I Was A Middle Aged Writer

December 29, 2009

Starting Another Work

Filed under: Uncategorized,writing — danielrdavis @ 5:36 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

So I’m starting a new project. It’ll be slow going for a bit until we get through cleaning for New Year and prepping for January Christmas with out of town relatives, but I’m going to be tracking my progress again. It’s a Sci-Fi fantasy novel. Should be a one shot with possibilities for expansion added in.

In truth, I’ve already started it, but I’ve come to realize that the tracking I did on the last novel really helped me keep going. I started hitting the keys on this one during Thanksgiving, but set it aside for when I had more time to work on it. The first thing I’ll probably be doing on it is write up a good brainstorm on not only the world, but the villains, magic system, plot, everything. It’s going to need a lot of structure as far as that goes. I want to make sure the magic and the pantheon is worked up and at least makes enough sense that it’s not broken. The other thing I need to do is read Daily Life in Medieval Times. I’ll need at least a passing familiarity with a medieval setting beyond that found in an RPG. It’s going to be a higher magic type world, so there are likely conveniences I can use to fudge the lifestyle, but I do want to at least mimic a medieval setting.

However, I have another novel I need to work on and I may try to juggle them both. The other novel is an Urban Fantasy and unfortunately it sounds like UF is an easier sell in the current market. The market just seems flooded with UF to the point where I can’t pick up a book lately without discovering that it’s first person urban fantasy, usually with a female lead. Before anyone gets up in arms over that comment, keep in mind that I don’t mind them in general. I rather enjoy Kim Harrison’s Rachel Morgan series and Faith Hunter’s Rogue Mage and Skinwalker books, but I get tired of the same thing over and over again. And many of them are. The same, that is. The voice is the same, the writing’s the same, even many of the terms are the same. Jayne’s been picking some up from the library and really it just seems to be SSDA, same sh*t, different author. Change a few things, file off the serial numbers and you have a new novel. And they’re all selling. It makes me not want to touch first person urban fantasy with a ten foot pole unless I have something really “wowingly” (yes I know that’s not a word, but I’m channeling my inner Joss*) different. I just see an eventual future where peple are going to start seeing the same things I’ve noticed and get tired of the genre. I’d rather work on something else and plan for that eventuality.

So, I’m going to a setting that has been in decline for quite some time. I don’t know why I’ve suddenly been drawn to working on Science Fiction. It’s certainly not a desire to go with the underdog, though I’ve never been one to do anything the easy way. It’s not necessarily that I want to single-handedly champion the genre and try to bring it back into a golden age, but there’s just some strange appeal of working in something that’s not currently waterlogged, so to speak; something that’s not already saturating the market.

I walked into a local bookstore recently and checked the shelves. I was stunned that just about the only Sci-Fi I saw there were Extended Universes (BSG, Star Trek, Star Wars, etc). I remember a time when there was a lot of original sci-fi and sci-fi fantasy out there. I saw very little. This bothered me a bit because my finished (well, sort of finished) piece is sci-fi. I knew there was a lot more sci-fi titles in Romance and that’s what my novel qualifies as, but I started to wonder about mainstream sci-fi. I asked around (though I really should have known) of people in the business. I wondered if perhaps it was just the store in question. I was told that yes, the sci-fi genre has been in decline for easily 10 years. In a way it bothered me and it also got me to wonder if I should even try. I mean, if the publishers aren’t picking up much sci-fi then it’s that much more difficult to get published. But my stubborn streak now won’t let it go. I think I can write some quality sci-fi (focusing on space opera and fantasy aspects of course, I’m not big into hard science) and with a little luck get it published. I like the challenge, oddly enough.

And hey, it’s all about revolution. What goes around comes around. Sci-Fi was big once. Fantasy took center stage for a while. Now it’s Urban Fantasy. Who knows, perhaps it’s time for a resurgence of the sci-fi genre. It’s worth a shot anyway.

And so yes, you will be seeing another tracking session on here soon. One that will hopefully help me get another couple novels finished in the new year.

D


* Joss Whedon, creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, Dollhouse and about a bajillion “Jossisms.”

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