Saturday, August 28, 2010

A bit of fantasy

Marie's Into
Well let’s see here. My influences over the years have probably been more fantasy than the other authors here, but I have a wide variety of genres I read and write ;). I’ve been a huge fan of fantasy since waaaaay back in the day.

TSR had created their Dragonlance series, it took off like mad and there were fantasy adventures as far as the eye could see. Then I got into Lord of the Rings. Yes, I know LOTR was around long before Dragonlance, but I just hadn’t found it as a kid. But my love of fantasy pulled right into it.
Other early fantasy favs included David Eddings, Mercedes Lackey, Anne McCaffery, Barbara Hambly.

The writing end came on a slightly different path. My first attempt was a story influenced by surfing (which I’ve tried but failed at), Star Wars, and a bit of The Brady Bunch. I don’t remember much (I was about 14 or so ;)), but I did remember how cool it felt to type the words and have MY story begin to take shape. Ya have to admit it was original.

I kept reading like mad, but lost my interest in writing. (Most likely it was boys- they took over everything for a bit there.)

Then about 16 or 18 I started another story. This was a fantasy one that only got to about 175 pages before it was put down. Again, I got distracted, but parts of that story stayed with me and have influenced my recent works.

Years later (no I won’t tell you how many ;)) I started another story. This one was HUGE, a full epic fantasy trilogy weighing in at 670 pages (book ONE mind you). Over the years I’d pick it up, re-write it, put it back. Started the second one, finished it, but still wasn’t sure what to do with it. Got a few nice rejection letters, put it back.

Then about three years ago a friend at work and I got started talking about writing. She offered to read my epic (down to a “trim” 540 pages at this point). And I got sucked back into the magic of writing. I joined the RWA, cleaned up my BIG book, sent it out, got more rejections, started a SF book, pulled the big book for a major editing/weight loss program (2011 will be its year), finished the SF book, started a humorous fantasy mystery book, then a steampunk book.

I decided to keep working on all three “new” projects while not submitting anything to agents for this year. I want to get used to doing multiple projects as well as taking the submission strain off. 2010 has been for crafting and creating. I will start submitting again in Feb 2011, then return to that formerly 670 page epic fantasy novel and give it the cutting down it needs.

I love to write, more exact, I love to have written. I still get that burst of thrill when I read what I’ve created (often along with the, “Oh wait, let me fix that” that hits all authors.) It’s taken me a while to get here in terms of craft and knowing who I am as a writer but I’m getting there. And I’m exactly where I need to be.

What about you? Any of you have some long deep dark buried fantasy favs?

Nice to meet you all!

7 comments:

  1. Wow! 670 pages? That's so awesome. I struggle to reach my word counts, so I'm in awe of people who can bust out true epic fantasy. I think it's awesome that you're focusing on craft instead of agenting this year. :-) I just recently took a similar break. At RWA Nationals, they told us a great book would sell. It really shifts the focus from "I need an agent" to "I need to write a book nobody can turn down."

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  2. Thanks Marissa :). Yeah, I write BIG-LOL. All of my projects are either true trilogies or series where I've at least got a three book arc in mind. (but the other three series are more "normal sized" hitting about 330-380 pages).
    I didn't point out in my post that I'm a hardcore seat of the pants writer. ;) But even as such I know about where things will end up-it just happens to be a thousand or more pages down the road ;).

    And I completely agree about the shift of focus. My goal is to make books people can't walk away from :) not just find an agent so I can say I have one.

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  3. Well, I never hide my fantasy favs... I shout them to the rooftops and remind people that fantasy adventure has been around a long time.

    Personally...I want to be the next Edgar Rice Burroughs...

    When I realized I had this massive 800 page thing that I might want to see pubbed someday...I broke it into several volumes...and began to revise within those limits!

    Maureen/aka 2nd Chance

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  4. I'm in awe of people who can write massive novels too. I have to work to hit the lower limits of word counts. I've only have one novel (of five) that has hit 90k. The others have ended up being about 80-85k. It's good to see other writers not focusing on "have to get an agent now!" Now that I have a critique partner, I've been polishing the manuscript up in preparation. This year, I didn't pitch at Nationals and there's that pressure that "I'm missing out," but I felt confident with my decision since I pitched at RT '09 and totally wasn't ready for the response. haha

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  5. I guess my fav isn't exactly a fantasy guy, but he's one of my favorite writers. Koontz. Oh, yeah.

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  6. I know the big book thing. Shopping a 600 page monster, and it's tight.

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  7. Thanks for the comments ladies! Yeah, Heather Osborne from TOR called the big book a "brick", but she also said if she came across a brick she really liked (more Urban fantasy than my epic fantasy ;)) she'd be willing to work with the author. So it does give hope for us big book writers ;).

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