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Personal Approach to Fiction

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  • Personal Approach to Fiction

    (In answer to [broken link]Describe your way of looking at things fictionally)

    ----------------------------------------------

    I would love to go into some long, intelligent dissertation about my writting styles and the themes I focus on...but truth be told, I think most of my writting is mindless. Let me clarify that a bit; when I write, I tend to let the story and character's speak for themselves. If there are underriding themes or insights, I'm generally no more aware of them in my own writting than I am in other people's writting.

    Happily, I'm begining to look at a deeper way of writting and reading; largely from conversation at this forum and reading/re-readaing Mike's work and those he has recommended. Mostly, my writting is still exploring the characters' stories without having to try to tie it all in to some larger theme. I like looking at them as their own entities deserving devoted attention.

    An example of the would be my long standing character, Nao'la. When I write stories involving him I am writting about him. I am sharing the character and his various aspects with the reader. I tend to shy away from using him to convey an observation of modern life or philosophy, instead prefering to just relish in his life and philosophy. His particular condition is one that I am always trying to find new approaches to and try to share with people in new ways (thus my little experiement with The Dreamer and the Stone). Of course, he is such an in-human character, it is hard to get a good grasp of him...that is something that I feel will come with time and a large volume of experimental writting about him. I think alot of this attitude comes from a long standing distaste for the over-analytical post-modern approach to literature, which I am slowly getting over. When people would start talking to me about "what the author is realy trying to say" it would always bring a bad taste to my mouth. As I said I'm starting to get over this as I mature, but I still think that a novel can be just as good as its own entity as an insight on our modern world.

    One approach that I am begining to be drawn toward more and more, at least where Fantasy is concerned, is the idea of writting a Fantasy that actually explores the genre of Fantasy. Exploring "real life" with all of its complexity in a Fantastic setting.

    Perhaps my approach doesn't seem as advanced as some others, and I agree, it probably isn't...I would love to work with irony, but that only goes so far and it is something that I find difficulty writting well...but, like most writters, I am a product of my generation and situation. I'm post-post-modern, whatever that is. I belive in complexity through simplicity and that things may not always be what they seem, but often, the easiest explination is the correct one (that last is likely coming from growing up with Law Enforcement...they tend to see things that way). I do feel that I am growing though, and who knows, maybe some day I'll sit down and write a piece more allong the lines of Mike's...packed with meaning in every word. At this time, I just don't feel I have that capability.

    One thing I have to say about many of my pieces: I seem to have a love of juxtaposition (which I suppose you could argue is a form of--or branch-off from--irony). This usually comes out in what seem like fast paced fights where I'll intentionally slow the pace and add images of peace and beauty amongst the violence and gore; not to glorify the battle, but to create tension and a higher degree of emotion to a situation that normally only creates fear, anger, and hatred. I used this to good effect in a micro-fiction piece I submitted for PX, as well as in an old Nao'la story I wrote seven years ago. This is mostly an artistic taste, I think, stemming from music that has much the same feel.
    Last edited by Rothgo; 04-08-2010, 11:06 AM.
    "In omnibus requiem quaesivi, et nusquam inveni nisi in angulo cum libro"
    --Thomas a Kempis

  • #2
    Re: Personal Approach to Fiction

    Originally posted by EverKing
    I would love to go into some long, intelligent dissertation about my writting styles and the themes I focus on...but truth be told, I think most of my writting is mindless. Let me clarify that a bit; when I write, I tend to let the story and character's speak for themselves. If there are underriding themes or insights, I'm generally no more aware of them in my own writting than I am in other people's writting.
    That'sthe only way I write - I let readers find the symbolism cause i never intended it. I read and began writing Sword & sorcery for the sheep simplicity the genre allowed for storieas as entertainment value only. I never learned anything from Conan, but that never meant I didn't have some of the most fun reading them. I write to entertain, that's it. :D

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    • #3
      My approach to writing fiction: Small bites.

      Seriously though, ehm... all my work is fiction, whether story or poetry. What I want for my stuff is good images. Did the reader see it, hear it, feel it? Interesting characters and dialogue. And an attempt at breaking a stereotype if at all possible.

      The main thing for me, and I'd want everyone to do this, too, is make sure whatever you are writing is in your own voice. If I tried to emulate Mike, :shake: That's a no-go. But I can *learn* from Mike and from my other favorite authors and from all you kind folks here. I think it would be perhaps frustrating to try to emulate one of my "gods." ;)

      Fiction should be a really good story that people can relate to immediately and enjoy. If I wrote something that people just shake their heads and go "Whaa?" I didn't do a good job.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Poetgrrl
        The main thing for me, and I'd want everyone to do this, too, is make sure whatever you are writing is in your own voice. If I tried to emulate Mike, :shake: That's a no-go. But I can *learn* from Mike and from my other favorite authors and from all you kind folks here. I think it would be perhaps frustrating to try to emulate one of my "gods." ;)
        I think its okay to emulate cause in time it warps into your own style that maybe reminiscent of another. I started with a REH/Frank Herbert style and with my own fussy/pwerfectionism led to its own style that is my own. I see a sentance in a book, in my head I can see it how I would have written it

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        • #5
          When I get a story idea, I don't just start writing it. Instead, I'll mull over it for between a couple of days to a few months, during which I try to sketch out a basic outline and design for the world, the story and the characters. I often have a pretty clear idea of some of the things that I intend to symbolize in my story.

