Saturday, March 27, 2010

Taking Chances

I finished up what I'm going to send to the author who will be mentoring me for the Highlights workshop. I'll print it out - all 392 pages - and get it in the mail next week. I wanted to include the beginning of the third part because I'm doing something really different and wanted feedback on it.

My writing partner said I surprised her. She reassured me that was a good thing. There are times when an author will surprise her, but she doesn't like it. However, what I did seemed to work.

Are you taking any chances in your writing? How do you feel about it? What kind of feedback are you getting? Do you think fantasy writers can take more changes and get away with it?


  1. I took a chance when I started writing my fantasy novel. I'm an avid reader, but never thought I could write one.

    Now I'm making the attempt. Haven't gotten past the first chapter - that's more a time and research issue than lack of ideas.

    I was surprised when I submitted the first chapter to my writers group, in its very rough draft form, and they liked it. A lot.

    I think every genre has its unwritten rules; those that the readers are willing or unwilling to let the author cross. But yes, I think fantasy writers can get away with taking a bit more chances because there isn't a reality base to go by. Certain writers have set the standard of expectations, but as long as it is well done, a dragon can have varying degrees of intelligence, temperament, or magical abilities. As can elves, fairies, wizards, witches, or any number of magical creatures or objects.

    Personally, I think a new fantasy writer needs to push those limits a little to make the story unique, because fantasy, like paranormal, has grown in popularity over the last few years. Today's reader is more interested in abilities and action than setting prose, and are thus harder to please.


  2. Pam, can you tell us a little about what the chance was that you took? I'm curious as to what kind of risk it was... a theme, a character, a plot twist?

  3. I think that writing is taking a chance for me. :)I know so little and am still a teenager. Sometimes I am wondering what I am doing. But I love it, anyway.

  4. I am curious also Pam.


  5. I think you have misunderstood me. I know writing IS taking a chance. What I want to know is if you are taking a chance WITH your writing. Are you using a different plot? Writing style? Something so new it may have never been done?

    What I did with the beginning of the third part of Fairyeater was to write from Akeela's POV and she's not conscious. She's trapped in the spiritual world of the Moon Dancers and the only way I can show what's happening to her without using backstory is to write what she's hearing and feeling.

  6. I think the biggest chance I'm taking is in my dream world where reality isn't real :)

  7. I think one of the biggest chances I'm taking is my attempt to portray the good guys as having just as much power as the bad guys.

    It really annoys me that, time and again, story after story portrays the bad guys as being much more powerful and scarier than the good guys, who seem to succeed more often than not by craftiness or sheer dumb luck, rather than by actually having the ability to conquer them. Now, I understand that there isn't much of a plot if the good guys can just blow the baddies out of the water, but there are a lot of subtle shades in between being nice but puny weaklings, and world domination.

    So I have made my good king more powerful than the bad king. But because he is good, he has moral restrictions as to the use of his power that the villain does not. It is the moral aspect of how to use one's power that I am trying to get at. But I do think it is risky to have the good king be so very great and good.

  8. I think that's a great idea, Christine!

  9. I like that, too, Christine. We're always told to make our villain just as strong or stronger than our hero. But why should we do what everyone else does? Did JK Rowling? Did Stephanie Meyer?

    Danielle, I'm looking forward to reading your dream world! Send pages when you can.

  10. I have a draft of the first chapter written -- I'll send it to you once I sand-paper it a bit :P

  11. Hey Pam! I found you from Rachelle Gardner's blog. That's cool that your a fantasy author/former homeschool mom...I'm also a fantasy author and a homeschool graduate!
    I'll definitely keep checking in here...the discussions sound great!

  12. Danielle, sandpaper away! :)

    Hi Heather!! Welcome to my blog! I try and post something once a week, so do check back. The more, the merrier!

  13. Yay! Another homeschooler! :D