It's Daunting


-It is. Every time I tried writing anything - and believe me, I've been trying to write fantasy and a little bit of science fiction ever since I was 12 - every time I ended up abandoning it because it all seemed just too plastic. Now I'm at my Master's studies, and now that I have tossed myself into research on Roger Zelazny, a fantasy novelist, have I realized what was the heart of my problem.
It wasn't the lack of focus, or motivation, or any of that. It was research. Or better said, the lack of it. And when I looked at how he prepared himself for writing, it all suddenly made sense. But the amount required is truly maddening! I know that now it seems painfully obvious, but if you're gonna write fiction set in the medieval era, you have to know more or less all there is to know about that moment in history. And even if you're not doing something like that - if you're gonna make a complete new universe (e.g. like "middle earth" or something) you still need to know a helluva lot about the medieval era - the history, the traditions, the beliefs, the superstition, the living conditions of both the poor and the rich. And that's only the requirement for the ambient. When designing characters, again into play come the religion and beliefs, along with many mannerisms, and etc. If the characters use weapons and armors, you need to have at least the basic knowledge on how those weapons and armor were made and maintained, how they were used, etc. Hold on, it's not even near the end yet. Now it's time for politics to enter the fray. That's right. Politics. Can't dodge them even in an alternate universe. Guess some things are just hard-wired into human nature. What about the characters' personalities? Well, the more characters you have, the more you need to know at least the basics of psychology. And the same stands if you're writing about one character using 1st person point of view. That's about what I can name right now. There's a lot more.
And know what? All of this comes before you even get to the plot making. And that's for the medieval era. For Sci-fi, the nightmare gets even worse, since you have to study several different branches of science and, if it's futuristic, you also have to try to predict in some way what the future will look like. Just saying it'll be like this-or-that won't cut it. It has to make sense. + you have to do all the things you had to do if you wanted to write medieval fiction, with the difference of having to come up with new criterias for all/most of those factors instead of using the historical ones.

Still wish to write books? I do. But it scares the **** out of me when I look at what I must do before I even get stated. Every ****ing time. :)
themanoflegends themanoflegends
26-30, M
1 Response May 18, 2012

You are so right. All of this is why I so admire anyone who can write books. It doesn't even matter if they are books of a type I would never read; (romance novels and the super high tech kind of sci-fi) I just have to admire the dedication and time it would take for them to sit down and write their stories. Kudos to them; and to you for realizing what it will take to do it and to still want to go ahead and do it, anyhow.

So true. I feel the same about them. Anyone who can do all the crazy research and actually publish a book deserves respect.