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A Fantasy Life

October 27, 2007 by in category Archives tagged as


by Janet Quinn

When writing fantasy, there are so many things to keep track of it takes an entire notebook of its own. If I’m writing a historical, I know what religion my characters are likely to be, though it’s not always important. I know how my characters are going to dress and I have books to double check that I have everything correct.

In fantasy, I’m making it up as I go along. Linda Mac (Linda MacLaughlin/Lyndi Lamont)took a class on building a fantasy world which she found very helpful. I think it might have been a good idea, but I seldom have time to take classes. That means I learn from my mistakes, which are frequent.

Writing a fantasy novel, it’s easier to catch the mistakes. If the world is for one time use, then anything that needs fixing, I’ll find by the time I get to the end of the book. Ooops, I forgot about what religious ceremonies I might need. I can always go back and fix that. Maybe the dress I picked for my characters really doesn’t work, not a problem. I can redress them before I’m through.

The problems come when you want to create a world and use it over again. When I started the Augeas stories, I was only concerned with getting two of them finished and into the publisher. Having my characters dressed in robes seemed like a great idea. Robes are really awkward especially for soldiers, but I’m stuck since two of the stories have been published. Then when I commissioned pictures of my characters, just because I wanted to, and received the picture of Dorjan, my first thought was, “Boy, I hope he’s got on underwear, otherwise things could get indecent.” Guess I’d better add underwear to the list of clothing.

The other problem was, that being in a hurry, I didn’t really sit down and plan everything out. I wrote the two stories, sold them and went on to the next two. Story three, I figured out that the humans shouldn’t be as long lived as the Ancient Ones. Why would they call them Ancient Ones if they didn’t live a lot longer? So I had to write all these notes on the first two stories so that I’d remember to make changes when I got my edits. Poor Brencis has been several many ages now. He was really old, middle aged, no age mentioned and finally back to sort of really old.

The important part about writing fantasy is consistency. When you build a world, as the author you have to think about such things as religion, politics, life style, recreational activities, food, clothing, housing, and on and on. Every part of daily life has to constructed. Then you have to throw in the fantasy part. I have magic in my world, but figuring out what kind of magic wasn’t an easy task. I consulted my expert, my son Rob, and finally decided that the magic was done with the mind. But not everyone could have the same abilities. Not only would that be boring, but then they’d all be equal and there would be no conflict.

There are still several many holes in my world which I keep filling with each new story. Augeas’ residents are of two races, so of course there must be half-breeds. How are they treated? The Guard plays a game called Clootie. What are the rules? They must have some kind of religion. Every culture has a religion.

As soon as I finish stories five and six, I’ll try and figure out some of these things. And I’m still trying to figure out where I could put in dragons, just because I like dragons.

Drawings by Jasmine Tanner, veildandy.deviantart.com

*********************************************************

Available now by Janet Quinn at her website: http://www.janet-quinn.com/

WHISKEY SHOTS Vol 7 from Whiskey Creek Press,
WILD HONEY

Available from Whiskey Creek Press
THE IRISH COUNTESS, THE LUCKY LADY and A MOMENT IN TIME

Available at Amber Quill Press
THE KILTED GOVERNESS, ARROW OF THE HEART and THE RIVER’S TREASURE

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A Fantasy Life

September 27, 2007 by in category Archives tagged as

By Janet Cornelow Quinn

When Michelle Thorne asked me to blog on the OCC site, I was thrilled. Then I get this email in the middle of the week saying I needed a title. No one said I had to have a title. I have a problem with titles. I have two short stories and two books that are in desperate need of titles. Not only did I need a title, but I needed one right then. In a state of panic, A Fantasy Life came to me.

After all, isn’t that what we do as writers? We “play god” and create characters, settings and problems to be solved. We create fantasy lives.

On the other side, I have moved into writing fantasy. My first fantasy novel comes out in February. It’s called THE ENCHANTED HAWK. I’ve written time travel novels, which are in the realm of fantasy, but with time travel I’m only breaking the rules of time and space as I move a character through them. I still have to adhere to the laws of physics and the realities of history. There is only so much leeway for breaking rules.

With real fantasy, I can create my own laws of physics and don’t have to pay any attention to history. I can create a medieval feeling without having to be totally accurate. In THE ENCHANTED HAWK, I have polymorphic beings (shape shifters). The heroine can become as small as a mouse or as large as a dragon – a very large ragon. I can ignore the law of conservation of mass.

In my world of Augeas, long-lived, magical beings exist beside humans. (Augeas is done in short stories.) They have various magical abilities, most of them to do with mind control. Mixed in are the humans who have only normal abilities. Rayna is a warrior, trained with sword, dagger and bow and arrows, to protect her lady. She has no special ability, but a great deal of loyalty and a thirst for revenge.

The thing with fantasy, however, is that whatever rules of physics I make up, I have to follow them. I can’t suddenly change them because I decide I want to do something else. This requires copious notes to make sure everything stays the same. My shape shifters can’t turn into a mouse one time, then not be able to the next time. Also, the color of the animal is tied to the color of the hair, so if Brylyn turns into a hawk, it’s always a red hawk. Every animal she turns into is red.

In Augeas, those who have magical powers can only use those magical powers that they possess. A character can’t read minds one moment and then three pages later not be able to do so. Unless the character faces another character who can block his power.

So enjoy your fantasy life.

Drawings by Jasmine Tanner, veildandy.deviantart.com

*********************************************************

Available now by Janet Quinn at her website: http://www.janet-quinn.com/

WHISKEY SHOTS Vol 7 from Whiskey Creek Press,
WILD HONEY

Available from Whiskey Creek Press
THE IRISH COUNTESS, THE LUCKY LADY and A MOMENT IN TIME

Available at Amber Quill Press
THE KILTED GOVERNESS, ARROW OF THE HEART and THE RIVER’S TREASURE

1 0 Read more

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