There is something I have noticed. Some have claimed it is recent, other say it has been around a long time. I take a stance somewhere in the middle: I believe it has been around a long time but is steadily growing more and more common. What is “it”? The appearance that our culture is increasingly more easily offended. As a writer, it is important to keep an eye on these trends and learn what offends people and why.
I saw on the news a few months back that certain comedians refuse to do stand-up on college campuses because they feel these institutions are too “politically correct.” Maybe that is true, maybe it’s not, but that is the consensus of some comedians. On social media, every political group or ideological camp seems to have someone who is perpetually offended by something. It often seems like people look for a “hidden” meaning in everything, whether it actually exists or not.
An artist, whether an author or a film maker, should not necessarily refrain from making something out of fear of offending, but I feel it is important to understand the culture. As artists, we need to know how to effectively communicate with our audience, but we also need to say what we mean. It seems that it is so easy for something, even if it is satire, to be construed into being seen as sexist, racist, or generally intolerant. This highlights the importance of authors choosing to convey exactly what they mean in the clearest way possible, but realizing at the same time someone will inevitably be offended somewhere along the way.
I think it is important that we attempt to convey our message without offending someone, but we also can’t live in fear of offending someone. Sometimes it is unavoidable, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try.
This is something I alluded to in past blog posts, but not a topic I delved very far into. Of all the genres to choose from, why Fantasy? I happen to enjoy several different genres, especially speculative fiction, but for me, Fantasy is special. In celebration of my newest release I would like to share with you why I chose fantasy.
I love the world-building involved in Fantasy, and writing Goandria causes me to explore every region of this new land, discover its secrets, and see where the characters lead me. Fantasy opens so many possibilities. Literally anything can go, and the author sets the boundaries for that particular world.
Imagination is the core to Fantasy, but it still reflects reality. It is a beautiful paradox that captivates me. Fantasy is just that, a fantasy, but at the same time it touches on real issues. It is a way to use metaphor and imagination to address the spiritual, political, and relational situations in the real world. Definitely not all Fantasy does that, and not all of it aims to do so, but I feel this particular genre has so many more possibilities. Meaningful fiction is intertwined with reality, and that is what I try to accomplish with Goandria. I want to write a good story, but I want it to be filled with meaning that people can relate to.
For a limited time only, you can download Goandria: The Schism Parts 1-3 for free on smashwords.com! This is a great opportunity if you love to read Fantasy, especially if you want a quick and exciting read.
Part I you can download here.
Part II here.
And Part III here.
Goandria: The Schism The complete series is now available on Kindle here. Before, it was only sold as individual short stories Parts 1-3. If you download this version it is $1.99, where as the short stories individually are $0.99 so it is a much better deal to get the whole series in one.
This book serves as a prequel to the next book Goandria: Visions of War due to be out soon, hopefully by the end of this month.
If you want more information read the reviews, or other blogs I posted here on WordPress.
The official description for the book: Goandria lies under the cruel rule of worlox demons. Emerging from an unknown realm, they claim large swaths of the northern territories for their own. The wizards, blessed with power from Voshnore, continue their fight against them with little success. Pushed back to the south, generation to generation, year by year, they labor in vain. Until now.
Lorkai, general of the wizard army, returns home after years of fighting. He brings long awaited successes on the battlefield. Yet those successes come with prices of their own. Several of Lorkai’s men now anguish in worlox occupied areas. Following a warm welcome, Lorkai’s request for aid is refused. Lorkai and his best friend, Evera, take matters into their own hands. The wizards uncover secrets about the worlox, which leads the friends to fight for their lives, and their humanity.
My first book is split up into three separate short stories. I figured it was more likely that people would commit to short stories from an unknown author more easily than a full novel. The paperback of Goandria: The Schism includes all three parts and I have considered doing the same in ebook form. Would you be more willing to buy a short story from an unknown author or a novel? All three parts sell for 99 cents on Amazon, if I did an ebook of the complete series what would you be willing to pay? I would love to hear feedback on this matter.