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Next are some brief observations from a journeyman writer. If you are a writer then they might be of interest. Your mileage may vary...
At some point I think all writing falls back on established archetypes and societal norms. This is true of contemporary writing as well as science fiction and fantasy. Whether a character is a priest, a star ship pilot or a warrior, a reader will form some basic assumptions about the character based on real life and the pop culture stories and myths that have preceded it.
From time to time I've found myself falling into the trap of relying too heavily on "prefab" character archetypes. I think this is where an author runs the risk of having a flat plot or a cliche storyline.
For example, I was recently writing a sequence where my protagonists are fighting some enemies. I immediately settled on trolls for the enemies since they are a good fit for the setting. But I found myself having a hard time getting through writing the chapter. I was bored with it and I hadn't even written it yet! It turned out that trolls were precisely the wrong answer for this. So I erected my mental scaffolding, and went back to imagineering the sequence. And what I ended up with was far, far better than trolls. Now I am really looking forward to writing this part!
Authors can derive some support from the conventions of their genre, character archetypes and societal norms; but I think readers are really looking for novel and distinctive stories and characters. It's not easy to consistently deliver that as an author, but in my experience the results are very satisfying and much more fun to write.
Very excited that the continuing story is coming along. Can't wait to check it out!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Scott! I've been meaning to add a link to your giveaway. I'll do that now.ReplyDelete