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Writing fantasy is hard.

I'm talking full-blown, newly-invented-worlds fantasy, of course. Urban fantasy, no problem. I haven't written this kind of fantasy (as a novel) in... oh... Y'know, I don't think I have since my first novel, back when I was all of 14. And that was a load of derivative crap, so I don't think it really counts.

It's the world building. Figuring out all the details of the culture and the environment and so on. Figuring out how to work them into the story without being info-dumpy or putting the reader to sleep. Of course, I had to make it extra hard for myself. I had to use some weird blend of Sumerian/Babylonian/Egyptian/Persian inspiration, instead of the standard medieval European deal. What I really need to do is take a trip over to the Middle East and experience this stuff--the landscape, at least. Ha ha. Great time for that.

So, writing has been a little painful. I'm leaning more toward getting in all the important details rather than making a story that's enjoyable to read, and so the writing itself is tiring and not much fun. Every couple of sentences I've got to stop and pick a name for a newly introduced person or place, or figure out what food they'd be eating, or what furniture they'd have, or how the palace is laid out. And still I keep thinking, yikes, I still haven't put anything about the religion in, is it going to be introduced to late, and, are these details unique enough? Does this really fit with the culture I'm creating here? and etc. I think I'm going to have to wait for the second draft before I get the fun. Oi. What have I gotten myself into?

*glares at the muse* This is all your fault. You gave me this idea. You made me fall for it. How about lending a hand getting it out, hmmm?

But hey, despite all that, I still love the story. I just don't love how I'm writing it right now.

Halfway Hero progress from the last week or so: 4,500 words



( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 13th, 2006 07:03 pm (UTC)
Have you ever read Tamora Pierce's series Cicle of Magic? She has a more...Arabic based world? But she doesn't make a huge deal about it. It's all very subtlely done. It might be worth investigating.
Jan. 14th, 2006 01:27 am (UTC)
Hmmm. No, I haven't read anything from that series. I'll have to check it out. Thanks!
Jan. 13th, 2006 08:55 pm (UTC)
This is why I can't write fantasy-I'm very bad at world building. Is it really necessary to flesh out the world in so much detail though? Especially if the book deals with a small section, and the viewpoint of a group of characters, you could focus on what is relevant to them and their understanding of it.
Jan. 14th, 2006 01:33 am (UTC)
Unfortunately, the main characters are in the ruling class, and a large part of the plotline has to do with who will become the next king. So I have to have all the politics worked out, as well as the religion (which influences who is chosen). I have to show how court life works and all that stuff.

The biggest problem is that I default on Medieval Europe when imagining a fantasy world. But I really want to write something different, distinctive, so it doesn't blend in with the majority of other YA fantasy novels. I also find that the fantasy novels I enjoy the most are the ones that have all the details worked out; it's the little touches that make it real. So it'll be worth the extra effort, because I'll be happier with the end product. :)
Jan. 15th, 2006 11:40 pm (UTC)
I totally sympathize. It can be really hard, especially if you let yourself get TOO bogged down in the details. Just try to remember that on some things you can make it up as you go.

Have you thought to read some stories from The Arabian Nights?
There was also a Persian adaptation of Beauty and the Beast by Donna Jo Napoli called Beast. I don't know if these will help you at all, but good luck!
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

My Books

Earth & Sky
(Earth & Sky #1, science fiction YA)
Skyscape/Razorbill Canada, 2014

The Clouded Sky
(Earth & Sky #2, science fiction YA)
Skyscape/Razorbill Canada, 2015

A Sky Unbroken
(Earth & Sky #3, science fiction YA)
Skyscape/Razorbill Canada, 2015

The Way We Fall
(Fallen World #1, apocalyptic YA)
Disney-Hyperion, 2012

The Lives We Lost
(Fallen World #2, apocalyptic YA)
Disney-Hyperion, 2013

The Worlds We Make
(Fallen World #3, apocalyptic YA)
Disney-Hyperion, 2014

Those Who Lived: Fallen World Stories
(Fallen World #3.5, apocalyptic YA)
self pubbed, 2014

Give Up the Ghost
(paranormal YA)
Henry Holt, 2009

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