When you think about it, few red-haired people share the same fame as the biblical Romeo cum Rambo – the archetypal good-guy Samson, whom I chose as the protagonist for my latest book, I Shall Slay the Dragon! Yes, I know what you’re thinking. Of all the fantasy themes I could have picked, why this one?
A man must have a challenge. Once upon a time, it was reading. One book, six book, eight book bunch, daylight come and me wanna read … in parallel. Next came the writing. One work of art at any give time. Simple. But now, that is no longer enough. So I’m attempting this bold new thing. One author, two novels.
Believe it or not, I have never had a writer’s block per se. I do have time periods where I scribble more or less prose, while my technical writing verbosity remains constant. But I have yet to face that dreadful situation when no words come forth from the tips of your fingers. However, I did notice a clear correlation between seasons and my inspiration.
One of the great challenges writers face is letting go. When you create a new character, you try to make it unique. Colorful. Realistic. And as different from yourself as possible. Otherwise, it just becomes a self-therapy for your alter ego, and your characters all look and behave a very bland and boring same. The farther you go, the more freedom you have. Then, you face a moral question. What is the one thing you will never ever let your hero do?
Recently, I started reading a 19th Century novel, The Black Coats: The Parisian Jungle by Paul Feval, and translated by Brian Stableford. Predictably, the book offers a very olden writing style. Omnipotent, with numerous interruptions from the author slash narrator, and frequent point of view jumps between characters. This makes for a somewhat hectic read. But.
Admit it, some books are better than others. And not just because a certain author makes a better work with words than his or her fellow companions. Sometimes, it comes down to a purely emotional reaction to the setting. The Hobbit Shire, the Shannara world, Locke Lamora and his band of thieves. So if you had to choose, what is your ideal type of fantasy, as a reader and as a writer?