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bear by san

March 2017



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writing steles burning

there's glass in the furnace and blood on my jeans

I'm finally starting to get my head around the geopolitics of the Eternal Sky. I'm also starting to understand why epic fantasy serieses always wind up twenty books long.

Limit your field of play, Bear. Limit your field of play.


But there is so much to talk about, so much you want to show everyone... limiting your field of play is like asking a person to appreciate a painting through a spotter scope from across the street.

Sean "Bane" Kelley
Nonsense. Discipline is the heart of art.

If you can't control your narrative, refine it, and make it sharp, you've accomplished a lot of blather and self-indulgence.

Compare the endless reams of supporting material published from the Tolkien papers to The Lord of the Rings itself.
I should have known better than to leave this statement assuming you would not take it seriously. I should have considered marking that with a Sarcmark. *grins*

When you wrote, "Limit your field of play, Bear," I couldn't help but smile because there is that unbidden little voice of the world builder in me that wants to drag everyone around and show them everything like Marlin Perkins in wild kingdom. Look here at this cult, and this continent, and over here at this city...

I totally get the necessity and artistry inherit in concise and focused writing, I can't say I always succeed, but the goal is there in my efforts.

Point. Sarcasm, internet. :-P Sorry about that.
I am trying to preempt excessive ass kicking in a couple weeks on the Vineyard here. I am pretty sure you wear stompy boots. *smirks*

I am delicate like the flower.

Only stompy boots when dancing, to protect feet. The rest of the time I'm the idiot wandering around in my socks. *g*
Also, far far better to leave your readers wanting more and endlessly puzzling over what (say) the Clone Wars were, than to kill the magic and mystery by spelling out every little detail. (You know this, of course, but I thought it should be added to the conversation for the record.)
Yeah. Explaining everything kills the fun.
Or, to put it another way, art has boundaries. Like your painting. It has a frame.

This is so we can appreciate its composition.
I made it through 12 years of Elizabethan and Jacobean history in 1100 pages. I can do this in 1600 or so.

By Cod.

Besides, if I don't manage to limit myself, I will starve to death. Simple and easy epic fantasy creep control.
I think being totally reliant on writing at least two books a year to stay above the poverty level is a powerful motivator....
Yeah -- I think I can trace a great many of both Robert Jordan's and George R. R. Martin's narrative issues to unwise expansions of the field of play. Eventually you have to say, no, this is where the frame cuts it off, because otherwise your pacing will go out the window and you will never finish the series.
This is what sidequels are for, right? I've got these fascinating cultures we're never even going to see, just hear about and meet people from.

"Meanwhile, over in the fascinating kingdom of Song, there's a revolution going on, and [cool thing redacted for actual plot development]."
If y'all buy enough of the first three, I won't be able to avoid it.

(I've got enough world here for at least a dozen. The trick is, of course, getting a sense of that scope into the narrative without bogging it down. Because I do believe that one of the things that people read epic fantasy for is the world. But it also needs a story. By God.)
<3 Tammy, you rock, and thank you so much. I will take you up on that in a *heartbeat*.

B&J Creatures isn't actually written as YA, though apparently it's finding an audience there--which delights and surprises me.

And yes, I agree--limit the field of play per book, or per series. I'm lucky enough to have a trilogy to play with, and I'm keeping my POV quite tight, so I get to get deep into the psyches of my two protagonists. But I have something like a thousand years of history to move around in, and a whole giant world.

It's fabulous!

And a little like those games of Civilization where you get stranded in the middle of a continent and have to race like mad to the edges to find some resources before the damned Romans conquer everything!

It is, by the way, quite possible to fight a land war in Asia if you name ends with "khan."
Everything is attached to everything. Turn down one side path and you end up walking on all the paths it meets too, and all the paths they meet, and most of the teashops and souks, and...
Exactly. What makes it art is knowing where to put the frame.