telerib: (Default)
Once upon a time, a little girl decided to read one of her daddy's books that had a unicorn on the cover. The book was one of Robert Asprin's "Myth" series, and that was my intro to fantasy fiction.

The "Myth" books started as a humor series, and (as I'm considering a Bog Standard Fantasy novel) I'm remembering them as an example of very minimal world building, and most of it centered on the Bazaar at Deva. The strength of the books was the characters and dialogue.*

Compare and contrast to, say, Harry Potter or Wheel of Time, both series with very in-depth world building that inspires a lot of love in fans. "You can imagine you are there!" But (for my money, anyway) that's about all they have. I bailed on HP after "Goblet of Fire." I read one-half of one WoT book and greatly prefer the RPG sourcebook. The settings are well-drawn and intriguing, but I don't care about the characters and so wander away.

The gold standard, of course, is to do it all well. But Perfectionist Lass needs to NOT try to accomplish that, lest she get bogged down in getting it all "right" in preference to actually doing anything. I don't want to get hung up on not having a world to set a novel in.

My authorial strengths, if I have any accurate gauge of my own abilities, are in dialogue and characterization. I love dialogue so much that, if I'm not careful, I end up writing something that looks more like a script and less like a story. I should figure out what story I want to tell and then drop an appropriate setting around it, I think.

*Modulo nostalgia factor. At ten (and even fifteen), I thought puns, pop culture references and breaking the fourth wall were hysterical.
telerib: (Default)
From whence does this urge to write a novel come? you may ask.

(Okay, you probably didn't ask. But I'm telling you.)

I like to write. Since 1999, I've been active on a near-daily basis in online play-by-post fantasy RPGs. The writing tends to the choppy - no more than a few paragraphs at a time, usually - and it's collaborative. But it's been my creative writing fix for, damn, over a decade now.

(And if I may say so, I've gotten rather better over time. I read my old stuff and flinch. I read my more recent stuff and then read it again without pain.)

But it finally seems to be failing me. The most recent game I've been in is "no really, no dead yet" - except when there's no posting for over a month, it's really dead yet. Sometimes I've seen games come back from that, but not often.

Stepping into the gap, I've been chronicling my third Dragon Age: Origins run in snarky, chat-based format. It has moments of fourth wall breakage, contains no scene descriptions, only occasional action markers, and no "voice over direction." It is a giant wall of dialogue that would make no sense to anyone not already familiar with the game, the plot and the characters. ([livejournal.com profile] cmccurry and [livejournal.com profile] aemccurry, you might find it amusing.)

I'm about 2/3 done with the game and the chronicle is running 12,000 words. Of just dialogue. Based on someone else's Bog Standard Fantasy plot.

Surely I can put that energy into something less derivative.

August 2014

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