There And Draft Again

A Fellowship of Fantasy Writers

As You Wish: A Post to Honor “The Princess Bride” February 12, 2014

The Princess Bride is my favorite book in all the world, though I have never read it. Well, I’ve read the first chapter. But, I’ve watched the movie a gaziliion billion times and it never gets old.

Why?

Well, a fantastic screenplay and cast doesn’t hurt, but really, it’s because William Goldman is an exceptional abridger. I mean, he wrote all the best parts: fencing and fighting, torture, poison, true love, hate, revenge, giants, hunters, bad men, good men, beautifulest ladies, snakes, spiders, pain, death, brave men, cowardly men, strongest men, chases, escapes, lies, truths, passion, and miracles.The Princess Bride, when all is said and done, is a classic tale of true love and high adventure. Even the great Florinese writer, the immortal S. Morgenstern, called it such.

Anyway, while I had fun storming the castle the other day, I came across this photo:

the-princess-bride_900

Inconceivable! The movie is twenty five years old?!? Yep. This is Entertainment Weekly’s reunion photo. The New York Film Festival celebrated the film’s 25th anniversary with a cast reunion at Lincoln Center. You can read all about it here. I did. And then, of course, I watched the movie again. I also downloaded the book; I’m going to read it this weekend for relax.

So, if you’ve never seen the movie, or read the book, I suggest you do so immediately. You’ll at least learn how to fill out your name tag properly. You might even fall in love. You think I’m teasing you? I’m not. The Princess Bride the best thing in the world. Well, except for cough drops.

So, good night readers, and movie watchers. Good work. Sleep well. I’ll most likely kill you in the morning.

Kate

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The Expansion of Fantasy December 11, 2013

We all know the sub-genres of fantasy and the myriad elements of each, and we know our literary categories, those in which every genre, not just fantasy, exist. Well, this last year has seen the emergence of a new category: New Adult.

I’m excited about this. Not just as a reader, but as a writer. Trying to fit my stories into either YA or Adult has been tricky, often frustrating, and at times I’ve changed, or forced, what grew organically into one or the other category, when really it didn’t belong in either. Now, I’m going back through my WIPs and making notes on where I changed specific things, and re-reading my original drafts and thinking, “Aha, this is New Adult!”, which makes me very happy.

Currently, mainstream New Adult is contemporary romance, and though I’ve never been a huge fan of this (aside from reading all of Nora Roberts and Kathleen Woodiwiss) I’ve devoured a ton of these this year. And I have even more on my Amazon wishlist. They resonate with me because they not only center around the age range of most of my own characters (18-25), but because they explore the same issues as mine. And I’m not just talking sex. I’m talking about characters in the midst of that transitory period between youth and full adulthood, struggling to find their place in the world on their own.

But I think other genres, especially fantasy, are about to explode onto the scene. Agents and editors are asking for different genres in New Adult. Those who follow the Twitter hashtag, #MSWL, have seen this, and if you’re like me, reviewing updated agent bios and what they and their agencies want, you’ll have seen this as well. Here’s a great post by literary agent, Suzie Townsend, and her thoughts on New Adult and its emergence into different genres, as well as books already out there that might appeal to this audience.

Suffice it to say, I’m thrilled about all this. Beyond. Belief. And I hope one day to see a whole section in bookstores dedicated to New Adult Fantasy. What do you guys think?

Happy Holidays!

Kate

 

Fantasy TV October 19, 2013

Filed under: Industry News — thereanddraftagain @ 5:28 pm
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The best thing about fantasy, at least in my opinion, is that it has been making a resurgence lately. Primarily on television. Science fiction tends to be the go-to speculative fiction that gets air time, so seeing shows like Once Upon a Time, its spin-off Wonderland, Grimm, Sleepy Hollow and the like grabbing viewers in every week is really encouraging.

For people who struggle to get into books or don’t want to spend the money trekking out to a movie, television provides a free and accessible way for stories to be absorbed. And what better way to dabble in fantasy than from your couch? Show’s like Angel, Buffy, Charmed, Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, and Sabrina the Teenage Witch paved the way for the stories that are network staples today. True Blood, Supernatural, Vampire Diaries, all paranormal in genre, but firmly sitting beneath the fantasy umbrella and proving that they can stand tall against cop dramas or sitcoms. There hasn’t been a better time in television history for fantasy.

My favorite fantasy series as of now is Once Upon a Time. It had a bit of a slow first season and then seemed like it jumped the shark on some of its plots, but I feel as though this season has allowed the show to finally settle into its own skin. Exploring different fantasy worlds, new characters and unconventional plots. Instead of worrying about bridging the real world and fantasy world, it has begun to slip into a story that is primarily focused on the fantastical.

I’m not as convinced about it’s spin-off, Wonderland. While it has some interesting aspects and seems to be firmly rooted within the realm of Wonderland, it might require the same expanse of time as ONCE to really get going. Do I feel as if the network will give it this time? Probably not. It should be enjoyable in the meantime, providing quirky and imaginative tales from the twisted Wonderland alongside a touching romance.

