PDA

View Full Version : Why fantasy/science fiction?


SFFWorld.com
Home - Discussion Forums - News - Reviews - Interviews

New reviews, interviews and news

New in the Discussion Forum


Pages : [1] 2

El_Pollo_Diablo
April 7th, 2004, 08:32 PM
Why do you write in the fantasy or science fiction genre? Is it a conscious decision or do you write whatever comes to mind? And the answer, "because I like it" does not qualify as a response . :)

Miriamele
April 7th, 2004, 09:19 PM
I write fantasy for the same reasons I read fantasy:

1. The passion, suffering and drama often found in it appeals to my intense personality.
2. I am an explorer at heart and am fascinated by other times, places, and worlds.
3. I love the idea of magic.
4. I like books which introduce new ideas and stretch my perceptions of reality.

The decision to write fantasy was definitely a conscious one for me. I used to write literary fiction that never quite worked. Then I realized that my writing wasn't working because I was writing in the wrong genre--not because I'm hopeless as a writer.

I realized that although I did enjoy some literary fiction, all of my favourite books were fantasy...and then something clicked in my head. I didn't have to write something aiming to win a prestigious literary award--if I wanted to, I could write things that I actually thought were fun!

Once I made the decision to write fantasy, I've written more than ever before and am enjoying it a lot more.

The old cliche is true--you have to write the type of stuff you'd like to read, otherwise you'll bring no enthusiasm to the project.

Gregg Bradley
April 7th, 2004, 09:23 PM
Hmmmmmmm........still thinking on this one.

First book written and completed-- to fulfill a life long dream to be a science fiction writer.

Second book still writing--to prove to myself that book #1 is not a fluke and I'm getting better at it as the pages roll on.

Third book, still a pipe dream---but final realization that I'm better at writing interstellar fleet clashes then ground action.


All in retrospect---People keep asking me, "When's your next book going to be completed?"

That question keeps me writing.:D

Dawnstorm
April 7th, 2004, 10:27 PM
I've thought about it, but only came up with phony reasons.

I'm mostly writing SF, sometimes Fantasy, occasionally horror.

I hardly ever use recognisable settings; and that probably reveals one of my reasons for writing SF:

I'm terribly afraid of "getting it wrong". By that I don't mean science, or facts, or whatever. I mean the imagination of "how it feels to be in a situation I have never been in". There's only so far research can take you.

Now, if you look at the world for inspiration, but then make up your own world, there is nobody who can prove you wrong. (They can say they can't relate, but they can't say, that would never be like that. Like they could, if I would write about, say, Nicaraguan street kids.)

So, probably I play it safe.

I've heard people say, you should write about what you know. But frankly, I fail to muster the motivation to do that. I don't want to tell the world what moves me; that's something for the people who know me to find out. Writing, to me, is exploring ideas. It's loving the alien.

Here's how my mind worked in the past:

"What's it like to live in an Amish Community?" and "What's it like to have parts of your body replaced?" merged and transferred into a SF setting. Now, I've got: "What's it like to be an Amish with high-tech implants?" (I like the interior conflict possible with this constellation.) [Note: This hasn't actually been written, yet. The concept is much more elaborate and involves, among others, a new kind of schizophrenia induced by the world(s) wide web in your head, a space-station based author of children's books who's a major hit planetside...]

JRMurdock
April 7th, 2004, 10:54 PM
I started writing fantasy because that's what I really enjoyed reading. My only trouble, lack of characters who interacted like people. Many of my recent short stories lacked believable characters. One rejection noted a short story of mine as explanitory vs narrative. Did I take offense? Heck no. Not every story is a gem and I wouldn't try to make each story a gem. Nor would I look back at a weak story and fight to make it stronger. If it doesn't fly on it's own, it belongs on the floor. I'll see if it'll find a home, if not, it goes into limbo.

What did I do next? My stories twisted around on me and when I would sit down to write, the fantasy element disappeared from my stories. My characters had real feelings and real depth. I wrote a couple sci-fi and it was more about the characters and less about the sci-fi.

What happened next? My stories lost the sci-fi element I was after and suddenly, were plain fiction. I was shocked. So were my test readers. I had written plain fiction. My last few short stories haven't been horror, sci-fi or fantasy. They've been fiction. My test readers were crying, getting angry, growing frustrated all at MY whim. When each would finish a story, the phone would ring or I'd get an IM. Why'd you do that? That's not what was supposed to happen! I would laugh and give a simple explanation and they'd be silent. I was right. Real people reacted like this. I had gotten then sad for a murderer, angry at a self-sacrificing man, glad that an old woman passed away. It was odd to cause these feelings in people and exciting all at the same time.

My next step? Back to Sci-fi, then back to fantasy. I finally have what my first attempts at writing lacked: character depth. Armed with a new talent (;)) I'm off to spin a world now and bring the characters to life instead of bringing the world to life.

