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  1. seira

    seira Member

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    Read what you write

    Discussion in 'Fantasy' started by seira, Mar 10, 2019.

    Hi, so new to writing and someone advised me to read what I want to write but more specifically read something similar to the type of book I want to create with a similar story-line, to see how a professional handled some of the topics.
    But after hours of research I can't find a single fiction novel that covers topics in my current novel. I've read non-fiction on the topic. The Fantasy books I've found so far are nothing like it. They say everything has been done before so maybe it's my researching skills.

    Where can I research a 'type' pf novel?
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2019
  2. XRD_author

    XRD_author Banned Supporter

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    I'm not sure why that "someone" gave you that advice.

    Sure, it's good to read in your genre if you're a genre writer, but that's more to understand the ground rules (for example, a Romance novel must have a happy-ever-after) and maybe broaden your world view and pick up idea. That said, Sturgeon's Law (90% of everything is crap) applies, so you need to learn to separate the wheat from the chaff. Especially when reading Big Name Authors: after they become that, their publishers really don't seem to care how horrible their writing is.

    What topics concern you? What do you mean by "handled?" Maybe people here can help.
     
  3. seira

    seira Member

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    Firstly, thank you for offering your help I do appreciate it.

    Well, my book is young adult and it's basically one of our historical events but in a Fantasy land with magic. A certain group of people are being killed and imprisoned. It's like a survival story.
     
  4. Mckk

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    You mean like, the exact events of for example, WWII but set in a fantasy land with magic? What would be the point of that?

    And perhaps you wanna be looking into speculative fiction.
     
  5. XRD_author

    XRD_author Banned Supporter

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    If I was writing a Fantasy book about that, I wouldn't read Fantasy books to prepare for it.
    I'd gather my courage, get out the anti-nausea drugs, gather together some of my favorite upbeat books to restore my mental health if needed ...

    And read the true stories of the Holocaust.

    Because the reality of that is far worse, far stranger, and far more "creative," than you're going to see in fiction.

    That said, I, personally, wouldn't ever do that, because I don't want to write anything as horrible is that.
    Reality writes enough of that as it is.
     
  6. seira

    seira Member

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    @Mckk - yes, inspired by those events. I'm not sure what you mean by 'what would be the point of that?'.
    Thanks I'll take a look now.
     
  7. seira

    seira Member

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    But people write lots of horrible stuff what's the difference with what I want to write about?
     
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  8. cosmic lights

    cosmic lights Senior Member

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    Yeah, I would read true stories. But otherwise it sounds like an interesting idea too me.
    Just make sure you put your own spin on the Holocaust side of it so it doesn't seem too much like it.
     
  9. XRD_author

    XRD_author Banned Supporter

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    Only you know that at this point.

    You don't have to write anything as horrible as the Holocaust.
    You can write something better.

    If it was SciFi, it might be an alternate history where, for example, the Allies didn't keep their knowledge of the Holocaust secret until the camps were liberated, and the good people of Germany revolted in horror when they learned of it.

    If it where Fantasy, it might be a story where magic empowered the persecuted to prevent the slaughter. Lots of ways to do that, from shock-and-awe violent to hearts-and-minds influence. Give Hitler a love potion, and the world changes.

    It's up to you. What's your story? What's the message(s) you want it to communicate?
     
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  10. seira

    seira Member

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    Just to clarify I'm not writing the Holocaust. I'm writing a story where a small group are being imprisoned and killed, it's not on a grand scale like that and it's about slavery and magic being their only source towards freedom.
    No Hilter or anything. I just took the idea of people being prosecuted from that time period because I like WW2 stuff. I just took the concept of what happened to the Jews and am putting it on a smaller scale. Sorry for the confusion.
     
  11. Harmonices

    Harmonices Senior Member

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  12. XRD_author

    XRD_author Banned Supporter

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    Understood. Perhaps you could research stories from real slave cultures for ideas, then. The stories slaves told their slave children, to give them hope that the Jubilee would come. And not just U.S. slave stories. Slavery started a long long time ago, and was present in nearly all parts of the world. Gotta be some myths of how magic was going to free the people, somewhere.

    Truth is stranger than fiction, because fiction is supposed to make sense.
    For that reason, history is a wonderful fertilizer for the imagination, if you can keep from being depressed by it.
     
  13. seira

    seira Member

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    @Harmonices - thank you SO MUCH for this and taking the time to provide me with a link.
     
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  14. seira

    seira Member

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    @XRD-author - yes. It's just there's so much slavery stuff and people being prosecuted for a belief I thought I just pick one to avoid getting bogged down in research. I did look at African Slavery a bit which is where I got the idea for adding in magic.
     
