Fantasy is my favorite literary genre. It speaks to the human imagination on a fundamental level. Why do people become Doctors?, Lawyers?, Writers?, Because they fantasize about it. Imagination drives people. Fantasy is the fuel that ignites imagination’s fire. It also teaches people to create, and set goals. Imagination starts us out on the road to success.
I am learning that stories are like recipes for food. If you add too much, or too little, of a particular ingredient. It can ruin the taste of a meal. There must be a balance of tastes and textures for the meal to be well received. No single ingredient, can be overwhelmed or overshadowed by the other ingredients.
I am learning that in storytelling, as in cooking, there must also be a balance between exposition, action, and character development, too much action,and the audience loses their way in the excitement, too much exposition and the audience becomes bored, too little character development and the audience won’t invest in the story. If an author can balance the scales between this thematic triad, he or she, will create drama.
How do you balance the scale? Well, one way I have found is to go back and reread authors I have enjoyed in the past and note in particular scenes that stand out and break them down to their bare ingredients, then, I can reverse-engineer how the writer has constructed the scene. Do you have any suggestions on how to blend the ingredients for a story?
The media reflects our values the way a mirror reflects light. If one looks into the mirror of media, one can look into the mind of our society, and get a feel for what our society values and how we treat people as a whole. The reflections that can be seen in the mirror of media, can be used to measure a society’s growth and as a yard stick to see how far they still have to go in regards to their social evolution. Our society has one collective goal. People in our society want to be treated equally. That’s a great thing! Every person in our society is unique with their own potential and each of them deserves to fulfill it in their own way. The mirror of media, helps illuminate how we treat people by shining and empathic light on their potential and reflecting their empathic light toward others.
The light of empathy can easily be reflected in our entertainment media. Think about it for a minute. Our entertainment media, from TV shows to books to plays, and even video games is filled with people with different viewpoints, and different backgrounds interacting, sometimes they are working together, and sometimes, they are in conflict with one another, but ultimately, they live, work, and grow, together.
Many different people, from many different groups are represented in our media. People of different races, genders, and sexual preferences. It is my opinion, that people with disabilities, need more attention in our media if our society’s attitude toward them is going to change in a positive way. How many TV shows have you seen with a character with a disability in the cast? According to this report by the United Nations, people with disabilities are “The largest minority in the world” and yet, they seem to be under represented in our media. I ask again, how many TV shows have you seen with a person with a disability in the cast? How many shows, or books, or games have dealt with disabilities? Please understand, I’m not trying to say that people with disabilities haven’t gotten attention. Shows like Star Trek, Glee, Little House on the Prairie, Dark Angel, and Ironside, have all dealt with the topic of disabilities in one way or another. But it seems to me that those attempts all highlighted the disability itself and not the person with the disability.
When I write a story, I like to use people with disabilities. I try to make the disability just one part of the person’s life instead of all of the person’s life. My disability is, after all, only one part of my life. The folks who read my story will have to judge how well I portray folks with disabilities, but I believe it’s something I’m able to do.
A good mirror reflects the Sun so that each part of it gets an equal amount of light. Sometimes, I think that, even in twenty-fifteen, disabilities are still covered in darkness brought by ignorance and misunderstanding and that the mirror of our media needs to do a better job of reflecting their positive light. Maybe I can help it do that.
There, I said it. Its the elephant in the room. I want to publish and market my book. I admit, I haven’t given much thought to it so far, because I would rather focus my energy on creating a marketable product first. But I would be lying, if I said I didn’t think about publishing. These are the questions I ask when I think about it.
1. How do you know when its time to publish?
2. How do you approach agents or publishers?
3. How hard is it to self-publish?
4. How do I know which publishing method is right for me?
5. How do you market a book?
I am sure the answers will present themselves, if I ask the right questions. Do any of you know the answers to these questions?
I believe I remember some old guy, in some movie somewhere, say, “You’re going to find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view.” Well, he was right. Our point of view is important. It shapes our focuss, and our thinking, and can often determine if we stay afloat on the stormy sea of life, or if we lose our grip and drown in the storm.
Point of view serves the same function in fiction as it does in reality. Our point of view is our anchor to the story. If a story doesn’t have a solid point of view for the reader to understand, it won’t work. period. They’re many different points of view one can take when writing fiction. I’m not going to enumerate the virtues of all of them. If you want to learn about them, follow this link to a Fiction writing website Instead, I am going to close by talking about my favorite narrative point of view, first person point of view.
First person point of view is told from the perspective of one person. Usually, the main character or other friend. I like it because it seems more real to me. I can only live my life from my point of view. As much as I’d like to get int other peoples’ heads I can’t. That’s why its easier for me to appreciate fiction from the point of view of one character, or first person view.