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Old 04-24-2002, 08:52 PM   #71
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 228
Nar has just left Hobbiton.

Great topic! I'm enjoying reading about all your stories! I started out in fantasy short stories, got a great deal of pleasure from them, and ran into endless trouble with creative writing teachers. I concentrated on realistic short stories, for a while, which pleased them, but drove me into the ground, because I didn't know how to control the detail. It was good training, though, because when I went back to trying more imaginative work, I was a better writer.

My stories take surreal turns, sometimes in sub-stories. So, a man with continual humming in his ears from 20 years as a colorado coal miner hears phones ringing wherever he goes, but when he answers, the humming in his ears increases so that he can't hear what's on the line. I'm still waiting to find out if that is a ghost story (he's desperate for some sign from his daughter who has died), a western (is his newfangled hearing aid picking up some cell phone transmission?), or a medical degeneration (a brain tumor could be inducing auditory hallucinations). I'm afraid the answer will depress me, but I have to let him find out. I have a little old lady in a nursing home trying to keep her personality alive by telling a story to her attendants-- each one leaves when their task is done, decapitating each segment of her story, and as she becomes more and more frantic to complete her tale, the story becomes increasingly wild. There's nothing magic in it so far, but I see it as fantasy.

I try not to worry too much about things like influence; I have enough anxiety about showing my stuff to people as it is! I've written a shipwreck story, a Shakespeare story, and I'm writing a sort of lexical fantasy based on Tolkien and starring a word. I have created a mythology of mis-spelling! I am in a writer's group, and that helps a lot. They are very supportive, and I find reviewing others' work very stimulating. I like inventing things for other people; I take a lovely holiday into ego-free creation.

I feel like I'm finally becoming a fantasy writer, but I seem to need to ground it in realism-- I don't know why. Maybe that's my way of trying to induce a 'fresh act of sub-creation.' Put one sentence after another, always trying to turn towards the live part of the story.

[ April 24, 2002: Message edited by: Nar ]
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