By reading Dragonlance, I know I am doomed.


It still hurts just as much as the first time. You know what I'm talking about. If you don't please read Dragons of Autumn Twilight and Dragons of Winter Night as soon as you can.

SPOILERS, by the by.

This isn't an advice post is it?

No, not terribly. This is an opinion, a thought even.

I know that I am totally doomed when I read Dragonlance. I may pick up the odd literary book. I may absorb the occasionally literary spec fic story. I may put down the odd, over done fantasy book.

But at the end of the day. When its all said and done, I have been forever affected by this book.

The Dragonlance Chronicles (by Margaret Wies and Tracy Hickman) were the first really series I read, all by my little self. It had been so long since I read them that they were practically new again when I read autumn and listened to winter, but some things I remembered well. Fizban's first "death", the undead in Drakenwood, the unicorn of prophesy, and the reveal of Silvara all come to mind.

These scenes have appeared, morphed and altered but still recognizable, in my games and my stories. The insecure leader, Tanis, the fatalistically loyal knight, the playfully flirtatious warrior, the taciturn wizard, the bloodthirsty mercenary and even the brat-growing-up have appears in many characters. Races, genders, and sexual orientations have been mixed up for fun and flavor, but those companions are there still. I suspect, when I get to finishing the Drizzt novels, that I shall find many elements in there as well.

But angsty-boy, what do you mean by doomed?

So,, I'm listening to a great story by Nelson DeMille, called "The Quest". Its a grail quest book, but has alot of history in it, particulalry the downfall of Haile Selassie I, the last Emperor of Ethiopia, the last of King Solomon's 2000 year dynasty, and the messiah of the Rastafarians. Great book, go get it, especially if your running a Mummy/Romancing the Stone/Indiana Jones type game.

But my point is this. Whenever, almost without fail, in this book at least, someone makes a comment, this is what the next line will be.

Frank didn't respond.

Vivian did not reply.

He made no comment.

But, is this an actual problem? No, not really. The story is great. What I'm seeing here is an author's quirk. For me, it seems to be structuring sentences backward and alot of very purple prose. Anyone who has read me can probably say that and more.

But I imagine Nelson is the type of man that like the strong, silent types, or at least doesn't cotton to those who have witty or "witty" things to say. His prose is not flowery either, but it is powerful.

Me, though, I grew up on the drama, and some would call melodrama, of Dragonlance. Ray Bradbury fucked me up too: half of his sentences make no sense at first, but they are artful. Behold..

"And then he shut up, for he remembered last week and the two white stones staring up at the ceiling and the pump-snake with the probing eye and the two soap faced men with the cigarettes moving in their mouths when they talked ." Fahrenheit 451

He's a fricking mad man! But I love him. RIP Bradbury.

These quirks are the frameworks of an authors voice, and while having voice means you are going to turn alot of people away, it also means your going to have fans for life, because they can't get that voice anywhere else. That's why authors can do rehashes of Pride and Predjudice, because they all do Elizabeth Bennet just a bit differently.

Dragonlance, Sabriel, LoTR, Red, Harry Potter, Something Wicked This Way comes and many other books have carved my voice into something that may change, but will take a while to do so. And I don't need to compromise either.

Still, this means that there will be moments in the future when the general trends will crave certain stories from me and then other times will call for different tales. A book I publish next year may be damned one lambasted one epoch and lauded the next. My attachment to alteration may by an ailment to my advancement, or it might be really clever.


So, really, I just needed to say it. Afterall, that's why we write fiction. To make an observation on the world, maybe even a judgement. 

All I can really say is that sometimes I wonder if what I write is the right thing to do, but I know that it is. I have to write the story in my mind.

Will I have to change that, challenge that, to grow though? I wonder...

No comments:

Post a Comment