  15. Mckk

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I have decided I am rather confused and don't think I actually have any idea what you're writing... Ignore me. I'm very sleepy right now. Sorry.
     
  16. Harmonices

    Harmonices Senior Member

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    Alternate lands and special powers, can be features of alternate history (which often crosses paths with science fiction). So I reckon you should find something to give you a handrail to help you. Philip K Dick wrote The Man in the High Castle, which I've seen the television series of. That might be worth a look. I haven't really explored much in this area though.

    Quote: "Since the 1950s, this type of fiction has, to a large extent, merged with science fiction tropes involving time travel between alternate histories, psychic awareness of the existence of one universe by the people in another, or time travel that results in history splitting into two or more timelines. Cross-time, time-splitting, and alternate history themes have become so closely interwoven that it is impossible to discuss them fully apart from one another."
     
  17. seira

    seira Member

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    Thank you I will definitely check out your suggestions, again, thanks for taking the time to answer my question.

    @Mckk and XRD-AUTHOR - Thank you for answering and not meaning to be rude or anything but I was merely asking for advice on what to read, I wasn't asking for your opinion on my premise and to question it and suggest 'writing something better'. I tried to stay respectful since I asked the question but it was a bit rude of you and not what I was asking for.
     
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  18. John Calligan

    John Calligan Contributor Contributor

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    I feel like Fantasy with Romantic subplots and Fantasy Romance deliver exposition and action in almost opposite ways. In the former, there is almost no stomach for info-dumping and planning in dialog, and action scenes can go on for pages and pages. Romance genre fantasy stories flip it. They deliver tons of exposition in dialog, have short action scenes, treat planning and talking as more important than action because the action IS the character interaction in the dialog.

    I bring that up because I think these intangible qualities are things that are hard to pick up on without reading in your genre. If you wrote a Romance novel featuring a war subplot, and then went into naming and discussing the merits of the weapons used in a five page battle, readers MIGHT be surprised they are reading some bullshit they didn't pay for (maybe). Even if you had a great Romance novel because you somehow studied how to write Romance without really reading it, you could run into that sort of problem.

    From personal experience--on my last novel I had a romantic subplot (Fantasy Adventure). I read nothing but Romance for a whole year while writing the book and have a 3-5 chapter arc in the middle of the book where the main action is character development and romance. I thought my romance arc turned out nice, but readers who didn't get into romance left comments like, "so they walked in a circle and came back with a rope?"

    Romance readers liked it just fine. Probably liked it better than the rest of the book. I should have looked for more Fantasy genre novels known for romance, but I didn't. I read Conan and I read Romance, and I wrote a book, and my book is probably neither. I'm not going to change it because I like it how it is, but it might not be anything.

    As far as developing CONTENT, like worlds and context and events and people, I think reading non-fiction is really valuable. It's hard to have content without learning about things.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2019
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  19. XRD_author

    XRD_author Banned Supporter

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    I wasn't questioning your premise , but it's hard to know what to recommend when I didn't know what it was. Your premise, to the extent you've shared it, seems fine.

    And I wasn't suggesting you write "something better" than your current premise, I was suggesting you might write something better (more uplifitng, more positive) than the horrible history that actually happened.
     
  20. Matt E

    Matt E Ruler of the planet Omicron Persei 8 Supporter Contributor

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    That reminds me a bit of Elantris. A powerful civilization of magic users falls, turning into a terrible disease. Their city is turned into a giant prison where people who randomly catch the disease are tossed in. They have to rediscover their lost magic and fight with themselves and outsiders a lot along the way.
     
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  21. seira

    seira Member

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    @Matt E - no way! I was just reading about that. By Brandon Sanderson, right? I'm currently watching his tutorials online. THANKS!
     
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  22. seira

    seira Member

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    @XRD - I was suggesting you might write something better (more uplifitng, more positive) than the horrible history that actually happened.
    I wasn't asking for your suggestions either. I just wanted an idea of what to read. Others managed it without making me feel belittled. If you have nothing to add to my reading list please move on to other questions.
     
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  23. Mckk

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    You have my apologies. I was just a bit perplexed - I'm not suggesting you should "write something better". Since I don't really understand what you're writing, I can't suggest what to read. Good luck though. No offense intended. Blame it on my tired brain.
     
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  24. Mckk

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Ooh Elantris is lovely. I've read a few of Sanderson's other books but none really compared to Elantris for me. That's his debut too :)
     
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  25. seira

    seira Member

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    @Mckk - thanks. Too be honest it did come across as a bit mean, especially when I wasn't asking for opinions on my concept.
    Anyway, moving on...

    I've been reading that about Elantris. Lots of people share your opinion that none of his other stuff compared. It sometimes seems author can't even climb over their debut. Think I'm going to have to order it now! :):twisted:
     

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