The Birth of Lar Elien

Lar Elien was born early in 2000. I had been sitting at home, in severe pain, wearing braces on my wrists, waiting for my first operation. Carpal tunnel syndrome. I had read all my favorite books three times already because I didn’t dare to use my computer much, especially as typing was part of my job, as well.

Then, Andert entered my life, literally in a dream. Very cliché. And even more cliché, the dream was about a daring knight saving a young lady and almost losing his own life in the process.

I couldn’t shake the images, even after three days. I was familiar with that, it had happened before with images and story ideas for TV series. (Yes, I was a Star Trek fan at that time.) I had found that writing them down in short hand would clear my mind. Yet this was new. Andert didn’t belong to any series or movie. So, despite my braces and the pain, trusting the keyboard tray that I had installed at my desk at home, I settled down to write the images out of my mind. Two hours and thirty pages later, I began to suspect that this was something bigger.

Thus Lar Elien started to unfold on my computer screen. Andert, the third son of Count Willomar of Lar Elien, received a magical sword. The young lady turned out to be Lina, daughter of a cloth merchant. Her home town was quaint and idyllic Greenfields. My heroes got involved with a group of bandits. That tale almost wrote itself.

Three weeks later, my wrists had practically stopped hurting. Even so, I went through with the first operation. Of course, the story continued to grow in my head and as soon as I was allowed to, I went back to writing. The more I wrote, the less my left wrist hurt. The second operation was cancelled.

I soon realized that the tale I was writing was not the real beginning of Andert’s adventures as knight. A second story began to grow, set before the first one. It tracks how Andert got to be a knight and win his magical sword. The world of Lar Elien expanded. I discovered a dwarf and at least two mages. A small gang of antagonists appeared. I visualized a great tournament, a grumpy archivist, a motherly cook, and many more friends and enemies of Andert. And finally, I figured out what price Andert has to pay for his sword, and where it would lead him.

Those two novels were finished long ago. That is, they are as much finished as a novel can be without going to print. I keep finding things to change. Five more novels have languished in different stages of completion for years. I stopped working on them while my agent was showing the first novel to publishers. This has changed. Now I sense that the time has come to revisit Andert and his world. I want to get to know it even better, so I can take you along on a ride through its green forests soon.

About Hannah Steenbock

Hannah Steenbock is an author, dreamer, and coach. She has published several short stories in English and German, as well as one novel in German. In 2013 she started self-publishing her work. In 2014, she has won two awards for her short story "Sequoia".
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4 Responses to The Birth of Lar Elien

  1. *yeah* What a way to get a book going! I still don’t get “divine inspiration”. I have to force it every time. It’s so interesting to hear how the mind of writing goes about this!

  2. “Divine inspiration” doesn’t happen every time! Often enough, I’ve had to force myself to go on. I sometimes curl up in bed and let my mind wander on purpose, to come up with the next idea or where the tale could go. (You can see I’m not that great with planning.) And sometimes, it’s hard work, and I have to force myself to run with a half-baked idea and accept the fact there will be rewrites.

  3. Renee says:

    I get socked with ideas for other stories when I’m working on a different one. Drives me to distraction, lol. I love how your injuries healed as you were writing, and it sounds like a fascinating story. Good luck!

  4. Hi Renee, good to see you here. Many thanks for your good luck wishes, too.
    When I get swamped with ideas, I start a file where I just jot them down quickly. That serves as reminder once I run dry. And sometimes, I find ways to incorporate those ideas into my tales.
    Happy writing!

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