Guest posts

Monday, August 18, 2014

Guest Post by Dallas Sutherland author of The Greying

Title: The Greying (Book One in the Landland Chronicles)
Author: Dallas Sutherland
Genre: Fantasy Novella
LANDLAND CRIES OUT FOR A SAVIOUR... Upon the death of her mother, Meah is pulled across the boundary that separates this world and another time and place where the dog-like Firbog have brought the mists of the greying. Under the evil Queen Berilbog they threaten to claim all the lands. With her Mother dead and her Father missing - she is on her own! Can Meah learn how to use the power of the thinking? Will there be enough time to save both Landland and herself? Will Meah ever find her way home again? She must triumph over grief and sadness on her journey into a world made cold, grey, and colourless by the ravages of the greying. Meah travels into the depths of Bigriverland to find the mysterious sage, The Biggo. In the heart of Dead Wood, Meah meets Josh O'Tosh, the last of the warrior Pictish Priests. Battling lurking homunculi and the horrors of the many-headed-winged-thing, they set out to recover the only thing that will save Landland ...her mother's Book-of-Colours.

Guest Post by Dallas Sutherland


lMetalepses, Mise en abyme, Slipstream, Metaxis

Have you ever wanted to do something more with a straight fantasy quest story? Well, I have. Here I will describe some of the concepts used within my own novella, The Greying, which is really a parody of the fantasy genre. I've utilised the above elements to bring the story into the here and now. Of course, the novella is written for a younger reader, but that does not mean they need to understand all of the underlying concepts I am about to discuss here. There are many more themes to be found within the book that directly relate to the genre's humble beginnings in the realm of Faery Tale. Nonetheless, I do hope the young reader will give the book the thumbs up.

lMetafiction Defined

Generally speaking Metafiction is writing about writing. This means the reader becomes aware of the fictional nature of the tale when the narrative folds back upon itself; the writing becomes self-reflexive. In The Greying, metafiction is used as a fictional strategy. Quite apart from its narrative term which highlights the unreality of the story, when used as a fictional strategy metafiction can serve to broaden our understanding of the dual nature of storytelling: the reader who is reading, and the reader who through their imagination has become a part of the story. Linda Hutcheon in her book Narcissistic Narrative: The Metafictional Paradox (2013, p. 20) expands upon this '… it is the human imaginative process that is explicitly called into action, in both author and reader.' In this sense, the author is calling upon the reader to explore their own imagination.
I'll have to ask you to explore your own imagination by reading The Greying if you want the full picture. I can't give it all away here; that would be spoiling.

lMetalepses, Mis en abyme, Slipstream, and Metaxis Defined

Metalepses are where narrative folds back upon itself and any boundaries that may have existed between the teller of the story and the reader are dissolved. A metalepsis is a metafictional device and can be used to give a story an element of 'slipstream' (sliding into realms of the strange), or to provide what is known as mise en abyme, a frame within a frame. In The Greying, the protagonist, Teah, realises she exists within a story she is reading about in the here and now, but that here and now is another world away; frames within frames. Metalepsis, mis en abyme, and slipstream combine to provide a metafictional undercurrent that becomes 'metaxis' (see Vermuelen & van der Akker 2010) and Teah is simultaneously here, there, and nowhere. Now that is very strange.
This leaves the reader in an uneasy position for the usual codes of the genre have seemingly been subverted and they are left with the same confusion that exists within the story; they become one with the unreality of the situation.
If interested, you can read more about the narrative structures underlying The Greying at my blog
Here, you will find more about pastiche and parody.
Happy imagining.

Author Bio  

Over the last twenty-five years, the Author has exhibited a creative bent across a range of industries including graphic design, fine arts, and trompe l'oeil murals. He has lectured in fine arts and studied Art History, Literature, Adult Education, and Creative Writing. Works include play scripts and short stories. The Greying is his first published novella, with further books planned as part of the fantasy series. He draws inspiration from myth, legend, and fairy tales.

He lives on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia with his partner Kerri, and daughter Ruby.
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