Thread: Writing Process
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Old May 26 2009, 12:11 AM   #24
Journeywoman Healer
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Default Re: Writing Process

The problem with creating a whole new world is...well, how many threads do we have here about "Anne-consistencies"? In fairness, Anne wasn't setting out to create more than a quick short for a magazine paycheck and it just snowballed. But ESPECIALLY now with the internet, if you have any following at all, and you screw up within your own rules, someone somewhere will nail you to a tree.

Also, I will admit...I've tried doing a fantasy novel set in a completely non-Earth world, and really? After a while it starts to sound dumb. It's not a bad plot, it's an interesting culture (there's another trap--turning it into a travelogue--JRR TOLKIEN I AM LOOKING AT YOU-I think I skipped sixty percent of LOTR because it was longwinded description or it was poetry, gag, not to mention the plot cul-de-sac that is Tom Bombadil), but having to come up with names for everyone and everything that don't sound like they came out of the fantasy-name generator starts to grate. Tolkien got away with it and it's kind of all been downhill from there. (And remember, when deciding to avoid that by swiping words from foriegn languages: someone somewhere will speak that language.) Also, avoiding fantasy or SF tropes is tricky bordering on impossible at times. People know the formula now, and they are ticking off the list as they go.

I don't know that it's particularly easy to write in the "real" world, either. The ADvantage to creating a world from scratch is that you can literally do whatever you want, up to and including bollocksing up the laws of physics, geology, and biology. If you are setting your story in the real world, you now have to either deal with what's here, or come up with something better than a "Shazam! It's magic!" handwave (unless you're writing boilerplate romance, in which case shazam away because no one cares, get to the sex). Otherwise, the same people with their original-world fantasy checklist are waiting to string you up for putting streets in the wrong place, the wrong armor on your knight, and misplacing that species of plant.

Also, almost all my ideas (save the fantasy, and that I really haven't done much with since...undergrad, probably, I remember drawing the maps in the old house) tend to come from looking at the real world a bit sideways. Kind of 'what if we were living in an Edward Gorey drawing' warped.
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