Because I could not recall reading a story in which the main character was a faithful Mormon in a high-tech far future, I decided to use my religion (and my singleness) for the main character.
Posts Tagged ‘interviews’
If I were purposely writing stories to attract a broad audience, I’d be depressed to think what a hash I’d made of it–it’s true my work isn’t easy to categorize, and that even within science fiction and fantasy I’m kind of a specialty taste.
When I made the switch to writing in my own universes, the dark stuff took a while to come out, and once it did, it took a while for me to figure out how to make those stories publishable.
I find that’s the hardest thing about writing historical novels–getting the little stuff right. There’s plenty of information about the battles, the wars, the huge political movements. But just try to find out exactly what the inside of the county clerk’s office in Sacramento in 1910 looked like!
I usually write a detailed outline of maybe 15-20 pages, including character profiles and brief worldbuilding notes. Sometimes I start a wiki — I’ve done that with the Inheritance Trilogy, so I can easily look up concepts or made-up words I’ve forgotten from book 1 to book 3.
If I had to choose a label myself, I’d call the stories historical fantasy, but in the end, it doesn’t really matter how they’re classified. It’s nice that people place them in so many different categories.
My characters always come first. You can’t have a plot if you don’t know who is going to move through it. Onyesonwu came to me way before her story did. The first scene I wrote was the first scene of the novel. No outline, no nothing. Just Onyesonwu at her father’s burial and some madness happens.
With regard to Finch, I think a lot of readers who thought I did more leisurely-paced fiction were surprised (although they shouldn’t have been) that I could write what amounts to a thriller-noir-spy story mixed with elements of visionary fantasy.
I’ve never been inclined to play the “what genre is it?” game or to take part in the oftentimes bloodier “that’s not such-and-such genre!” debates. Genre lines are so arbitrary and, in many regards, subjective. Like, to me, horror is more contemporary in setting, mood, and character than dark fantasy, but at the same time, urban fantasies are essentially defined by their modern settings, and they tend to be quite dark, yet I don’t consider them horror.
A teenager is inherently an outsider, because they’re in transition, unformed, changing quickly from childhood to adulthood. They’ve been given a lot of cultural freedom as a child, because they are children. You often hear people say, “They don’t understand, they’re just children,” and this is often an excuse for breaking some minor cultural prohibition.