          My method of story writing is deffinetly not linear. I'll sketch out the rough outline, then I'll fill in the scenes that really jump out at me. Often enough the first thing that I wright will be near the end of the story. After i've done that, I'll fill in the story in between over time;then go back and modify the original scenes that i wrote to fit the rest of the story. Then, it's time to edit...

          S. Ombre

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          • #6
            Originally posted by S_Ombre
            When I get a story idea, I don't just start writing it. Instead, I'll mull over it for between a couple of days to a few months, during which I try to sketch out a basic outline and design for the world, the story and the characters. I often have a pretty clear idea of some of the things that I intend to symbolize in my story.

            My method of story writing is deffinetly not linear. I'll sketch out the rough outline, then I'll fill in the scenes that really jump out at me. Often enough the first thing that I wright will be near the end of the story. After i've done that, I'll fill in the story in between over time;then go back and modify the original scenes that i wrote to fit the rest of the story. Then, it's time to edit...

            S. Ombre
            I know how that is, I have thousands of pages of notes for individual characters, scraps of dilouge here, a drawing there, a scene over there. The name Azariel is for a caracter who's been in my mind for 5 months and its only now that I've mulled enough to grasp what the story will be about :D

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            • #7
              In a creative writing class I took in grad school a professor characterized my writing as "wild", and I felt (and still feel) very comfortable with that characterization. But more than physical wildness--dystopian settings, high adventure, heroic action--I am after a wildness of thought. This is in part an intellectual exercise, and in part an artistic aim--that is, I'm seeking to create a particular impression or sensation in the reader's experience; in both the experience of reading my material, and then also in the experience of thinking about it afterwards. I want the reader to feel comfortably disengaged from the norm. I suppose it is the shock of the unfamiliar, though rather than shocking the reader with the unfamiliar, I instead seek to recast the familiar so that it, seems strange.

              It is perhaps easier to express this in terms of my influences:

              Early on it was Swift, R. E. Howard, Mike, Nabokov, Borges, and Melville. And Led Zeppelin and Beethoven.

              Then as I got into things more deeply I accumulated new influences, or rather found influences that supplemented what I was already into: Hawthorne, Homer, Rabelais, Milton, Aristophanes, Aeschylus, Jethro Tull, Gentle Giant, and Zappa.

              I think the material I am writing currently remains wild: wild ideas, wild images, wild situations, wild behaviour. And my "agenda" for creating these things probably follows in that order, if you take my meaning.

              I think I am interested also in creating an alternative--a superior alternative--to electronic media: recorded music, video, movies. I like to think that as a medium books just might be the "optimum" artistic tool. Along these same lines, rather than calling myself a writer, I like to think of myself as an artist who writes.

              And I like to joke around a lot (lest I forget).

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              • #8
                Originally posted by CK
                I think the material I am writing currently remains wild: wild ideas, wild images, wild situations, wild behaviour. And my "agenda" for creating these things probably follows in that order, if you take my meaning.
                If we're talking agendas I'd have to say that under most conditions I tend to avoid them. To me it detracts from the enjoyment of the novel when its author is obviously trying to push some agenda or other. That being said, I think your "agenda" is a safe one, as it really isn't much of an agenda at all. It seems to me to be more of an preference or approach than anything. When I hear agenda I think political or moral statements for the most part, although occassionally literary agendas fall in there. Literary agendas actually don't bother me as much as the others, as they generally come of to me as being more open and artistic than the others. Take, for example, Elric. Mike had an agenda there in creating an answer to REH and Tolkien and the stereotypes they produced/perpetrated and that agenda is actually what led to the orginallity of the piece.

                The only agenda I think I'm guilty of is setting out to bend the accepted archetypes of the fantasy genre (including the archetype of the Genre itself). It is by no means a anything new, although I'd like to think that as more of my work is finished and becomes public (whether posted online or published) it will bring new insight to some readers.
                "In omnibus requiem quaesivi, et nusquam inveni nisi in angulo cum libro"
                --Thomas a Kempis

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by EverKing
                  The only agenda I think I'm guilty of is setting out to bend the accepted archetypes of the fantasy genre (including the archetype of the Genre itself). It is by no means a anything new, although I'd like to think that as more of my work is finished and becomes public (whether posted online or published) it will bring new insight to some readers.
                  I have a story oing the same - as I've hinted before, fantasy hasn't really changed since its olden days in mythology - Beowolf - reeks of Sword & Sorcery elements. I've been working on writing a fantasy using the South Sea Isle cultures, a sea-faring fansy without a trace of european myths. It might catch on or not - but I'd like it to stand as testimony that YOU CAN write fantasy with the kings, queens, the knights, steel swords, etc and STILL capture the imagination. :D

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