As I’ve mentioned in the past, I started writing as a youngster. Or, as I like to say, when I was young and stupid. Yep, I can admit it. At 14 I was stupid. I was one of those poor lost souls that I talked about yesterday in my post. The one who thought that writing was just, well, writing. I didn’t fully understand that it was a craft, an art form, just like any other creative endeavor. All I knew were two things for sure.
1. I love to read
2. I have these plays in my heads of people doing activities and if I don’t get them out, check me into the funny farm.
So, knowing these two things, I pursued. I tallied forth, I braved the wave….ah, hell, I could go on with a dozen metaphors to describe what I did, but you get the point right?
Anyway, my first story started, in truth, when I was younger than 14 with a character named Nyx. I created her at the tender age of 10, finally named her at 14. She was my best friend when I had none, my cheering squad when the live version couldn’t be there, and my confidant. It was natural, at 14, that my first story star her. She led to the creation of a race of women warriors known as the Dancers. In fact, she is the catalyst to my current story creation method of using ‘what if’. That popular question led to Life Without Parole, Ancient Magic, Memory Lane, The Day the Sky Fell (courtesy of my daughter) and yes, even parts of my masterpiece The Golden Crown.
The Golden Crown is a fantasy story. What I didn’t realize then (this is the stupid part) is that each genre that is available for us to write in has its own set of rules. For example, in Science Fiction, it’s usually bad form to throw in a dose of magic that can’t be explained in part as science. Unless you’re doing a fantasy science fiction story…then it’s okay.
If you’re writing a mystery, there is a set of rules that I’ve yet to fully understand to be able to write in it so I make mine suspense instead of mystery. Why is it different? Can’t say, if someone else can be my guest. The only difference I’ve found is that I’m typically glued to a suspense/thriller like Tom Clancy‘s novels while Sue Grafton only mildly interest me (no offense, Ma’am).
I also didn’t realize that I’d have to craft EVERYTHING for the Golden Crown. The area, the people, the races, the distances, the names of animals. I figured back then that I could call a rabbit a rabbit and everything would be fine. Until I started reading more and more fantasy stories and realized. WRONG!
I have David Eddings to thank for the revelation of just how ignorant I was when he published the Rivan Codex for his two series The Belgariad and The Mallorean. Yep, thanks a lot Mr. Eddings! The book told us the history, the religion, the motivations of each region. Now, I knew that I would have to create the rules of the magic used within the story, the special races/classes like the Dancers and the Senat Family and how they worked. I even, in some way, knew that I’d have to create their religion and practices. That started my fascination in researching many different faith practices past and present which is still an interest today. It also is the catalyst that led me to my faith practice….but that’s a different story.
Anyway, due to the very in-depth rules and needs of a fantasy story, The Golden Crown has become for me the elusive master piece. The one book that I’ll finish when I’m 60 because all the other stories have run out of my head and nothing else comes up. When I’m upset I work on The Golden Crown, but otherwise it’s on the mind but rarely gets played with.
A sad fact, I know, but truth be told, the other stories are easier to write because if I say that they went to a hotel, my reader will know what a hotel is, what a roller coaster is. I don’t have to describe them, while a Tucurani Rabbit, that I have to describe and explain that it’s a rabbit with long fangs, long hair, with orange nose and eyes. It’s a predator that can be easily spooked and lives on plains in the Senaf Province….
See my point. So while I understand and even prescribe to the genre designations out there, there are times when I start making funny faces at my writing. When I ask myself am I deluding myself in believing that I can write a fantasy or science fiction because I’m inherently lazy or because I’m too easily distracted by the details?
Science, as another pet project of mine, tends to distract me with creating the neat techno toys that are available in the story. It has to work, it has to make sense. The story is in the details, right? Yes and no. Yes, because it has to be at that level of believability so that readers will get it and no, because if you get bogged down in the details, the story doesn’t get written.
So for now I stick with real world fiction. Things that could happen but probably won’t, but wouldn’t it be fun if it did at least somewhere?
- Switching Genres (tiaden.wordpress.com)
- Genre Crossover: Keith Weaver’s Latest Book – Nebulous (World of Nebulous). YA Fantasy (readingdiva.com)