Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Fantasy

I'm almost to 48,000 words. I finished the story as much as I wanted to so now I'm writing random short stories in it. My preferred manner of celebration for when I reach 50,000 words is to print out the novel and burn it. I haven't given up hope on this but neither have I figured out where to burn it and whether or not my parents will let me use their ink cartridge.

I think part of the problem with this story, aside from the incomplete vision and lack of predetermined structure, is that I haven't read or written enough sci-fi to be able to do it well quickly. I have both written and read much, much more fantasy. I realized this when I stuck one of my characters in a pseudo-medieval virtual reality and suddenly found myself back in my element. If I do NaNoWriMo this year (it mostly depends on whether or not a film group costuming department opportunity works out), I think I'll go back to my roots. ;)

I've liked fantasy for as long as I can remember. The Chronicles of Narnia, The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, The Phantom Tollbooth, and Medallion were among my favorite books as a kid (The first three still are favorites, and I haven't read the other two in years...I should read them again). They were (and are) important to me. All of the books aside from the Bible that have impacted me the most over my life are fantasy, or in the case of Ted Dekker and Frank Peretti, at least have fantastical elements. If the stories were told, as close as possible, in a different genre, would they have affected me as much? I don't know, but they weren't.

Most of the stories I remember writing were fantasy. When I was 12 I started writing a fantasy story that ended up being 70,000 words long (It isn't finished. I haven't touched it in years. I am better at starting than finishing). My other novels and about half the stories I've written more recently are fantasy. I've liked it for so long that when someone asked me why, I couldn't really say. Why wouldn't I? But thinking on it, I suppose it is the escape from reality that attracts me so much, to worlds where anything can happen. One reason I like writing it is I don't have to do much research *innocent whistling* (though I have researched things like how to remove an arrow from a body). I can create an entirely different world with different laws and creatures and things. My hero can have wings. My heroine can go on a quest to close the Door to the North to keep the world from freezing over (no stealing :P). I can have dungeons and dragons and dwarves (spell-check says dwarfs, but that makes me think of Snow White, who is probably my least-favorite Disney princess ever).

The part of fantasy that I don't get along with well is magic. I very rarely use anything resembling it in my stories. I haven't settled on what's okay to use or approve of in fiction and what isn't because the Bible clearly states real magic is evil. In real life, when trying to find or use power, if it ain't God, it ain't good. People have a lot of different explanations for the vastly varying kinds of magic in their novels, and my opinions have slowly changed form some recently, but I'm not 100% sure on this matter. If you have any thoughts on it, I'd like to hear them.

"Some things can only be said in fiction, but that doesn't mean they aren't true." - Aaron Latham

6 comments:

  1. Hmm, you might be interested in watching these two videos on magic in lit:

    http://www.canonwired.com/ask-doug/magic-in-literature/

    http://www.canonwired.com/ask-doug/magic-in-literature-2/

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  2. Well, I guess for me it depends on how you define "magic." The Bible certainly contains many supernatural events which some would view as "magic." So in my mind, if it is a supernatural event that is a work of God, then it's okay. My current novel has angels who do supernatural things. But people don't do "magic" on their own.

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  3. Thanks, Daniel. Those are interesting, especially the second one.

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  4. "I'm almost to 48,000 words. I finished the story as much as I wanted to so now I'm writing random short stories in it. My preferred manner of celebration for when I reach 50,000 words is to print out the novel and burn it. I haven't given up hope on this but neither have I figured out where to burn it and whether or not my parents will let me use their ink cartridge."

    Burn it as with fire? why? what's the point? Please explain this to me?

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  5. Because it's an awful mess and writing it was painful at times. Burning it would be satisfying. Not to mention fun, since it involves fire.

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