained faithfully and lovingly at his side from that time on.

I want to say she was no longer as beautiful on the outside but that it didn’t matter but that may be my 4 year old self remembering it incorrectly. I’m also not sure about the absence of a heartbeat in the young man after his trial but I like to remember it that way.

If anyone knows this tale’s origin I’d love to find out.

From vague memory (I’m away from my resources at present) there are quite a few stories of a heart being kept safe and other variations. Kay’s heart in The Snow Queen also needed to be melted by the warmth of Gerda’s tears so he could be freed. Although it wasn’t taken from him, he was heartless for a while.

-InkGypsy from SurLaLuneFairyTales.com, specifically the Taking Hearts thread from August 2006

I have never heard of that story before, but it sounds phenomenal! Does anyone know where it originated from?  Is it a fairy tale?


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Filed under Game Development

Research for Draft 3

I spent a lot of this afternoon doing research for draft 3 of my Author Quest submission.  After thinking about it a bit, I’ve definitely decided to make the major changes my brother and I talked about the other day when he gave me feedback.  I want this story to be as strong as it can be, and I honestly think what he suggested will greatly help.

Unfortunately, the rewrite is going to be rather substantial.  I’m looking at changing about 3000 words right now, which is a little under half of my story.  I’m also going to be introducing a different setting which I will most likely have to make up; in draft 2, the entire story takes place within the Castle of the Crystal, but now I’ll need to go outside of the castle for a scene or two.  I did a lot of research looking into what Gelfling villages look like, but I had a really hard time finding anything.  The couple of pictures I did find come from the Dark Crystal graphic novels (both the Creation Myths series and the Legends of the Dark Crystal manga).  Nothing I found today is quite right for what I need, so it looks like I’ll be designing my own village for the story.  To that end, I’m planning on playing around with a sketch book tonight to hopefully get a better idea of what I need.

Luckily, I actually did start visualizing the area I need in draft 1 (it was the chunk I completely removed in draft 2).  So between that, the few pictures I did find, plus sketching, hopefully I’ll have something I can use in the next couple of days.

By the way, if anyone is interested in some reference pictures, I’ve put together a board on Pinterest.  The pictures on it are mainly Skeksis and locations because that’s what I’ve needed for my submission so far.  But if you’d like to see what I’ve used, feel free to check it out.  🙂

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Filed under Contests, Writing

Writing Time – What is it to You?

I’ve been wondering this for a long time now: what should writing time entail?  Is it exactly what it sounds like, the period of time when you are actually sitting down and writing (or rewriting/editing)?  Or can it encompass other things, too?  Things like world building, plotting and research?

For me, I always felt like writing time should be the time when you’re actually sitting down to write something.  And that was all well and good until several of my personal projects got stuck in the world building stage.  So now I’m starting to rethink that whole idea about writing time, that maybe I should open it up to other things that are just as necessary for a writing project as actually writing the thing.

But, as my title asked, what is writing time to you?  I’d love to hear what everyone else thinks writing time should be.  If you don’t want to post here, you can also find me on Twitter where I’m also asking this question.


Filed under Writing