A few days ago, I updated my fantasy novel on Fictionpress. Dulce Bellum Inexpertis is not my first attempt at fantasy, though it’s my most, I’d suppose you’d call it ‘typical’ fantasy. Currently, I have twenty chapters up on Fictionpress. Previous attempts at the genre are on there, too, including ‘Fallen Leaves’, my NaNoWriMo 2010. Then again, I suppose you could say a lot of my stuff on there is fantasy….it all depends, of course, on how you define fantasy.
But that aside, writing something like DBI has been fun, but hard. I find myself having to keep constant notes on the characters and their relationships, their roles, what I have planned for them etc, as well as jotting down the different place names. It’s not something I mind, but not something I’m really used to. I am not a planner. Every time I’ve tried to plan a novel, I spend ages writing about characters and places and possible scenes and then I sit down and can’t write anything. Planning doesn’t work for me. And I don’t really plan anything for DBI, either – I have ideas I want to get in, scenes that I know need to be there at some point, but that’s about it. But so far, I have more extensive notes on the novel than I have on anything else I’ve written.
One of the things I love about writing something like DBI is the freedom. A lot of my stuff is set in or around Cardiff, mainly because I know the place and I enjoy changing it or destroying it or even writing about it through the eyes of my characters. But DBI is set in a totally different kind of world. I have the freedom to do what I like with it; there’s a herb which heals, but also releases latent magical powers in the right person smoking it, and in this world, it makes sense. There’s two immortals, one of which has blue skin and the other green. Again, in this world, it makes sense. That’s part of the joy for me, the world-building and the ability to have things in there that I just wouldn’t get away with in, say, a romance novel set purely in the realistic present. But, at the same time, it means I really have to focus. It means I need to at least mentally map out where the various places are, to know that from Tarka, you have to take a boat to reach the lands of the Shaylae Priests, but from Sharn or the desert you can reach it by land. I have to constantly be aware of how my characters are travelling and the kind of terrain they might be moving through.
Like I said, it’s a lot of work. But it’s fun.
Speaking of fantasy, I’ve almost finished watching series two of Game of Thrones. Plus, I’ve got the second A Song of Fire and Ice heading my way, which I’m excited to read. Although I wonder if George R. R. Martin purposefully sets out to make you really, really like a character before he kills them. And hate the characters that simply won’t die. Seriously, I’m starting to think that my best course of action would be just to become completely indifferent to all of them. I stopped watching Lost a few episodes after they killed off my favourite character, but with Game of Thrones I guess many of them are going to die. But, really, it gets annoying when one episode I’m thinking how much I really, really like a character, only to watch them die in the next episode.
I’m going to have to read the third book before the series comes out next year; save myself any surprises.
On that note, when it comes to genres are there any you really love writing, yet find yourself, for some reason, disliking it at times for some reason? And do you know any decent TV shows? Because with no Supernatural, Game of Thrones and with True Blood only once a week, I’m going to be at a loss for what to watch.