Well, for this midweek post I’m going to take a look at the differences between stories, namely mine. Plus, a few references to some of the books I’ve read that are pretty good.
Ok. I’m one of those readers who dwells mainly in the realm of fantasy, with foray into Sci-fi and the odd adventure into Historical Fiction and lately a bit of Steampunk. These influences have shaped me as a writer and while I would never try to mimic the authors I most admire, I think their words have in some way formed the kinds of stories I like to read and therefore write aswell.
Readers of this blog may have picked up on my admiration and liking for authors such as David Gemmel, whose first book, Legend was a story centred around several main characters, Druss being pretty important, but he was no spring chicken, he was a 60yr old man, who’d lived a hard life as a warrior and his past was littered with various tragedies. There was a fort that needed protecting and a man named Rek, who found courage and discovered there was more to his heritage than first assumed. I like the way Legend veers away from familiar tropes and this is a theme within David Gemmel’s writing. David Eddings is another author I admire and wrote such books as Belgarath the Sorcerer and the Sparhawk books. Some of these do follow well-trodden paths, but are told with such humour and wit that I regularly re-read them at least once a year. Jacqueline Carey is amongst the authors I think are well worth checking out and while she writes darker and in some ways more political works, there are deep well of emotion and parts to her stories that make you sit back and think. Kushiel’s Dart is the first book I read of hers and I found it to be both intriguing and also enlightening. I like quite a few authors, but the one who stands out the most for me is, Chris Bunch, with his Dragonmaster Trilogy and the way he depicts action, putting the reader right into the moment, his sentence structure and pacing is brilliant. Plus…Dragons! 😉
For myself, I have two WIP’s going at the moment and both are quite different from each other. Oath of God has quite a bit of humour, dry wit, and some really interesting characters and is a side-step away from what I normally write, in both style and voice. I think perhaps, it’s more in keeping with how I do write these days. Whereas Wolf Born is an ongoing project that I’ve been whittling away at for ten years or so. I find the tone of WB is somewhat darker, perhaps more violent and has a political edge, with a fight over power and legitimiacy, alongside the struggle for survival. OoG is more about the lies of myth and the way people will believe a situation is normal because they’ve lived that life for long enough, it’s all they’ve ever known and when someone questions that, events begin to unfold that change the course of everyone’s lives.
I love flipping myth on its head and finding new ways of depicting character and situations that perhaps show the perspective of various POV’s and that not everyone sees things in the same way…A perfume that is fragrant to one person may invoke bad memories for another…Or one person may see a wounded dog and walk on, whilst a different character will stop and help the wounded animal…Just because we expect certain behaviours doesn’t mean everyone will react the way we think they should.
It’s all about diversity. For me, if a book is good, I’ll read it. Indie or Traditional.
Editing is important and I know from personal experience that as a writer I can’t always see the wood for the trees, or the flaws/spelling errors in my own work. So, for me, I would always strive to get a good professional editor who has an understanding of the genre I’m writing and the direction I am going with my story to check over my manuscript and give me feedback on what needs to be changed or altered so the story makes more sense and the flow is good. It’s not easy costing for this expense, but I feel, if done well, it’s worth it.
As always, these are just my opinions and others may have a different view, which is good!
Thanks for reading 🙂