Brother of Ice and Stone (The Magistry of Dreams, #1)51.2%
I’m working on Book One of my fantasy adventure trilogy (and the next 2 books are outlined). NaNoWriMo really helped. I wrote 50,000 words in one month… phew!
There’s a New Moon in Aquarius on February 8th, 2106. The best way to describe this is the Dr. Who effect. Why Dr. Who? Because Aquarius deals with the future, outer space, and all things “out there”. But it also deals with humanitarian goals, and how one individual can benefit others.
Aquarians care about humanity, as does Dr. Who. He’s always trying to save the earth from total destruction by the Daleks, or whoever else happens to be targeting us for extermination at the time.
What makes Dr. Who Aquarian, as opposed to a more caring sign like Cancer? It’s because he sees humanity as a whole, as an abstract concept, and shies away from getting too close to any one particular human. Dr. Who is not the type to settle down and get comfortable in his armchair. He doesn’t even stay on the planet for any length of time, always flitting off to another time or space at the drop of a hat.
So on February 8th, ask yourself how your own quirky, unconventional self can benefit humanity in some way. Just like Dr. Who!
It seems to me that there are two general categories of fantasy fiction–those that sweep the reader into a heart-pounding adventure tale, and those that explore and describe a fantasy world in extreme, sometimes excruciating, sometimes enthralling detail.
Two novels that illustrate the latter are Susanna Clarke’s “Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell” and Katherine Addison’s “The Goblin Emperor”. These two novels both won awards, yet also received criticism from some readers who were disappointed by their lack of action.
Both of these novels include either massive amounts of historical detail about their fictional world, or they indulge in a microscopic focus upon social mannerisms, names, and political relationships (in the tradition of Gormenghast). While these details add interest, they also slow the story trajectory.
What’s missing for the readers who are left unsatisfied?
I believe it is immersion. The focus on detail, language, names, asides, footnotes, etc., while interesting to some readers, can alienate others.
No one will ever call these books “action packed adventures”. They both offer an intense intellectual challenge to the reader, often sacrificing forward action and emotional momentum to (often unnecessary) detail.
So is there a point of commonality between these intellectual fantasy novels and their action/adventure cousins? There is no doubt that good books in both categories can have fully developed fantasy worlds. There is also no doubt that they can both explore their characters’ emotions in great detail.
The reason “Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell” and “The Goblin Emperor” won their awards is because they offered us, not only extreme mental machinations, but intimate emotional heart as well.
It’s only a matter of the reader being willing to sit still long enough to fully explore the delightful contents of these (rather large) treasure troves.
Hi friendly readers of Elizabeth Edgett’s “Writing With The Stars”,
This is just a ‘heads up’ that I am changing the format of my blog posts and emails. I will no longer be doing weekly “Writing With The Stars” posts and emails. Instead, I am going toward a new model of blog posting that is more centered on the interests of fantasy readers (and astrology, of course!). My regular weekly “Writing With The Stars” email will be shut down.
Anyone who is already subscribed will be automatically added to my (less frequent) email list that will only be sent out on a very occasional basis. It will only be about upcoming book releases or other important events. (Of course, you can unsubscribe at any time.)
The reason I am doing this is to devote more time to writing.
However, I will still be writing blog posts about astrology, reading and writing, but just on a less regular schedule. Anyone interested in those subjects is more than welcome to bookmark my page and stay tuned in.
I extend to you a warm “Thank You” for your interest in my offerings, and I wish you all the best for the 2016 New Year and beyond.
The 13th is a volatile morning with the Moon conjunct Pluto and square Mars and Uranus. Write those argument or battle scenes. It all calms down in the afternoon as we edit the mess we just made. On the 14th, we can write convincingly about the strangest, most futuristic or utopian ideals. On the 15th, everything comes back down to earth, as we can be cold, unemotional editors, yelling marching orders to our unruly prose. It’s a good time to outline or edit from the rational left brain. The 16th starts with a Pluto/Venus sextile that can bring out scandals or deepen intimacy. Moon in Pisces just wants to dream, so take some time for fantasy. You’ll find that your wildest speculations can seem quite realistic on the 17th. A T-square on Friday morning can have us waking up with an idea for an adventure novel. Your excitement could cause you to ignore loved ones as you frantically write it all down. Ruffled feathers are possible. On the 19th, you’re getting some original ideas down in the morning, and chatting about them in the afternoon. Watch out! Those chats can become heated arguments toward evening.
The morning of the 6th is a good day to write romance or any emotional dialogue. Later, the focus turns toward international relations. On the 7th, return to those intimate conversations and even sex scenes, with a twist of the supernatural. The 8th moves us into religious or philosophical discussions, debates and arguments that get more heated as the day progresses. On the 9th, contrasting positions become entrenched. Secrets are revealed and made public on the 10th in the heat of battle. Fortunately, the airing of dirty laundry can bring warring factions together in understanding. The New Moon on the 11th in Sagittarius offers everyone broadened perspectives. By the 12th, we are ready to get back to work as the Moon joins Mercury in Capricorn. We have a whole new level of emotional compassion, that can add real depth to our writing.
The 29th is a day when you can actually make your fictional dreams come true. Saturn is keeping it all real, even if you’re writing fantasy. It’s an especially good day for epic fantasy or travel writing. The entertainment factor quadruples on the 30th with the Moon in Leo trining the Sun/Saturn conjunction. Mercury trine Uranus favors writing science fiction, particularly space opera. A trine on December 1st has you rocketing to the Moon with wild ideas that hit the current zeitgeist with a bull’s eye! On Dec 2nd, a Moon/Saturn/Neptune T-square challenges you to channel your fantasies, to communicate a higher wisdom. On the 3rd/4th, expand on already established ideas instead of trying to dream up something new. Venus moves into Scorpio on the 5th as the Moon conjuncts Mars in Libra. It’s a great day to write a sex scene, and an even better day to delve into the psychology of sex, or your character’s motivations around sex.
Early in the week, the writing may feel forced. Just keep putting one word after the other. You can edit later. You may feel discouraged about your writing on the 23rd. Don’t listen to that. It’s a passing voice. It won’t last. On the 24th and 25th, you’ll see your work taking shape as you free yourself to just write. The Full Moon on the 25th in Gemini says “Just write.” Don’t worry about the deep inner meaning of your work, just push ahead. Don’t stop to ponder too much. Write down the first thing that comes to mind. Reflecting too much can lead to rejecting too much. Don’t think, just write. Push through the 26th using sheer steam power. Coffee might help, too. Your ideas this day could be highly original without even thinking about it. On the 27th, all this eases up. You’re free to think deeply again. Look back on what you produced during the week and pat yourself on the back for your stamina. As an added bonus on the 28th, you’ll find gems amongst the rubble that could transform your work. Take a break, be proud, and give yourself a little treat. You earned it.