April 10, 2020, 06:25:59 AM

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Re: Wearing costume while writing Sort of a way to get a deeper felt sense of being the character, or being within the setting's time frame. I wouldn't have known this worked if I hadn't taken part in an historical re-enactment as an educational project that had nothing to do with fantasy writing. It was almost haunting, even the children involved were saying they didn't feel they were in the 21st Century anymore, they had time traveled.

I don't do this for my entire writing session, just now and then I get tangibly into character in some way, even for 15 minutes, and something in the mind shifts and gives me a thought wave to return to. To continue to just sit in the costume while in front of a laptop doesn't do the trick. Once I'm really into the writing itself in front of the keyboard, I don't notice the current surroundings or garb and need to be free from distraction and to be very comfortable.

May 12, 2015, 08:23:55 PM
Re: Do you start big or start small? In a way, both -- starting small but with just a segment of the bigger world. The segment of the bigger world does have its set of life conditions and rules which are restrictive to the character but not restrictive to the story itself because they are what give conflict and challenge for the characters to negotiate through, rather than letting the world change on a whim to fit the character's latest desires or need to be heroic. But the segment of that world can then expand as the smaller details unwind.

On the other hand, Tolkien is known for saying he "started with a map, and made the story fit," and said about its reverse, “to compose a map from a story” is “weary work.”

May 03, 2017, 08:54:15 PM
Re: Religion in Fantasy
I'm not the least bit religious, but as long as a book isn't preaching about why I should have religion in my life, I don't have issues with. Religion is often in the center of conflicts and societies in history, it makes sense that it would feature heavily in epic fantasy. It is a very important component of how people function, what motivates them. As long as the author approaches religion in the same way as they should approach characters it should be fine. Avoid blatant stereo-types (or creating stereotypes within the fictional world), make it realistic, don't preach to the reader. Religion provides so many possibilities for conflict! Both personal and on a larger scale, there is so much room to build your world, your characters and the story.

I sure agree with this -- especially the warning not to preach to the reader, unless of course one is specifically writing for a certain religious genre (such as Enclave Publishing which publishes Christian fantasy and sci-fi) with a fan base that already wants and expects that. But it isn't just the major religions such as Christianity where authors can fall into the preaching trap. With some New Age paranormal and ascended master types of fiction, the authors would surely feel they are not preaching, just telling a good story. But in fact, it's blatantly obvious the authors feel their spiritual slant is superior, and the authors make sure their characters come to understand, in the end, just how superior that spiritual school of thought is.

May 18, 2017, 01:42:05 AM