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March 18th, 2012, 02:38 PM #1
This ever happen to anyone? And what should I do?
I figure I am 900,000 words away from becoming a passable writer, so while I have much more to learn, over the last few weeks I am finally completing some really bad short stories. Anywhere from 2000 to 10,000 words.
With that said, I planned out an entire near future earth. All of the short stories would take place anywhere from 20 years in the future to 2000 years. But all the major "changes" took or take place in the next 20 years or so and most of the early stories are set 20 years from now, give or take. Some have the same characters, some are loosely tied together, some overlap.
The initial intent and tone is near future sci-fi/contemporary fiction genre thriller.
When I write my last sentences, I want to turn the thing into a crossover/alternate world fantasy story. Every single time. A change of a sentence here or a change of gizmo there, and I could have a fantasy story. A Fantasy world parallel to our world, gateways, the usual crossover nonsense etc.
Instead of my protagonist whipping out a pistol to kill the bad guys or delivering a briefcase full millions of dollar to save the day, my gut wants him to whip a sword or a sack of gold coins.
Do I force myself to stay disciplined with my original intentions or just go with what I am feeling?
Edit: I would also like to add, that sometimes I wonder if throwing in an irrelevant fantasy angle take less thinking on my part and it is the lazy or easy way to finish the story.
Last edited by Glelas; March 18th, 2012 at 03:44 PM.
March 18th, 2012, 04:44 PM #2
So this becomes entirely about what you want and what areas and themes you want to explore and what sort of research you want to do. If you really don't want to write science fiction stories, I'd expect you'd run into some problems trying to write science fiction. If you really want to write science fiction, but fear you can't manage it, that may mean that you start writing awful fantasy fiction because you think it's somehow easier. You need to think about why you're writing the stories in the first place, what is the point of them and within the world that you've started building. Fantasy and science fiction are tools, not destinies, so it's a question of what tool fits the job and what tool and job you want to do.
March 18th, 2012, 06:04 PM #3
I used the sword replacing a gun as an example of how the reader is going down one familiar path and is suddenly thrown into another. (I am aware I could use guns and briefcases in fantasy.)
While I could probably handle sci-fi as well (or as bad) as I could handle writing fantasy, I am just second guessing myself and wondering if I am taking some kind of short cut throwing fantasy elements in what was previously not supposed to be fantasy - if that makes any sense.
March 18th, 2012, 07:28 PM #4
I think what you're running into here is not the question of genre logic. It's more on the question of commercial logic. I've been wrong before, but this is my best guess, and I'll explain.
In other words, your mind is trying to anticipate a reaction in the reader, and you're trying to ancipate the reaction of readers as a whole. This falls more in the marketing/commercial/sales realm.
I would say that this isn't the best thing to worry about right now. The first thing you should be worrying with is your style, honing your storytelling style. It doesn't matter if your stories are about purple unicorns who can fly, go to universities to give lectures on nonsense, and eat jelly donuts as their only source of sustenance. What matters early on is developing a style that is easy to read, is clear to understand, and contains the information that you intend to convey.
Once you've gotten a clear voice, you can worry about formulating stronger plots (recommend: use outlines and plan carefully), consider logic and flow of the story, and so forth. You should always be thinking about these things, but flow and style should be explored prior to getting too deep into the mechanics of full-length work.
That's my thoughts on it at any rate. Hope that it helps a little.
March 18th, 2012, 08:12 PM #5
March 18th, 2012, 08:44 PM #6
You'll want to eventually get to the point where you're writing commercial genre literature, but give yourself time to get to where you need to be with your style and voice.
Alot of people say that it takes a million words to get really good. Not all of them know why, though: this is the time where you should develop that style of writing that you can maintain for prolonged periods of time. Anyone could just sit and write a million words of gibberish, but that doesn't make them good; somewhere in that million words, they will hopefully develop a comfortable, salable writing style. Plotting and outlining comes later (along with the editor, which I also recommend hiring if at all possible).
March 18th, 2012, 09:09 PM #7
March 18th, 2012, 10:15 PM #8
March 18th, 2012, 10:24 PM #9
March 19th, 2012, 02:36 AM #10
March 19th, 2012, 12:07 PM #11