Wednesday, 24 October 2012

I Don't do Fantasy. Do I?

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.


  1. I totally understand the feeling. I kept saying I don't do contemporary, but in the end I think it's the genre I'm best fit to write. I guess figuring out what to write is half the fun of being a writer. Good luck with NaNo! :)

  2. Thanks - looking foward to nanao -I think a good many of ys have trouble with genre - a dislike of being pigeon holed maybe?

  3. I smiled the whole time I read this. I think mine is romance. I don't do romance. I don't read romance novels (okay, except Jane Eyre and Believe It Or Not and...) or watch romantic movies (except for When Harry Met Sally and It Happened One Night and...) and I definitely don't write romance (except for that stupid love triangle that just turned up in my mystery). LOL.

    Best wishes with your fantasy, Alberta! And all the best for NaNoWriMo. Meanwhile, I'm joining August McLaughlin and others in doing NoNoWriMo, a group of us not writing 50k words in November but heartily cheering on those who will!

  4. A NoNoWrMo? I like that:) and thanks for the cheers - am quite excited as I plot my fantasy in my head - not sure it will be too serious - can't tell - not sure with so little preparation I could pull off a trad.fantasy but have some 'good' ideas and hopefully I'll even have an ending by end of Novemeber!

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  7. I see Dr. kold_kadavir got you, too. *shakes head* Some people have too much time on their hands.

    I remember when I first started learning about fiction and genres. 'Be original! Write something no one else has written! But stay within the rules of the genre. Your hero and heroine had better meet in the first chapter. You can't do [X] and you must do [Z].' LOL - I grumbled for days. How am I supposed to be different if I have to make it the same! xD

    Thanks for visiting my blog. :)

    1. so sorry for the delay in getting back to you all - keep forgetting blogger doesn't remind me I have comments:( I agree how can one be different if one writes to a formula? I hate genres - I love stories. I have also for many, many, many decades disliked rules!:)

      Ah well

  8. Hope NaNoWriMo went well! :)

    Awesome that you discovered more of your niche as a writer. I haven't run into finding out I actually write a genre I'd never really considered . . . yet. There's a first time for everything, I suppose!

    1. I may have the genre names however I know if any buy my books on the back of those names they will be dissapointed - the stories are stories - they do not follow the rigid bars folk will put around them, they do their own thing:) as I do:)it's a minefield - and you will end up tearing the very hairs from your head trying to find your niche - really!:)

  9. Followed you back here, you blog someplace else now?

  10. Hi - I split the blog into 3 - this one is about my books, is for more personal blogs and the A-Z and is for writing in general, challenges and accountabilty(Row80) I also started albertareads on wordpress where I do my reading habits/books

    I just found it easier to seperate the different strands of my life:)