Well the writing world is gearing up for nano madness – NaNoWrMo = National Novel Writing Month. Where we, who have signed November away, write 50,000 words of a new novel in a month. I indulged for the first time last year and WIP Blue Moon will be the result when it is finished edited polished and general slicked down for publication – due to all my health problems it wont be this year as I had hoped but fingers crossed for 2013:)
This year? Well still at this late date undecided – I have two ideas I want to play with but which to do, which to do. Both will be fantasy!
What? I don’t do fantasy.
I have been saying this for years. I am a girl(!!!) of logic and reality. I do not believe in the para normal, fairies, ghosts, vampires, werewolves – ah the list goes on and on. All that happens has a reasonable explanation, and if we don’t know what it is now we will in time. This is my mantra. I don’t write fantasy – The Sefuty Chronicles are based on scientific fact projected into the future.
I don’t do fantasy.
What then of my short stories, my friend from forever/editor asks? Well. Yes. Okay I hold my hands up – she has me there, I do write fantasy, it’s just that I never thought of it in that light. I guess it comes back to this genre business again. I have never thought of books in the ‘genre’ if I have liked a book it is a story not a type of story.
I have always, if I think about it, read fantasy. Of course, as a child, all the usual Perrault, Grimes, Anderson – childhood reads it could be dismissed as, Wind in the Willows, Alice in Wonderland, the Jungle Book, ah yes, we are still in childhood, it is allowed. Wells, Wyndham all favourites of mine and although this could be argued to be sci-fi I’m not sure the science would stand up to scrutiny – and when I read them, pre moon landing era, they were definitely fantasy and I loved them.
However when I first read the Fellowship of the Ring I was a teenager. When I read Jules Verne I was no longer a child nor when I first read Gormanghast. Or first heard of the lost worlds and ageless women. Watership Down and Duncton Wood arrived in my twenties. Pratchett in my 40s, Jasper Fforde in my 50s and the Game of Kings in my 60s. I never stop reading fantasy. On my twenty years of travel I collected myths and legends from around the world.
The Fellowship of the Ring complete with elves, wizards, orcs and hobbits I have probably read approximately every two years since it was published, I have it in hard back, paperback, leather-bound and boxed, in cassette tape, CD, video and DVD but
hey I don’t do fantasy!
When I was a child it was explained to me that one of dog’s gross habits – sniffing lamp-posts was the equivalent of reading the morning newspapers, a story I have passed on to other generations of children. To help ensure empathy for the animal world I have always ruthlessly anthropomorphicised animals – telling the children what the animals think and say.
Talking animals? – I don’t do fantasy!
I went through a very pretentious stage in my 20s and 30s and read ‘good’ literature, leaving behind the sci-fi, the detective, the, er, fantasy. It couldn’t last of course there is just so much out there. In my 40s I took myself of to university and spent most of my time reading scientific and anthropological books and journals, for light relief I returned to my earlier favourites.
When I first went to a writing class I had no problems switching from reality to non reality when presented with an exercise – I am among the dumbest! I was still not doing fantasy! When I wrote Ellen’s Tale I was adamant it was not sci-fantasy, that all the modifications I had in the tale were possible in the future I was writing about. In my short stories I had talking cats, aliens taking over children, ghostly clowns who kidnapped children to another world.
Still I didn’t write fantasy!
This year during the crazy NaNoWrMo November, I have a choice in my mind. I leave my dystopian world of the future; I walk away from my dysfunctional modern romance of last year. I try something new? No, it’s not new:)
The only problem I am having is will it be talking bacteria or a psychedelic monkey as narrator? Ah what knotty problems we writers do have.
So now, far nearer 70 than 60 I am declaring the truth I have failed to acknowledge all these years.
I do do fantasy - big time.