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Old 04-24-2002, 08:14 PM   #70
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: The Edge of Faerie
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You would have been wise to try that first.
Don't I know it! I asked the wise when I first considered it and they said jobs were scarce and libraries would die because of the internet. So I didn't. Of course, I'm to blame to because I actually had this dream that I would be published by age 40. Hah! Crushed dreams have a way of spurring new growth. Well, on to the future!

that story concept that you have mentioned…. “immortal beings entered Earth in ancient times and took human mates, and their offspring were heroes.”
well, I heard of it before on two occasions. Not stories as your's is but the concept.
Yes, I'm aware the concept has been used more than once, but I take heart that my rendering of it is my own and different enough in scope and character from others.

Yes, I've tried nonfiction and will again. I have an idea for a book about depression based on my wife's and my experiences over 20 years of marriage, with my poetry on that subject interspersed where it belongs, and facts about depression where it also belongs. My writer's group is convinced that this will be a sure fire publishable thing, and I can see that.

Mister Underhill:

Since you've clearly finished at least a draft or two of your own work, maybe you can answer a few of your own questions posed at the beginning of this thread for the illumination of your fellow Downers. What strategies have you employed in your attempt to reach your sixth level of seriousness?
Oops! [img]smilies/eek.gif[/img] I guess I actually haven't answered my own question! Sorry about that. This answer is going to be disorganized and stream of consciousness because I actually haven't given it a whole lot of organized thought: first, I have had the astoundingly good fortune to have managed all the Jungian balances referenced in the Tolkien and Psychology thread. I thought that was a good article. That in itself, of course, does not ensure anything. Second, my story starts in current time but has means of getting to Faerie. I employ mythic tales, that bear upon the situation of the plot, which immerse the reader in the depths of the past. I engage the reader in the struggle between good and evil, life and death, and there is loss, things that have been and never will be again that are mourned. There is a powerful evil that there seems to be little hope of defeating (that is most closest imitation of Tolkien). Well, I could go on and on and I think I will not sufficiently earmark the 6th level. Frankly, I don't think I'm there yet.

How have you dealt with the temptation to be imitative of Tolkien? Not well at first. It took many drafts to excise imitativeness from my written voice. But my tale has enough of a feel of the Celtic Sidhe and a spicing of the Arthurian legendarium, along with the Nordic elements, and based in Genesis 6, has a completely different (and I hope no less thoroughly realized) take on the deeps of the past and the immortals than does Tolkien.

How long have you been working on your story, and why? I have been working on my story since 1986. Why? I needed to grow so that my story could. The Faerie part of it did not even exist until 1990. The centrality of the swords of power did not get thoroughly fleshed out until this year. It needed to grow.

What pitfalls have you faced and how have you overcome them - or not? Trying for too archaic a voice. Having a protagonist with so many weaknesses that my sympathetic readers wanted to shake him. [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img] "Please make him more noble," one of the begged plaintively. Leaving some obvious questions unanswered because I hadn't even thought of them and needed readers to ask them; such as, "If she's so smart, why on earth would she want to have such a dangerous sword in her bedroom?" And that question led to a whole new plot twist that I am forever indebted to my sympathetic reader for, because it gave an energy to the plot that simply had not been there before. As you can tell, I'm sold, ABSOLUTELY SOLD, PEOPLE, [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img] on the value of a writer's group. Find one! You will not regret it.

Why I started this thread:

It's really nice that this has turned into a serious fantasy writers' support group; I enjoy that aspect of it.

However: I started this thread because of some things that came up in the Valid Criticisms thread. To quickly summarize, Kalessin felt that the fantasy genre is bedeviled by mandaneity, and wondered if there is any hope for the genre. The following questions were asked: what should a writer do to induce a fresh act of sub-creation? Read Tolkien's sources but try to forget Tolkien and everything after? Avoid the medieval era? Learn fresh narrative techniques by reading books outside of the fantasy genre that also describe a world as well as tell a story? These questions spurred me to start this thread. My initial answers to those questions were: I have been working on my own fantasy story for fifteen years, and have had to face the questions you delineate. I have avoided nothing that is part of the fantasy archetype set; I think - hope - that my story is worthy to stand on its own merits for a number of different reasons. Further, it was pointed out that the fantasy genre these days has come to be defined mostly as “swords-and-sorcery”, which is to say, imitative and basically humdrum. So I wanted to know if anybody else on the Downs was writing serious fantasy, and if you were avoiding the pitfalls.

A challenge: Please refer to my six levels of seriousness and consider your own work, and respond as to what level you think your writing is at, and why. Now, please understand that level one should be considered serious, too. Emotional well-being is no laughing matter (though maybe a little more laughter is precisely what's needed). I eagerly await your responses, friends.

Happy writing!

By the way, I'm going to check out that website you just set up, Niphredil.
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