I envy the writers of fantasy and sci-fi. From my perspective most get to create their own world with its own rules. If a rule of the real world we live in doesn’t quite work right, you can re-write the rule to fit the world of your creation; you can alter the facts that create your story’s setting. And your reader will thrill from momentarily existing in a world where gravity can be turned off and wounds can be healed with just a touch, no matter how grave. It is the genre of limitless possibilities. If you can think of it and name it something vaguely pronounceable, you get write into a story.
I can’t write fantasy. I wish I could and I have tried. I’ve been trying for a few weeks now. But my logical, organized, Type A mind can’t reach out that far. I write things that I’m told sound right but it feels like word vomit to me; little more then a collection of random words on a page. Armadillo wire juxtapose nerd pillow tart Rhodesia box. Yep, that about sums it up. I tend to gravitate to fact-based, highly researched historical fiction. Quite the opposite of the wonderfully chaotic and free-flowing realms of fantasy writing, historical fiction demands excruciating attention to detail. There is little room for creativity when creating the world and settings your characters live in.
I’m co-authoring a book with a wonderful writer and my best friend, CS. (I might have mentioned this before…) We recently started over. Not from scratch necessarily, but close. The original storyline, if we are being completely truthful was mostly mine. The decision on plot, action, conflict, and (no offense CS) writing was mostly mine. CS did contribute her fair share, especially where character interaction and setting detail were concerned. I think CS spent most of her time trying to keep up with the onslaught, at times barely keeping her head above the flood of my ideas.
Now that we are on a new warpath our roles have reversed. She has taken the lead, after a promise both to herself and her close friends to keep hold of her identity as a writer. As a result, I’ve lost mine.
Our first attempt at writing Duality, the storyline was based in reality for the most part. It was real-life conflict happening to made-up characters. Although not historical it was right up my alley in fact-based fiction. Even the surreal parts of the story I had loosely based in cold, hard science. Try number two (not yet titled, working or otherwise) has struck off into the ever-shifting world of fantasy. Something about magical powers and zombies and corporate genetic alterations and mouse table triangle remote pink spray pen.
There has to be a way to keep a handle on my identity as a writer without asking CS to compromise hers. And this is the little leagues. When faced with editors and publishers ask me to lose hold of my identity, how will I react then?