Friday, April 9, 2010

The Pitfalls of Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction

So Sara and I are together in the basement of the Shawnee Inn in a room called Hope. We're having trouble being serious right now because I looked up at Sara ten minutes ago and asked her, "Do you know where hope is?" We both just died laughing and now we're in the basement--the cold basement--even though the room is called Hope and we're talking about the pitfalls of fantasy and scifi--we're guessing this is where they send the bad kids.

Ok seriously. I'm going to give you a low down on some of the questions raised and discussed--there aren't really any answers, but here's what's up.

First up...how do you properly set up time travel in your novel? And is it fantasy or science fiction?

Second issue...what is the difference between paranormal and fantasy? Some say werewolves, vampires and psychics are paranormal. Creating other worlds is more fantasy. But some say there is such a thing as paranormal fantasy and some say its one or the other. Whew, this discussion is getting very very complicated. There's urban fantasy, paranormal, dystopian, steampunk, contemporary fantasy, high fantasy, low tech fantasy and my head is spinning.

I think when it comes down to it, you have to write the story you want to write and not worry so obsessively about the label and when you query, label it as best you can. If your story is clear, your future agent/editor/book seller will know where to place it within the many sub genres. One thing you can do is find a book that is similar to yours in style and find out how that is labeled and maybe that will help.

We've just moved onto discussing world building. Someone admitted they are building their world after they wrote their story...that boggles my mind, but if it works for that person, that is really cool!

So how about you guys? Do start with your world building or build as you write?

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