Saturday, February 26, 2011

What Lies Ahead

Just a ramble about the five ideas I'm kicking around for my novel. Rather than delving into them in depth, I thought I would first take a look at the elements the concepts have in common:

Genre: Secondary world fantasy for sure. Just what I'm feeling as a writer right now ... and my experiences at the WFC included hearing authors say that high fantasy is becoming more viable again. In addition, I am leery of being lucky enough to get an agent for an urban fantasy novel and then having he or she ask me for another book ...
Two of the ideas can also be cross-classified as a mystery.
Also, I am still grooving on "mannerpunk" as a subgenre classification, and it fits a few of these ideas.
Setting: One idea requires a fairly stock setting to frame the other archetypal elements. One idea, I've used the setting for short fiction, so I am slightly limited in how far I can knock it out of the box. Two ideas could have potentially very exotic settings. Over half of the ideas (okay, 3/5ths) are deeply embedded / infused in their settings.
POV: All but one idea involves multiple points of view, from a more or less balanced back-and-forth two POVs to a concept that could potentially make pitstops in at least a half-dozen heads. So I am almost certainly looking at third person. The lone idea that is single POV, I have a four-way debate about how to handle it.
Gender: Every idea has a female narrator as at least co-main character. (Is that like a co-pilot? Probably.) Two ideas have only female narrators.
Runner-Up: Three of these ideas have been passed up before at least once. (One has been passed up twice.)

And most significantly ...

Old Friends: Of the five ideas, only one would be brand new under my fingers (and even at that, it's loosely inspired by a prior idea). Two ideas are rewrites, involving extensive restructuring of the setting and some reconceptualizing of plot and character. One involves two old characters, used in entirely different (and unconnected) settings. The fourth involves characters I've written short stories about.

I'm honestly not sure whether this urge to go back to older inspiration is a good sign or a bad sign. On the one hand, I think there's something really powerful in this idea of taking something I loved and applying what I know now. On the other hand, I'm afraid it smacks of getting stuck in a rut. ... in a rut ... in a rut ...

Either I can't lose or I can't win. We'll see!


Diana said...

It doesn't sound like you're in a rut. I think those ideas have been percolating in the back of your mind and now that they've stewed long enough they're ready for writing. :)

Aubrie said...

High fantasy is in again?! *runs to the microsoft word document*

You definitely need multiple POV's for second world fantasy, I agree.

Lindsey Duncan said...

Thanks for the vote of confidence, Diana. :-)

According to the panel I attended - essentially, high fantasy is no longer an anathema to editors, but they're now more interested in tighter (shorter!) stories without a zillion plotlines. Even first person. ;-)