Thursday, February 24, 2011

Guest Post: Misha Gericke

 Today, I'm excited to have a guest post from Misha Gericke! As a fellow fantasy lover/writer, we were talking about describing a world we'd never visited and getting inspiration for it. Her blog talks about her journey (go see!) but here she graciously gives us a look at how it started...

Writing Fantasy:

I was reading Chronicles of Narnia about three years ago when I saw him.

He was dark.

He was prepared to face anything.

He had nothing at all to do with any of the seven stories.

I can safely say that I was smitten.

But, I reasoned, the last fantasy I started to write brought me great pleasure as I watched it burn. I had decided to try something else.

So I brushed him aside and started to work on a romance.

And he came back.

I told him to go away. That I had neither the characters nor the plot to give him his story.

He smirked and drew my attention to four other people and a castle on a cliff.

I kept on writing my romance.

He chased my muse away.

We faced off for three whole weeks after that before I gave in and asked him what on earth his story was.

And in the style of all true mysterious jerks, he laughed and told me to ask the rest of the cast. Then he walked away.

But, what he got me into was a story of huge proportions. Absolutely terrifyingly massive proportions. And there I was, with no finished manuscripts.

Still, I wrote as the story emerged. Except it wasn’t being told strong enough. I was blocked for a week before I realized that the story was weakened because I kept deleting everything I wrote. I was watering it down.

So I walked into a bookstore and bought a book and pen. I started to write knowing that everything that I penned down was set in stone until I got to the rewrites. It was wonderful. Pure creation.

But with that creation came responsibility. I knew that, if my book was to make any sense, I needed to familiarize myself with the rules of the world I was writing about.

And let me tell you. There are thousands of things that I had to think about. Most of them I can’t really mention now as they are key to the telling of my story.

Most of the questions I face are what ifs and why’s.

Why is this and this possible?
What if this happened to so-and-so?

Sometimes, my writing was stalled for weeks as I battled to figure out some aspect behind the scenes.

After all, my words were fixed, so I wanted to be sure that whatever I wrote made perfect sense in the world that I created. At one stage, I was stalled for weeks before I even started to write, because there was a hole in my understanding that created a plot hole the size of the moon.

But, after a while I figured it out and finished the rough draft two years later.

It was a really the most difficult thing that I had ever written – and it isn’t easing up on me either.

But I know that every block I work through, every difficult spot where I have to work out the why’s and how’s make my story that much better.

Who knows? Maybe this will become my great masterpiece.

But sometimes, I cannot help but wonder if Tolkien also put up with this junk.

What about you? What do you write? How do you write it?

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