Ultimately what made me want to write were stories. Other people’s stories. They enthralled me so much, transporting me to other times and places. I fell in love, again and again with books. Certain characters haunted me, coming to when I was listening to music. I found myself playing out my favorite scenes in my imagination, sometimes going beyond what was on the printed page.
I wanted to create such compelling characters, make them part of plots which would enthrall them. I wanted to sweep people off their feet with story.
Too often my own weren’t worthy of even causing a slight toe twinge, let alone any sweeping. I wasn’t going to be crafting another Lord of the Rings, another Star Wars, or another Vampire Chronicles.
Storm Constantine showed me I didn’t have to do any of that. I could write my own style and still play with speculative fiction.
Want your plot to center around the creation of art in your particular universe? This could be as intense as a trek through the wilderness.
I could discover my myths and legends right along with my characters by having their creation be part of the plot. Reality, even alternative realities could be something the characters discovered through the senses. Or they could open up other senses through dreams and visions. The landscape could change, depending upon whom experienced it.
Questions about a fantasy world’s history and religion could be raised by the characters themselves, even as they explored them in dynamic ways. The world of masculinity and femininity I often felt trapped and crushed by could be left behind, new races of beings born from their ashes.
Storm Constantine showed me that these things could be done. With the Wraethru. With people retreating from their worlds or growing up in isolation. With characters creating stories of their own, only to seduce and be seduced by their creations literally. With myth and legend being shaped by the very followers whose vision of a prophet was shaped by their needs.
Whenever I get stuck in story, when I’m blocked and unable to write, I open a book by Storm Constantine. Something about her words, her storytelling speaks to me, tickling my own creative impulses. She’s the writer who showed me what I could be. She’s also the writer who encouraged me to write fanfic about her work, giving me a much needed boost when I was unsure of myself.
Rest in peace, Storm Constantine. You will be missed, but your legacy will never die.