These types of shows offer the perfect escape to viewers coming home from stressful days at work or a busy day with children. And even though they take place in other worlds, or crossover worlds, the abstract ideas are easily relatable and thoroughly exciting. Who wouldn’t love to have magic? Or be able to fly or teleport themselves to such amazing places? At its heart, that’s why fantasy is the greatest genre. I would love to see more fantasy series picked up like these to introduce a whole new generation of people to the wonders of fantasy.

What’s your favorite fantasy television show of all time and why?

~Rachel H

 

Killer New Fantasy Series? August 14, 2013

Patrick Rothfuss’ The Kingkiller Chronicle is to be a television series. Or at least last month Deadline reported it has been optioned by New Regency Productions and 20th Century Fox television as a drama series.

As a huge fan of Patrick Rothfuss, I was initially ecstatic. The Name of the Wind and Wise Man’s Fear are right up there with my all time favourite epic fantasy novels. And I’m not the only one who thinks so. NPR books 2011 poll of Top 100 Science Fiction, Fantasy Books had Rothfuss at number 18, a considerable feat for a relatively new author in a list full of classics and established Sci/Fi and Fantasy writers.

With visions of a Game of Thrones type adaptation, I couldn’t wait to see who they cast as Kvothe, the stunningly gifted and brilliantly drawn protagonist. I was also looking forward to seeing the world brought to life – a world Rothfuss portrayed with such depth and detail in the books.

But that was when it all started to unravel somewhat, at least in my mind. Because the books are big, full of nuance and attention to detail, and the story, told by Kvothe in the book is essentially his life story. Would it translate well to screen and still retain the intimacy and magic of the books?

Not withstanding budgets, timeslots and ratings requirements, could it ever live up to reader (my)  expectations?

I have no idea. At this stage it looks like Eric Heisserer (Hours, The Thing) is set to adapt the series and will be the executive producer – so here’s hoping he has a vision. Because with two huge books and the final instalment, The Doors of Stone, due out in 2014, he has a lot of material to work with.

And it’s true I still can’t quite forget what happened to Firefly on Fox’s watch. (Screened out of order and cancelled after one season!) Could my fan-girl heart trust them again?

Or what happened when Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth series became The Legend of the Seeker for the small screen – and the story was changed so much there was no hope it would ever follow the books.

At least the HBO adaptation of Game of Thrones has shown how it can be done, and with a slew of big budget fantasy movies doing well, perhaps we’ll see more high-quality fantasy television series being made?

– by Raewyn Hewitt

 

And drumroll…GIVEAWAY TIME!!! August 1, 2013

Filed under: Industry News — thereanddraftagain @ 1:49 am
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HI EVERYONE!!!

I’m a little squeamish about hijacking There and Draft Again to make flowery mention of my new little book, but since my fellow bloggers have said it’s okay, and seeing as it is coming out in 5 days (!!!), I thought I’d pop in, drop a teaser, and do a giveaway. Yup, giveaway time again!

AGAIN?!

I’m giving away an eBook of COLDNESS OF MAREK to two lucky winners!

Annnnnnnd I have a [previously unreleased] short little teaser…

Trzl turned her eyes on Marek in question. “Not rich enough to afford a war?”

“I’m still unclear as to why you think I’d have any interest in a war,” he said. “One war was enough.”

She shrugged. “I can’t imagine you turning around and selling those gate sequences once you had them. The temptation to use them would be too strong. Bloody man such as yourself.”

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment below, including your email address so we can contact you if you win. Giveaway is open to international entrants.Followers of There and Draft Again get an extra entry! Winners will be drawn on release day, August 6. Thank you for entering and good luck! I can’t wait to send two of you an eBook!

— Rachel O’Laughlin

COLDNESS OF MAREKReleases August 6, 2013
The First in the Serengard Series
Release Date: August 6, 2013

Serengard has been under Orion rule for centuries—centuries of insufferable adherence to laws and traditions that its people no longer believe in. Raised by her scholarly grandfather in the fiery southern city of Neroi, Trzl is dedicated to turning the monarchy into a free society where knowledge is king and no one has to be subject to the whims of an Orion.

As the rebellion escalates, her choices have an eerie impact on the revolution at large, elevating her to a position of influence she has only dreamed of attaining. But there are downsides to her new power that entangle her in a dangerous web of emotions, appearances and alliances. Even as she plays to the attractions of Hodran, a rich nobleman who wants to aid her cause, she is drawn to Mikel, a loyalist farmer who hates the rebellion but just might be winning her heart.

By the time Trzl realizes she is in too deep, she has an infant son and a dark mess of betrayal and lies. She runs to the furthest corner of the kingdom in hopes that she will be left alone with her child, but she has created too many demons. A figure she once trusted will take her captive in the chilling Cliffs of Marek, throw her back into the political upheaval she helped create, and leave her at the mercy of a man she never wanted for an enemy.

