This week: Are we stuck in a rut?Edited by: ember_rain
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The first fantasy story I ever wrote was also the first story I ever wrote. It was about some kids that explored a cave only to find a hidden chamber with cave drawings that lead them to a different world. It wasn't all that original but, it was the first thing I ever did that someone praised instead of saying I hadn't applied myself. I was hooked. Today, I write about everything from ancient primordial spirits, to the Fae, to vampires and werewolves. Mine don't hate each other so much as that they have a lot in common.
My goal for this newsletter is to make you think. Help you get outside your box and do something new and original. After all, fantasy is everywhere. Virtual Reality is all about putting people both into their own fantasies but about creating worlds we can all spend time in to exercise our imaginations. One could even argue that there is no such thing as reality as that our impression of life is just our own fantasy.
We have all done it or know someone who has. You're watching a movie, playing a game or reading a story and you or your friend gets upset because something in what you're doing doesn't fit with the cannon they know and love. Sometimes this is a notable separation from tradition that just doesn't work. Sometimes it does. The idea of Varric without Bianca, his crossbow, in Dragon Age Two is hard to fathom. What would be even harder... imagining a Dwarf using the Elvish Longbow. But what about a long sword?
If you are my husband the answer to this is beyond normal. It isn't cannon. They just look wrong without the weapons given to them long ago. Oh, they can use them but they aren't good with them and the crossbow or battle ax is better but is it? We were watching a Youtube video where this guy my husband has decided is an idiot was arguing that for their size battle axes and hammers make no sense and they would be better off with crossbows, daggers or long swords. My husband's idea of a dwarf... He would die before letting someone substitute a perfectly good battle ax for a long sword. This guy was talking in terms of reach and weight. My husband was arguing that the battle ax gives you reach and the long handle gives you leverage as well. But, to what advantage? I don't know. I am smart enough to know when not to ask the questions that might stir the bear.
He also gets upset when comic book characters back stories are reworked. I know a lot of people this bothers. I have a contact that has worked on a few of these rewrites especially the ones that turn characters into women. Her twitter feed looks like a war zone. They didn't just wake up and make a male character a woman. They are different people who were given a role to fill based upon something that happened. But that fear of thinking too far outside of the box seems to permeate fantasy today. Maybe it's time we do.
Maybe shaking up the establishment gives us another view of things. Maybe, it gives us new avenues of storytelling. I know changing a dwarfs weapons doesn't seem like much but would it change his way of looking at the world? Does the man make the weapon or the weapon make the man? What if it's both? Where would the Black Dagger Brotherhood be without their black daggers? Would they just have a different name or would it change them in some way?
By stepping away from the box, considering certain aspects of certain creatures we have seen as only one way for so long, in a different light, we give ourselves an opening we might not have seen before.
Just a few of our Fantasy Stories
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Just a few comments from my last newsletter " Newsletter (Spare)"
brom21 said: Sci-fi requires more research than fantasy. I wrote a sci-fi story and in it a scientist in a Boston observatory sees Alpha Centauri (I may have misspelled that) disappear. Among other flaws, someone pointed out that that star is no visible from Boston. So that was delving into unknown territory. Next time I'll so my homework. I've tried steampunk-that was okay but that doesn't really interest me. Thanks for the newsletter!
Quick-Quill said:I agree with Hubby. Sci-Fi has a genre of its own. Star Trek is sci-Fi and there are even more hard core Sci-fi authors. Fantasy has its own. LOTR and Terry Brooks. Then there are the sub-genre which I believe are the Steampunk. League of Extraordinary gentleman is my example of crossover genre. Beneath that is when heavy romance is added to the pot. If the setting is say steampunk but the storyline is more about romance, what is it? where does one put it on the shelf? This is where the writers of today have made reading much more interesting that it was say 40 years ago or more? Remeber Bodice Rippers? Most were historical romance, but add some sci-fi or magic and what is it? What we read today.
Graham B. said: I believe fantasy is world-building based upon history, while sci-fi is world-building based upon speculation into the future. Many works do blur these lines. Sci-fi doesn't need to take much, or even anything from science (read: Frankenstein), nor does fantasy need to be strictly inspired by history (read: Harry Potter). In any case, I think the two genres stand on their own under the category of speculative fiction.
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