Monthly Archives: April 2012

Character page for ‘Mortality, Interrupted’ has been updated

You may want to check it out – sorry to be so brief, but I’m spinning lots of plates today.

New Layout & Feedback Request

Hello everyone,

As most of you are probably aware, how things are positioned on a web page mean a lot, and I pay a great deal of attention to that kind of stuff. I’ve been using an approach that sought to put the most important and currently-relevant things I’m doing with my writing at the top, which in my amateurish way I have just assumed is how it’s supposed to be done. And so, I had website-specific items on the left and my writing projects themselves on the right, with my current writing project at the top and decreasing in priority from there.

Since I’m focusing fairly equally on both writing projects now, I’ve decided to reflect that shift in focus in the site’s layout. Since neither project outweighs the other, I can no longer put them both in the same column, one above the other, as I have previously done. So, I’ve decided to put the site-specific content and links to the Mortality, Interrupted project on the left, with the site-specific items at the top, and the blog-specific content and links to the Royal Redemption project on te right, with the blog-specific content at the top.

I hope this reflects my change in priorities without being too confusing. Due to my familiarity with the content, though, I can’t be certain how such changes are perceived, so any comments and suggestions would be greatly welcomed.

Thanks so much!

UPDATE: I also expanded the top menu, which I hope will make navigating the site a bit easier. Next, I’ll add hyperlinks to the writing pages which will allow people to click through from one scene directly to the next. That may cut down some on the comments people decide to add, but I’d rather make the reading experience easier. I’ll work on that tonight.

Character page added for Mortality, Interrupted

Hey everyone,

It’s well after 3AM here on the Gulf coast of Florida and I finally got the character page for Mortality, Interrupted posted. I’m sure that some of you will appreciate seeing what some of the characters look like in my imagination.

I have an idea… and I’m pretty sure I’m right

Hello, everyone.

I’ve been doing some thinking lately regarding my approach to fantasy as a literary genre, particularly my thoughts on what I believe can be done with fantasy, things I want to try to do with Royal Redemption. Hopefully, those of you who’ve checked out the (very) rough draft so far will have noticed that the story is rather dark. I’m planning to deal with some very serious themes, very adult stuff. Not ‘sexy’ adult, but ‘serious’ adult.

In Royal Redemption, I plan to deal with such issues as rape, prejudice and racism, the temptation to compromise one’s principles for the sake of survival, and so on. I don’t think I’m the first writer to tackle these issues in a fantasy novel, but as I’ve really opened the hood and put some thought into writing this story I’ve ended up dong some thinking about the genre itself, and that has led me to ask the following question:

Are we all doing this wrong?

By that I mean, is fantasy really what we think it is? Is it really a genre of literature?

I’m not so sure, and I’m beginning to think very seriously that it isn’t.

Think of the themes I’m writing about in Royal Redemption. Mainstream or contemporary novels deal with these issues, too. Fantasy lends itself well to stories of high adventure, but If one wanted to write a mystery or a thriller, or a horror novel, a detective drama, or even a romance and set it in a fantasy world, one certainly could. And I’d be willing to bet that if you’re a big fan of fantasy, you’ve probably read books where writers have done exactly that. I’m not claiming to blaze new trails here.

The trail I’m trying to blaze is more in how we think about fantasy. I don’t think it helps us to think of fantasy as a literary genre. I see it as something bigger. I think it’s more of a setting. We don’t call mainstream, or contemporary novels ‘real world’ novels. That would be silly, wouldn’t it? In the same vein, I don’t think we should call novels and series like Lord of the Rings, or The Riftwar Saga, fantasy. They’re adventure stories, really. They’re simply set in a fictional world, that’s all.

I think, shedding the ‘fantasy’ label would do a lot for writers. First, it would put writers like Terry Brooks and Raymond E. Feist on the same shelf as Louis L’amour and Tom Clancy, and I think they both deserve and would appreciate that. Secondly, I think it would help writers like me who might want to follow in Feist’s and Brooks’ footsteps be taken a bit more seriously as writers if the focus is shifted to the kinds of stories we write rather than the setting we choose. I think that draws the writing community together a little better. Writers of fantasy (and science fiction, too) wouldn’t be made to feel like they’re in some box separated from the ‘real’ writers of contemporary or mainstream fiction.

So, that’s it, I think. Fantasy is not a genre to me. It’s a setting. A setting where you can tell any story you can imagine. It’s a literary device then, really. Useful if you have a subject you want to tackle, such as rape, that if set it in the real world might be too intensely personal, or in the case of prejudice and racism, might be so controversial that attention would become glued to the controversy instead of the point you’re trying to make.

And that’s what I think I need to spend some time thinking about as I become increasingly serious about my writing. In the realm of fantasy, high adventure rules and has done since Tolkein, or even Jules Verne perhaps, if you want to really think about it. But maybe, if instead of trying to shoehorn the themes I’m trying to tackle into an adventure story, if instead I take a broader view, maybe I can make Royal Redemption something more than just an adventure story.

Something to think about…

Modifying my approach

Hey, everyone!

I’ve gotten lots of support from you all, both privately and publicly; I feel so indebted to you all for it, and I can’t thank you enough. I’ve decided to treat both Royal Redemption and Mortality, Interrupted as front-burner projects. I won’t be intentionally dividing my time between them, but as I get ideas for either project I’ll just add what comes to me.

Hopefully, this won’t become too confusing as I add material to the site. I don’t think it will, but if any of you begin to feel a little lost, please don’t hesitate to let me know.

Thanks so much!

Important news: Is my writing marketable? We may soon find out.

Hello, everyone!

I decided against saying anything about this until afterward, but I had a meeting today with a local film and television producer with whom I’m well-acquainted.  I don’t want to suggest that the meeting was something it’s not, and it was not a film or television deal, and it was never going to be. He was simply curious to know if I have any projects that are in the early stages of development that might translate well to either the large or small screen.

The meeting was very productive. He seemed to be of the opinion that either Mortality, Interrupted or Royal Redemption might, once finished, be suitable for film adaptation. He asked me to keep him in the loop as the stories are written, which of course I will do. So, the upshot is, something might happen with this, and of course it would be phenomenally awesome if it did. So, there is potentially something to be excited about, but time will tell.