There And Draft Again

A Fellowship of Fantasy Writers

Under the Umbrella August 24, 2013

Filed under: Reading,Writing — thereanddraftagain @ 1:58 pm
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So we all like fantasy. That much is obvious. But here’s the thing, folks: even if we enjoy reading and writing fantastical stories, there’s more to the fantasy genre than just spells and unicorns. And although we share a common love of fantasy, our specific interests tend to fall into the sub-genres of fantasy that are lesser known than the umbrella term. If someone said, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, The Mortal Instruments and Shadow and Bone—would you know they belong in different sub genres of fantasy? For those of you that want some clarification, check out the descriptions below:

Urban: Set in an urban environment, the fantasy elements generally blend together with the location for the story somehow or another.

Epic: Adventures, travels and a wide scope of events comprise this category that is most widely associated with the genre.

Contemporary: This can sometimes blur with Urban, but more often than not, in this brand of fantasy, it takes place during a contemporary time period and the plot issues or character types are also branded with a time stamp.

Dark: This is a special sub-genre because it could crossover with the aforementioned categories but by adding elements of horror, it turns the tone of the story into the darker end of the spectrum.

There are such great options to explore in the fantasy genre that it can be discouraging to see people stereotype the novels as they long have been. Just like another great classic, the cookie, there are several ways to make it different, but the possibilities for unique variations are endless.

What subgenre do you write? And which do you read the most?

~ Rachel H

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My love affair with Legend June 15, 2013

Filed under: Inspiration,Writing — thereanddraftagain @ 7:34 am
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When the movie, Legend, came out, I was thirteen years old. It had everything my young teenage heart could wish for: love, magic, unicorns, and a battle between good and evil. Also, a handsome, peasant hero in love with a princess, a villain with horns and cloven feet, elves, faeries, pixies, goblins, and of course, a flesh-eating witch.

legend2

Now, as a woman and writer of fantasy, the movie still captivates me, despite the negative reviews by the critics.

The plot is simple: the hero must defeat the villain to save the world from eternal darkness. The theme is more complex: neither light, nor dark, can truly destroy the other, for they’re dependent on one another. The characters each have his or her own role to perform that supports the branching elements of the plot.

I’ve used Legend as a template for storyboarding. Often my plot overwhelms me and I need to narrow it down to its most basic before branching out or creating sub-plots. I want to make sure my theme carries through from beginning to end, and choose the best elements to represent or symbolize this theme. Character development is the most important to me. Are each of my characters necessary? Do they have a purpose? Do they create conflict, aid my MC, have hardships of their own? Do they grow at all? Do they inspire me?

I won’t bore you with every facet of Legend I adore, but I will ask you: What movie/book do you watch/read over and over again and never tire of? Why? Is it the mythology, the world-building, the time-period? Once you know the answers, you’ll know what story to write. And more importantly, you’ll love it.

My love affair with Legend has lasted twenty-seven years. I want the same with my stories.

Happy writing!

Kate