Friday, January 13, 2006

On worlds, pen and paper

Got some background work done at lunch. Printed out a few character profiles to work on, so some good progress today. Of course, my brain couldn't help run amok asking all sorts of questions like what is the native fauna in my fantasy world? Why is it the same? Or not? What about languages? etc, etc, etc...

It brings up the question of whether those who write SF/F prefer to keep the creatures and such the same as Earth or different. Of course, if Earth is involved (and it is in my tale) then the question of why becomes trickier. I've seen both, in my readings, and both seem to work in those given books. It's a sticky dilemma, and I'm trying to determine the best way. Since Earth is present as a setting, as is my fantasy world, I'm not certain which way to go. On the one hand moving certain elements into the background (i.e. keep them the same/similar) should put the focus back onto the story, where it should be. On the other hand, it may take away from that 'suspension of disbelief' as a contrast of the new world to Earth. Hmmm. (Or, I could be worrying too much, I think I'll go back to the story/characters and just add this question to the 'open ideas' list.)

On another note, I find some of my best composing is done with nothing more interesting than a good pen/pencil and a nice, thick pad of paper. There's something about the unlimited possibilities of that paper and a pen wholly under my control that is... hard to describe. Then later I usually re-read and distill my notes for working up into a story, but there's still that magic of the pen. There's just something about that brain-to-hand that works for me. As teasing as all the new devices and software are, I always come back to the pen and paper. What does anyone else think?


Tina said...

I can't use a pen and paper, too much typing on the computer has caused carpal tunnel (or however you spell it) syndrome and I can't hold a pen or pencil for too long before my writing becomes a total mess.

As for your creatures in Earth question, have you ever read Holly Lisle's "The World Gate" series? Excellent weaving of "creatures" into Earth and beyond.

Don't get too hung up on it - you might find that once you write it, it works.

Rowan said...

I figured it was better to get writing the story, then make the rest fit. Myself, I want to concentrate on the story, because that is more important, to me as a writer and reader. However, the completist in me wants an explanation. I've relegated him to the closet and he can come out on the first revision. So there!

I've read the first World Gates book, enjoyed it a lot. Can't seem to find book 2, but am keeping my eyes out. Another author who sort of ignored it (or I just forgot because it was subsumed in the story) was Guy Gavriel Kay in his Fionavar Tapestry trilogy. That book blew me away (it's a trilogy, but I picked up the omnibus, so I tend to think of it as a single book). He's also Canadian and the book opens at U of Toronto, my alma mater!

As for the carpal tunnel, I feel for you. I count my lucky stars I've not suffered from it, despite the typing I do. Then again, that hot tub idea with the laptop arm comes to mind again. :-)

Rowan said...

Bah, should re-read before posting. Just to clarify, G.G. Kay ignored the origin of similar species in two different worlds. Either that, or he dealt with it and I was so intent on the story it obviously didn't matter. That would be my ultimate goal. To have the reader say "I don't know if it's the best explanation I've ever heard, but this story rocks, so who cares."