Of late, when I do get time to write, which is not often due to many things *sigh*. I find I am fast loosing patience with the "typical" elements of fantasy....
I longer have the desire to write about "heros" and "magic" in a High Fantasy framework.
The doings and goings on of lands and worlds no longer interest me.
The arc of any story I have attempted lately is narrower, more personal, affecting only those characters involved.
Also more personal reflections and ideas are finding there way into my work. My mind set has shifted of late and I no longer feel I need to work in "rubber gloves" i.e keep a layer between myself and various aspects of my work.
Maybe this explains why I am not writing so much, as each session is now more draining. Far more of "me" is ending up on the page.
It might be that I will leave "fantasy" behind in some respects, my work though will always be surreal in many ways, but the "standard fantasy " ingredients no longer seem right for me. In fact I find them damn right annoying....
Question: Has anyone else reached a crossroads in their work and stood wondering which way to go?
October 28th, 2002, 10:23 AM
Not at all, but after writing a novel, I am now writing a lot of short stories. It's a lot easier having the story focused. Since they are fantasy, I try to go for different settings to keep them varied, and try to avoid some of the bigger fantasy cliches, which as you said lose their appeal after a while.
October 28th, 2002, 02:09 PM
Okay, after writing a long-winded relpy, my logged in status must have timed out and I lost my post!
Here's the gist of my reply:
I also feel this way from time to time. I think it stems from growing as a writer. The more I write the more anxious I get to produce something unique that has a deeper personal element to it.
High fantasy has a tendency to concentrate its themes towards "power" and "good versus evil." Often, as I write in this genre, I find that even though my characters and plots are different, my themes are the same. Once in a while I sit back, look at the screen and think, "hey, I've written this before."
In the end I think a writer should just try to write the stories he or she feels need to be told. Resctricting oneself to a specific genre doesn't seem to accomplish much - unless of course one is a professional and needs to get the bills paid.
October 28th, 2002, 05:55 PM
I think I got a similar problem.
I'm over 100+ pages into the horror novel that will make me a star (it will you know) but I've all of a sudden lost interest.
Well, not lost interest - I think about this damn story every day, and yet when I sit down to write I become a blank and manage to scrawl three or four sentences before grinding to a halt.
Actually, I've just got writers block.
says thanks for the therapy anyway!
October 28th, 2002, 06:06 PM
I don't think it's a bad thing H.
Some people struggle to create a connection with characters they create and to represent and maintain the continuity of them in a believable way.
It's so easy to follow the old cliches and everyone seems to be doing it.
I don't think a story has to be an epic "save the world from ultimate evil" tale to be interesting.
Robert E Howard for example wrote (almost exclusively) short stories with characters like Conan who he hardly ever saved anyone other than himself, but that didn't make his stories any less interesting or exciting to read.
IMO it was that almost journal-like style which made it a good read.
I reached a crossroads some time ago where my stories became more cynical and darker, portraying mankind in a very non-flattering light, where there is no black and white, but just shades of grey.
October 28th, 2002, 07:55 PM
I'm with you, Holbrook! I say: do as you feel led--don't cross what you believe in. Whatever story your telling is worth telling--whatever form it may take. The less formulaic the story, the more interesting it will be.
There seems to be a big movement towards surrealistic fiction. This is good news for me--most of my shorts fall within this category, and the novel I'm near (always 'near') to finishing has the same feel.
I understand the draining aspect as well. There were some stories that I wrote about Bellingham, my childhood town, that took a lot out of me. Not every surreal tale does, though. I think that some stories are simply more difficult and life-consuming than others are. It might be, Holbrook, just the particular tale that you're telling. I've heard many writers comment about how particular stories were particularly life-sucking.
Surreal has deep roots in fantasy. If you haven't read any Patricia McKillip, I recommend that you do so soon. She's brilliant at it--dam* inspirational, too.
Hang in there! If you'd like anyone to read, I'm up for it. The surreal stuff is my bread and water. :)
October 30th, 2002, 02:29 AM
I can's be sure of where that crossroads is in your life. I don't believe you can look back and say that *point finger* this was where it all started changing.
As I advance in my novel, I reach more and more compromises with the person that started it. Me. I reach an agreement that this is too common, and I raise the standard a little bit. I say that that has been done in this book, so I change it.
And every time I read through my story, I get a feeling of accomplishment, yet I find flaws that need smoothing.
It must be all you life experiences speaking to you. Your very perception of life changes, and so it is reflected in your writing.
It could be a good thing or a bad thing. I started my novel at 16, and I am still only 100 pages into it. Not even a4. And that is due to m y complete revision of it every time I read through it. Now I'm not even sure that I can finish it, or when I do what it will be like. From the beginning to the end, it might be a hundred different shades of me in it.
October 30th, 2002, 02:48 AM
Thank every one for your comments.
My main problem is that I have so little time now to write. Often when I do have a little, I am too tired or not in the right frame of mind...
I knew going back into the work force would limit my writing, but I did not realise that it would to such an extent.
Also I feel the need to make the characters "more" real, more responsible for their actions.
It is not the setting anymore of the piece, but the people in the setting. I have begun to hate info dumps, to write or read paragraphs of details, seems a waste of time and effort...
I keep trying to use as few words as possible to set the scene, leaving the "effort" required to drive the characters.
This is trimming my work down, making it very lean. Better I don't know at all.
My grammar is getting better as well, when I make the effort. That seems to be the key word "Effort" and it is not at the moment an easy thing to do..
October 30th, 2002, 05:51 AM
Stick with it Holbrook.
I for one am convinced that your writing has improved hugely. If you don't believe me then look at some of the really early bits you sent me (not The Kings Blade I still love that) and compare them to Ruby.
I know how dificult you are finding it to get quality time to write these days (not helped by an almost lodger stealing your computer on a regular basis) but remember you do have the two most important things. You have a great talent for writing and you have the drive to write.
Don't get disheartened, write when you can and you will get there soon enough.
November 8th, 2002, 07:47 AM
I think this is good news. I don't trust a person who only has one genre of book in them, nor do i trust a person who does not put themselves in their book in some form or another. I write in every genre, and have just come into my first scifi-fantasy book. i like it but when the massive beast is done i know i will need to take a break from it for a while and make my next piece a modern day thriller and coming of age novel. anyway. i think you dont have a problem at all. sounds like your on the right track. im new here and havent read anyones stuff yet.....but i might. this is probablly due to the fact that i really dislike short stories. anyone have longer, full length stuff on here? you?