Why do I want to go back to fantasy? Because at the end of the day, it's still what I enjoy the most to read. I want, one day, to have a book with my name on it next to the greats already upon my shelf. I want to be able to say 'I did it.'

El_Pollo_Diablo
April 8th, 2004, 01:38 AM
Originally posted by maus99
What happened next? My stories lost the sci-fi element I was after and suddenly, were plain fiction. I was shocked. So were my test readers. I had written plain fiction. My last few short stories haven't been horror, sci-fi or fantasy. They've been fiction.

That's interesting, because I have this mental block when it comes to writing any kind of science fiction or fantasy. I find that when I write anything it invariably becomes fiction. And it is not as if I don't like those genres, on the contrary, I love reading SciFi (why else would I be on this forum, duh). I find that I can't take my own writing seriously when it comes to flying spaceships, aliens, and photon torpedoes. So strangely enough I write fiction while reading science fiction. Anyone else write in areas (voluntarily) different from their reading interest?

Holbrook
April 8th, 2004, 02:09 AM
I love to read fantasy and now and then some SF. But on the whole reading SF is, to me at least, like chewing dry crackers. People launch into the "Techo Babble" and I switch off. Because I find once they do, the characters become "cut outs" they lose any depth they had. They seem to be mere dolls for the "Techo Babble" to play with.

This is a fault I have found with so much work put up by writers on forums like this. I do try to read it, but yuck!

As to fantasy reading and writing, I prefer the fantasy with a small "F". Dargons, Elves, Dwarves etc are over done as are Wizards etc....

I tend to write stories where if there is magic, the price paid for its use is heavy both for the user and the world he/she lives in.

I try to hang my stories on a theme or main idea for the most part.

The two books I have written are very different.

Llafn Meistr is a very detailed blend of fantasy and historical fiction. It is based on one simple idea. "The hero/King has a special sword. Who made it, how and why?" Everything in the work with regard to the construction of the sword is "do-able" The whole civilisation is based on 13th/14th century Europe. What "magic/supernatural elements there are is limited and has very little affect on the events. The problems/action is caused by human action and human actions must solve it.

The Hat Man on the other hand is light, very tongue in cheek, totally off the wall in places and not really "serious" fantasy at all. In fact I poke fun at the whole "fantasy idea" It was written quickly, some 6 months, though it has been edited a lot since.

I dabble in short stories of historical fiction, horror, supernatural and erotica, the latter with a small "e"

Gregg Bradley
April 8th, 2004, 12:20 PM
Originally posted by maus99


My next step? Back to Sci-fi, then back to fantasy. I finally have what my first attempts at writing lacked: character depth. Armed with a new talent (;)) I'm off to spin a world now and bring the characters to life instead of bringing the world to life.

I want, one day, to have a book with my name on it next to the greats already upon my shelf. I want to be able to say 'I did it.'



I can deeply relate to the above issues. In particular, after you write your first book or shory story, a writer always looks to improve his skills until he sees one of his books at the local bookstore next to the greats.

PaxNoctis
April 8th, 2004, 01:26 PM
Good question.

Initially it was because I was under the mistaken impression that SF/F was "easier" to write (lol. Yeah, right...).

As far as now... I'm just not a big fan of the modern world. A lot of things like honor and courage and heroism and romance are fading away. For some of my stories, that works, but most of the time I like to weave in these elements, the good and evil. Questionable moralities. I feel I can do that best with Speculative Fiction.

I also like exploring different places. I try to stay away from the traditional, Medievil fantasy world and go non-traditional. It's loads of fun.

Another reason, which might not seem very important but is to me, is that I hate guns. Not in the gun-control sense of the word, in the sense that they took all the skill and decency out of warfare and combat. Anyone, and I do mean anyone, can have 'power' these days just because they get a hold of a gun. In my stories, sure you can go buy a sword, but the first time you try to mug the wrong person, you're gonna feel it for a long time...

Miriamele
April 8th, 2004, 01:45 PM
Originally posted by PaxNoctis

Another reason, which might not seem very important but is to me, is that I hate guns. Not in the gun-control sense of the word, in the sense that they took all the skill and decency out of warfare and combat.

I agree wholeheartedly. One of the main reasons that I enjoy reading about and writing about warefare in the pre-industrial period is that there were no guns. I hate guns! Even a baby can pull a trigger and kill someone. No skill, strength, or courage is required.

Not that I want to glorify war in any of its forms--in most cases it is ultimately a waste of lives--but at least with the old style of warefare, courage and skill was what usually won the battle, not bigger guns. One could find honour and beauty on the battlefield then. Therefore this type of combat makes for much better stories, in my opinion.

I love swords especially, and the most thrilling scenes for me in any book are good suspenseful one-on-one sword fights. The raw energy and emotion of man pitted against man (or woman, or whatever) is almost primal, and this personal aspect to combat is missing from today's war. Modern soldiers don't see who they are killing most of the time, and I think that's sad, for many reasons.