Monday, August 2, 2010

Questions I am asking

Over vacation, I spent no time writing but a great deal of time thinking about Emergent. Much of my thought was prompted by an excellent book I chanced across - How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy by Orson Scott Card. I make no bones about Card being one of my favorite authors, and while I have read everything he has posted at Uncle Orson's Writing Class, I thought there might be some things of value in a book written specifically on SciFi and Fantasy. I was not wrong in this assumption and strongly encourage anyone wishing to write in either genre to look at both resources.

One of the things that most challenged me were the comments about the clich├ęs in the genre. Most fantasy novels - which is how I mentally classify Emergent - are set in a quasi-Medieval world. There isn't really anything wrong with this in and of itself, but I personally feel it's important to have as many unique aspects as possible in a story for it to be a cut above the rest. And even then, it's truly difficult if not downright impossible to achieve anything really new or unique.

With all of that in mind, I am leaning towards the following changes to overall format:

I am considering taking the setting of the book away from the quasi-Medieval setting into either a Victorian Era (but a less traditional Victorian era and with more of a Steampunk twist) or Ancient Rome. Clearly I have some issues. Maybe I'll attempt to mix them both. How? I've no idea.

Going back to the overall question of voice and POV, I am considering moving away from Jeyne as a character viewpoint at all and going solely to Mr. No-Name as a first person and primary (if not sole) character viewpoint. This might be indicative of my hating myself. I'm not sure.

Lastly, I need to narrow my focus somewhat. So far, this story has been about an odd love triangle (which isn't really a triangle because I like things to be complicated), the emergence of magic into a world (hopefully without it being too similar to X-Men), and the toppling of an empire. Not to mention all the smaller stray ideas I've had. I think there's room for everything in the story, but I need to really sit down and mentally trace each path and then work out how to weave everything together - and work out which ideas need to be abandoned and which need to be explored further.

Most of all, I need to sit down and write and make some forward progress. That's totally going to happen.