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That’s how it’s done: Shadow & Bone June 13, 2013

I know there are a million reviews for this book. I’m pretty sure EVERYONE read it last year, and everyone bought the sequel last week. So reviewing it would be pretty redundant. But I thought it would be fun to go through and parse it from a writer perspective. Most of the fantasy writers I run into are writing for Young Adult these days, and this is a Young Adult Epic Fantasy Series that is TOTALLY taking YA Fantasy by storm. I want to point out just a few things that the first book in the series really hit on the head.

Opening Hook Includes Massive Worldbuilding Without Info-Dump
I read the first four chapters multiple times. They were masterful– masterful, I tell you! The Shadow Fold, the Volcra, the Unsea, all of it is introduced cleanly through action. We get a clear picture of the setting and the forces at work, as well as most of the characters that will be in play for the entire novel.

The Important Characters Are Dealt
There are often so many characters in fantasy, we want to introduce them all at once. In SHADOW AND BONE, all of the main characters are put in play right at the beginning, but Bardugo also made it obvious which people we really need to pay attention to, and whom can fall by the wayside. There aren’t a bunch of confusing extras. We meet the main character, Alina, the love interest, Mal, and the villain (in fine, dark form), The Darkling. All the other characters that are introduced later are great, but the reader understands that they aren’t front and center, at least not in the first book. (This requires more effort when you have multiple POVs, but it’s not impossible.)

Action That Pulls Us In, Mystery That Keeps Us Reading
By the end of these first 75 pages, our main character has just escaped grave danger, is torn from the boy she just might love, and set out on a mission that may lead to destruction. We learn that Mal and Alina have deep devotion to one another and want to keep each other safe, but other than that, we’re left to guess at where their relationship may be headed. We also have no idea what the Darkling may be up to, and whether he is good or bad at the core.

As The Quest Changes, So Does The Main Character
As the story progresses and Alina discovers more about Ravka’s history and what is expected of her, her goals change multiple times. She grows with each new revelation, learns how to adapt and how to succeed. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter if your main character is likeable or learns from their mistakes, but there must be growth while remaining consistent. Bardugo did this perfectly.

Happy Ending, With Danger Lurking
So many times I get to the end of a book and find it tied up with a pretty little bow. In a series, you just can’t do that. There must be a perfect balance of satisfactory close with enough bad stuff about to hit the fan that we are afraid for the characters and MUST keep reading. Not going to spoil the end, just in case some of you haven’t read it, but seriously. Go read it. Then you can see what I mean about all the things this book did right. And of course, then you can buy SEIGE AND STORM!

— Rachel O’Laughlin

Putting in a picture of the second book in the Grisha Trilogy, just because.

 

Nominations for the 2012 SFWA Awards! March 2, 2013

On February 20th, 2013, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) has announced the nominees for the 2012 Nebula Awards, for the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy, and for the Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation. The awards are voted on by active members of  SFWA  from March 1st to 30th. The winners will be announced during the 48th Nebula Awards Weekend, on May 16th to 19th, 2013, in San Jose, CA.

Here are the 2012 nominees:

Nebula Award for a Novel

Throne of the Crescent Moon, Saladin Ahmed (DAW; Gollancz ’13)
Ironskin, Tina Connolly (Tor)
The Killing Moon, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
The Drowning Girl, Caitlín R. Kiernan (Roc)
Glamour in Glass, Mary Robinette Kowal (Tor)
2312, Kim Stanley Robinson (Orbit US; Orbit UK)

Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation

The Avengers, Joss Whedon (director) and Joss Whedon and Zak Penn (writers), (Marvel/Disney)
Beasts of the Southern Wild, Benh Zeitlin (director),  Benh Zeitlin and Lucy Abilar (writers), (Journeyman/Cinereach/Court 13/Fox Searchlight)
The Cabin in the Woods, Drew Goddard (director), Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard (writers) (Mutant Enemy/Lionsgate)
The Hunger Games, Gary Ross (director), Gary Ross, Suzanne Collins, and Billy Ray  writers), (Lionsgate)
John Carter, Andrew Stanton (director), Michael Chabon, Mark Andrews, and Andrew Stanton (writers), (Disney)
Looper, Rian Johnson (director), Rian Johnson (writer), (FilmDistrict/TriStar)

Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy

Iron Hearted Violet, Kelly Barnhill (Little, Brown)
Black Heart, Holly Black (S&S/McElderry; Gollancz)
Above, Leah Bobet (Levine)
The Diviners, Libba Bray (Little, Brown; Atom)
Vessel, Sarah Beth Durst (S&S/McElderry)
Seraphina, Rachel Hartman (Random House Children’s Books; Doubleday UK)
Enchanted, Alethea Kontis (Harcourt)
Every Day, David Levithan (Knopf Books for Young Readers)
Summer of the Mariposas, Guadalupe Garcia McCall (Tu Books)
Railsea, China Miéville (Del Rey; Macmillan)
Fair Coin, E.C. Myers (Pyr)
Above World, Jenn Reese (Candlewick)

Have you read these books and seen these movies? Which ones are your favorite? Are you going to vote? Feel free to leave us a comment below!