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Monday, February 11, 2013

Pure Invention

Did some work on "Seer, Tyro, Fiend" today, moving the story forward. I also have a list of changes I want to make to earlier passages.

A thought struck me about the subject of precognition, and that was how wide open it is to my imagination. I can make the experience unique to Stefanie without having to research "facts." Unlike some other paranormal themes--vampires, werewolves, etc.--I am not restricted by commonly-accepted legends.

For example, the popular lore of vampires is that they cannot go outside in daylight.. If I wanted to do a different kind of vampire novel, according to my own lights, I would have three choices: (1) stick with convention; no going out in the sun; (2) come up with a device which explains why my vampire is not subject to The Rules; or (3) hang convention and write what I wish, at the risk of reader criticism from "ain't she stupid" to "no fair!"

This would be the downside, or one of them, of choosing to write about somebody else's legends or universe. In an earlier post, I mentioned I thought choosing a vampire or zombie or other monster as an antagonist was kind of a cheap way out. The rules are set, the characterization instantaneous. No need to give them a motive for evil. It's quick and flawless. It's also tiresome. Even if a writer comes up with a fabulously creative twist on a long-established legend, he or she runs the risk of landing on the trailing edge of a wave of popularity.. Once readers have gotten their fill of bloodsuckers, they will see "vampire" in the blurb and cast the book aside as same-old-same-old.

Give 'em something new, make them think and stretch themselves. In return, my imagination gets to run free, making up new rules and creating new worlds to discover.

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