Saturday, November 3, 2012

My Writing Philosophy

I have two major tenets as a writer, the first being a matter of style. I think this might be one major reason why I have not attracted a traditional publisher - that is, most of them often seem to favor a highly descriptive, detailed style. Now, I don't think there is anything wrong with rich description; some people do it very well, and can really immerse you in the imagery they create. However, I personally prefer to write in a more concise, fast-paced style, focused on what happens in the story - action, dialogue, and so forth.

This is the type of pacing I prefer in things I read as well, and I'm sure I am not alone - so I do believe there is a market for it. This is not to say I am against worldbuilding, or eschew it in my books, either; but when I write from a character's viewpoint, I do tend to only include details I feel the character (who has been living in that world their whole life) would notice. Would you or I really think about the type of fabric the jacket we put on every morning is made of? Probably not, most of the time, and the same would likely hold true for most fictional characters interacting with things they use or see every day.

My second tenet, which hopefully won't bore you as much as the first, is a focus on good old-fashioned escapist FUN with over-the-top action and larger than life heroes. Certainly, there's nothing wrong with realistic, believable (even if they use magic) battles, but most of them are that way in novels nowadays, no? I like to be different and channel the glorious heroes of old, like Conan or Beowulf or (particularly) Bradamente, who performed epic deeds without the need for divine blood or explicit superpowers, but because they were just that good (and sometimes with the aid of a magic trinket or two).  Although, my heroes tend to take more damage. Sure, it may not be so "believable" if you attempt to apply the rules of our world to theirs... but as long as it's consistent, that just makes it all the more mythic, no?


  1. I'm another one who's not crazy about paragraphs upon paragraphs of description, either reading or writing. I'd rather deal with what characters are DOING in a scene instead of three pages of what the setting is like/where they're doing it.

    1. Thanks for commenting - yeah, that's why I've never been that big a fan of epic/high fantasy; the Tolkien/Robert Jordan type style that takes so many words to relate not so many events always encouraged me to start skimming. I much prefer the pacing of writers like Robert E. Howard and David Gemmell (or for one of the better ones in epic fantasy David Farland), you can't really skim with those guys or you'll miss something important which helps a lot IMO for keeping the reader engaged.