About Writing

Random thoughts about writing

I actually have a hard time knowing how to classify my writing. Oh sure, there’s the big picture ‘fantasy/sci fi’ tag, but I get a little lost in the subgenres.

For example, my concept story “THEM” is my idea for a time traveling romance. Only, it features a nebulous alien invasion versus sorcerers, and the main love interest travels back in time to coach the main character (who was brought forward in time after her original was killed by the aliens) on how to seduce his contemporary counterpart, except she’s a reluctant introvert with social anxiety. All while she’s nannying a 4-year-old prince. Cue gothic overtones.

Maybe I’m just not well read enough, but I haven’t seen any hints of other books that are remotely like that.

Am I my own niche?

Which is one of the reasons why it’s so easy for me to put off that whole “marketing” thing (not to mention, I don’t want to mentally drain myself so I can’t spend time writing every day, ’cause it’s the writing part that I love the most).

I also have a malfunction.

But sometimes I feel lost in the noise. There are a lot of danged writers these days, and sometimes I think it’s harder to convince people to read something for free than it is to get them to buy it. Like, da hek ppl?

Am I going to find more readers by demanding money? Is that what you want out of me?

Anyway

My husband thinks I’m better at writing sci fi than fantasy. It is true that I was exposed to fantasy first, and there is a possibility that I might have stuck with it out of habit, despite the fact that I don’t actually like “sword and sorcery” type stuff all that much; hence why my Order of the Magi all use the internet and conduct their business with electronic tablets. I also prefer to explore human nature, instead of ‘world building’ or any of the typical fantasy tropes, but I also don’t like Star Trek type stories, or “technology is the magic” sorts of things either. I guess that I’ve got a nerdy enough bent to me that I like a solid foundation in reality. I’ve probably just illustrated that I’m actually a very picky reader.

So … the sequel to The Black Magus will very likely have a more sci fi atmosphere instead of fantasy. Heck, I established that magic is mostly just learning how to muck around with reality’s programming code anyway.

The hilarious part is, I have zero intuitive understanding of today’s trendy technology. Smart devices and I don’t get along. At all.

About Writing

Lost Whimsy

Lately YouTube has been recommending videos about ‘The Witcher’ to me (totally didn’t watch ’em).

It’s a title that I’ve known for several years because I dabble in video games, but it’s not something that I’ve ever been personally interested in. Basically, I know enough to understand the parody reference in ‘Graveyard Keeper’, but I’ve never considered playing ‘The Witcher’ myself, let alone reading any books.

I assumed that the title had been made into a movie or something, and once again dumped it into my “don’t care” bin.

The other day my husband and I decided to watch an episode of ‘Sherlock’, so we ventured outside of Netflix Kids for the first time since . . . ‘Stranger Things 3’ came out. Lo and behold, there was a giant advertisement for ‘The Witcher’! Mystery solved, it’s a Netflix Original.

Instead of watching ‘Sherlock’, I launched into a rant: “You know what I really hate? The fact that the mass media treats the fantasy genre like its synonymous with dark, gritty violence.”

Seriously.

The Chronicles of Narnia and the Hobbit have been reduced down to endless war scenes in their latest Hollywood remakes. Heck, even Twilight and Harry Potter end with drawn out battle scenes. All of the online Originals seem intent on portraying the most graphic violence they can. Game of Thrones is . . . what it is.

I miss the old fantasy movies, where everything is covered in glitter, unlikely characters protect babies, True Love conquers all, and David Bowie serenades a wide-eyed Jennifer Connelly while she’s wearing the most beautiful ballgown ever created.

I miss the whimsy that fantasy used to represent.

My umbrage isn’t even ‘for the children.’ It’s for me. I grew up in a world full of wars, mass shootings, terrorist attacks, and endless news stories about people dying in horrific ways. There’s only so much a person should be expected to take, you know? I’ve reached the point where I really want to escape with my escapism. I don’t want the endless reminders of how dark the real world can be. I don’t want to watch graphic violence and death. Enough is enough.

I want to laugh. I want to feel inspired. I want to swoon over how visually pretty that scene was. I want something to be excited about. I want Jennifer Connelly’s ballgown.

And I’m a fantasy geek, so I want it wrapped up with fairies and magic. Is that really too much to ask?

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About Me

Disguised Genres

About ten years ago, I purchased a book that described demonic possessions in the summary on the back cover, and the first chapter was about the main character performing an exorcism. Seemed legit, and I had yet to learn to be jaded, so I went ahead and paid my scant pennies for the thing. However, after about a hundred pages in, the book was spending far more time and attention on gay BDSM than demons, and by the end it had never turned around. It turned out that the exorcism in the first chapter was the only exorcism in the entire book.

I had really wanted the demons.

Around the same time, I had purchased my field guide to demons (on clearance at Barnes and Noble, lol) and was ravenously studying everything I could find on demonology, so I thought it would be fun to throw in some brain candy on the same topic. When I had purchased the book that I had described above, I had been looking for a very specific sort of story, but what I got was completely different genre. The description never mentioned anything about BDSM or homosexuality, and I had been too naive and earnest to risk spoiling the plot by turning to page 150 to figure out what I was actually getting myself into.

It was such a huge disappointment, that it was the last newly released fiction novel I ever purchased. The best way I can describe it is that the author didn’t actually know what to do with her initial idea, so defaulted to the adage “sex sells” with the hope that no one would notice. As the reader, I felt like I had been sold fetish erotica in disguise, and I hate it when the product doesn’t match the labeling on the box.

So where on Earth is the literature for a girl obsessed with spiritual themes?

I still haven’t found it.

About Writing

Fantasy

Fantasy is one of those umbrella genres that has about as many subcategories as you can imagine. Typically, when I tell people that I enjoy reading fantasy novels the best, the immediate response is, “Like, Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter?”

No.

Not at all.

As a kid, I burned through the Chronicles of Narnia and the Redwall series as fast as I could get my hands on them. As an adult, I tend toward books that are more esoteric in nature. I also, for whatever reason, have a weak spot for punk urban fantasy, as long as there are fairies involved.

I feel that I should mention that Lovecraft is a god in my eyes, and while he is categorized as horror, I adore anything that can be described as ‘Lovecraftian’ (*cough*Stranger Things*cough*).

My foray into epic medieval fantasy actually put me off reading all together for awhile. I’m just not a swords ‘n sorcery sort of girl.

Maybe, to people who never read fantasy novels, pointing out the variations in the genre seems geeky and arbitrary, but those differences make … well, all the difference. Harry Potter fans aren’t the same as Game of Thrones fans.

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