I’m curious, do you prefer long novels you can get lost in for weeks, or short novels you can plow through in a few days?
I have written before on fiction and why I write it. You can read about my thoughts on why I write fantasy specificallyhere . I also think it is important to note the benefits of fiction, especially speculative fiction.
Some may say that fairy-tales, fantasy, and other fiction is a waste of time. These people assert that reading what is real is the only thing worth reading at all. I disagree. Fantasy explores difficult areas of life from the comfort of a fictional setting. More importantly I feel that fantasy opens a door in the mind to realize there are things beyond our current understanding.
We only know so much about the world, and are only capable of studying it so far. Science is a wonderful and useful method, but there are limits to the scientific method. The beauty of fantasy is that it can fill in those areas with imagination and tell a deep and fulfilling tale. Fantasy has the chance to delve into the areas we don’t understand and search metaphorically for questions such as what is the meaning of life, what is reality, and is there ever a time for war?
I feel that fantasy can be just as important and compelling as nonfiction. I do not deny the importance of reality, but many times perception and worldview puts a spin on it. So even if something is “nonfiction” it can still have untrue or warped information. Fiction isn’t true, it doesn’t even pretend to be true, and that is the beauty of it. Fantasy delivers truth in the package of make-believe and doesn’t need to be bothered as much by worldview and tainted glasses.
It is common knowledge that authors model characters after real people. The people in my life who inspire me most are my wife and my son, but others who have inspired my characters are my first boss, current friends, and former friends.KIDS: As I parent, I have found myself saying things that I never thought I would say to anyone. It’s crazy what kids will try! Each child is different, but each child is also very quirky because they haven’t learned the social and cultural norms. Expecting to say the unexpected has become routine for me, and that first-hand experience has inspired characters in my books, particularly Jori from Visions of War. It isn’t just my son’s quirkiness that gives me material to write, but his innocence and utter fascination with the world around him. Children have a special way of seeing the world. They haven’t been instilled with walls of skepticism, mistrust, and hurt. In a lot of ways, children are far more open to seeing things the way they really are, and I try to capture that in Jori’s character.
SPOUSES: I have told my wife numerous times that she has such a loving heart it seems almost inhuman. She is slow to anger and quick to forgive, and if I didn’t know her, I wouldn’t believe someone like that could exists in this world. Especially with this volatile political season, it is especially refreshing to have such a wonderful and loving person as my spouse. It is that very nature that inspired a few characters in the Goandria books. Several of the characters, like Evera, embody bits and pieces of my wife’s personality.
FRIENDS/FORMER FRIENDS: Unfortunately, most people endure at least one toxic friend in their lifetime. I have had a few people like that throughout my life. The pain and frustration from those friendships have been fuel for one particular character in my upcoming comedy. This character never apologizes, never takes responsibility, and his very presence negatively impacts the lives of those around him. I find this sort of character fascinating and tragic because he is essentially destroying his own life and doesn’t even realize it. I also find this kind of character to be very relatable because toxic relationships are surprisingly common. They may not be easily labeled as “evil,” but these sorts are often arrogant and dismissive of the effects they have on other people’s lives.
These are just a few people that have given me inspiration for my characters. What sort of people inspire you and your writing?
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As I have mentioned in other blog posts, I wanted to become a writer since I was twelve years old. The journey to actually becoming one, like any area in life, had its twists and turns, and for a while I even deviated from the course. Throughout my life I was told things like, “you cannot make a living off of writing,” “You will never get rich,” or “You can’t even form a complete sentence!” Okay, so the last one was a legitimate critique at the time, but it’s something I have learned to improve. But writing isn’t about getting rich. For me it is about reaching a goal to get my works out there, where they can be enjoyed by others. Ultimately, I want my fiction to inspire people.Writing, like anything in the arts, requires a lot of patience in order to get established and maintain a regular audience. The process for me has just begun. Learning how to reach my audience is slow, painstakingly so, and can quickly become very discouraging. Being in the arts is a continual uphill battle, and convincing people to buy a book from a new author is more than a little challenging, especially on the internet.
However, anything in life worth doing is difficult. Marriage is difficult, yet it is so rewarding I wouldn’t trade it for anything, and the same goes for being a parent. If everything came quickly and easily, there would be very little reward. So I stubbornly plow on with my writing and try to market it to the best of my ability. The goal has never been to get rich off of writing. The goal is to make my writings available. I know fame and fortune are rare in the book world, and I’m totally fine with that. I don’t believe those things should be the end goal of anything, but they may happen more as a byproduct of hard work.
I want to give people a new, original, and deep fantasy adventure. I wish to deliver a story that I would want to read and never put down. I also want to make my books accessible to people who are not typically fantasy readers, hoping that I can change their thinking on fantasy stories. This is what I strive for, if I eventually make more money from it, that would be frosting on the cake.