Hippogriff's Aerie

Apparitions of Imagination

Something Has Awoken…

I’ve been working on writing a novel since I was in my teens, and I’ve always been my worst critic. Early on, I rejected my writings as simplistic; I knew I didn’t have the life experience necessary to make the reader believe that I knew what I was writing about. As I grew older, and I saw foreign lands and cultures, experienced depression, love, heartache, and success, I continued to learn and expand my knowledge. My writing had improved,, but my imagination seemed to have deserted me. It seemed like every time I put pen to page, so to speak, I was writing a story that was derivative of something else I had read or watched. I could not even finish more than half a dozen paragraphs before giving up. I grew increasingly frustrated and tried different methods – outlines, brainstorming, critiques from friends, software – but in the end I succumbed to defeat, admitting I did not have what it takes to be a novelist.

Last night that all changed. While I sat reading The Gathering Storm, I had paused for a moment to consider the difference in writing styles between Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson. I was attempting to determine what I was reading – was it Sanderson in Jordan’s voice, Jordan himself, or pure Sanderson? As I sat there, my mind lost in thought, I was hit with a bolt from the blue. It’s never happened to me before, and what came to me at that moment was not inspired by anything in Jordan or Sanderson’s prose – not derivative as it had been in the past. Rather, it was my mind adrift in abstract thought, that led me down a path that I had never traveled before.

The result was the perfect opening line for my story. Well, not totally¬† perfect, as I went back and rewrote it later, but as Jordan would say, “it was a beginning.” From that opening line, a story began to loosely form in my mind. Within that story, a few twists and turns presented themselves and I vowed I would make sure the reader did not see them coming. I sat down and typed that opening line, and then the words began to flow.

Three hours later, I had finished the first chapter. Reluctantly I headed for bed, but I couldn’t sleep. It wasn’t ideas that kept me awake, but more excitement over the fact that I had accomplished something almost without trying, that had previously been such a struggle. Maintaining that momentum will be difficult, and that first chapter will need quite a bit of editing, but I’ve overcome the biggest hurdle so far. I’ve left Bag End, so to speak. Now we’ll see if I can make it to the Buckleberry Ferry…

November 27, 2012 Posted by | A Novel Idea | Leave a comment

Reviews Are On Pace So Far

My goal this year for the blog is to review 26 books, which is a book every two weeks. So far, I’m right on pace, with 7 reviews in 14 weeks. There are a few problems looming ahead through…

First, several books in the queue are massive. I’m currently reading The Wise Man’s Fear, which is nearly 1000 pages. Jordan’s Crossroads of Twilight is hefty, as is Donaldson’s Against All Things Ending. Throw in Memories of Ice, an Erikson book that must be read more slowly as not to miss anything, and you have a small group of time-suckers. What’s worse is the books that aren’t even listed in the queue yet…Jordan’s Knife of Dreams is 1000 pages, as is Sanderson’s Way of Kings. Jordan and Sanderson combine for over 700 and 800 pages in The Gathering Storm and Towers of Midnight. And of course there are still several Mazalan books to be read.

The second problem is that I would really like to start working on my book. I’ve completed my map of my world, some of the strange and wonderful fantasy concepts, how my magic system works, a history, and the main characters and their motivations. So I’m ready to flesh out the plot and start writing, but it’s hard to do that when your free time is spent reading someone else’s material.

I may have to adjust my goal a bit, but for now I’ll just see where fate leads me…

April 11, 2011 Posted by | A Novel Idea, Uncategorized | Leave a comment