Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Elemental Storytelling: ASSASSIN'S SOUL by Beth Caudill

 With the blessing of TV Tropes, the Snarkology is pleased to host a blog series based on the Periodic Table of Storytelling.

This is the story molecule for my fantasy novella Assassin's Soul.
Story Arc (Arc):
 At the top is the Story Arc. Assassin's Soul is the first in a series of stories about magical women in the city of Ellemarlene. Each book will feature a different main couple and provide a framework for changes to the overall structure of the city. 

Person of Mass Destruction (Pmd):
In Assassin's Soul, the heroine Caitlyn is a Person of Mass Destruction. Her magic is so powerful that she can steal the souls from a village full of people in a few moments. 

Magic A is Magic A (Aa) & Fantasy World Map (Fwm):
Throughout the story she must accept her place as a Mage (Magic A is Magic A) and conquer challenges across Ellemarlene (see the Fantasy World Map). Caitlyn's greatest fear is loss of control. 

Enemy Within (Ewi):
She must fight the Enemy Within and not allow the memories from the souls she takes to overcome her own consciousness. 

 Willing Suspension of Disbelief (Sus):
Anchoring the whole together is a Willing Suspension of Disbelief that the Guild controlled city of Ellemarlene exists.

Ellemarlene Map
The Fantasy World Map is not listed in the Periodic Table of Storytelling but it is linked within the Wiki. I created a map of Ellemarlene as part of crafting my story and thought it fit within the story molecule.

Title:  Assassin's Soul
Publisher:  Moonlight Mountain Books
Date Published:  April 3, 2014
Genre: Epic Fantasy / Fantasy with Romantic Elements
Word Count: 33,000 words ~ 120 pages

Caitlyn Sinclair hides her magical need for souls behind her job as an assassin in the Miscreants Guild—the home of spies, thieves and assassins. She is a SoulEater, a mage who uses the aural energy of other people to fuel her spells. She has no choice but to take those lives, because without the infusion of life-force she will die. She's made a home for herself in the city of Ellemarlene, until the day she executes her Guild Master and is cast out. Her only chance at survival is to join the Mage Guild and embrace her magical nature. To become a terrible weapon, someone with the power to wipeout entire towns.


Stretched across the attic floor, amongst outdated furniture and boxes, Caitlyn listened to her target move around the first floor. She wiped a bead of sweat off her nose with the sleeve of her dark gray tunic. Surveillance in a hot, confined space was not her idea of a good time. Summer's heat turned the air into a furnace and she struggled for each breath.

Tendrils of her brown hair escaped the confines of her ponytail and stuck to the sides of her face, driving her insane with the need to scratch. But she was a professional, her focus remained centered on her prey.

An assassin by trade and need, she'd learned long ago to ignore environmental incidentals while on an assignment. Except for the dark, gloomy sensation in her gut driving her to dig deeper into this case. The details from her surveillance didn't correspond with the information Guild Master Jameson had given her; most disturbing, the bright white aura of her target. Only a person pure of heart possessed an aura that color.

Caitlyn had one rule for the assignments she undertook. The target had to be a Betrayer—a traitor to their family, work, or country. It didn't matter who they were, so long as they were an adult and unfaithful to the trust granted to them by others.

Usually she spent no more than three days surveying her targets, but the inconsistency in the target's aura spurred her to scrutinize everything. Now on her seventh day, her target's aura still glowed the pure bright white of innocence. Not a hint of betrayal or wicked intent. And the heavy lump of unease strangled Caitlyn's heart.

Betrayed by her Guild Master. But like the stealthy spikey-crowned monitor lizard waiting for its prey, she'd be patient and gather more evidence before denunciating the man before the guild.

Buy links:

Author Bio:
Although Beth grew up in West Virginia, she currently resides in North Carolina with her husband and two sons. Blending the analytical and creative sides of her brain, she delights in creating fantasy worlds for others. Catch her online most days except when NCIS and Once Upon a Time air.


I'm currently at work on Book 2 of my Paranormals of Arilase romance series.  As part of a summer sale, Book 1 – Healer's Fate – will be on sale for $0.99 from July 10 – July 16.



  1. Wow. Fiction writing as science. That's almost scary. Beth, you're a braver soul than I. I think I'd be scared of my own stories if I had to break them down like this.

    That being said, it's very cool and fascinating. Definitely makes me want to read it.

    1. Masha - I was scared at first but Melissa gave us plenty of time to work out our molecules. I think I spent about a week figuring mine out. I'd pull a bunch of things that might fit and then whittled down the choices. Once I got into going through the table of choices, it was rather fun.

      Thanks for stopping by today and make sure you enter the giveaway.

  2. Hi Beth,
    Thank you so much for visiting with me today. I love the amount of work you've put into your world building. The map is an especially nice detail. :-)

    1. Melissa - Thank you for hosting this. I had a great time working through all the options. I hope you decide to do this again sometime.

      I love making stuff up and the map definitely helped me nail down specific details. I'll be making more maps when the next stories come out.