Random Ruminations Remotely Related to wRiting.
Did I mention I’m listening to Tim Power’s book, “On Stranger Tides”? As I mentioned in my review of “Declare” there was historical basis for many of the events surrounding Kim Filby. I think this book will be similar in that there is a lot about pirates. Specifically Black Beard. I know he was historical. Another main character, who is a pirate is Philip Davies. The point of view is from an Italian man who Davies renames Jack Shandy. I imagine that Shandy isn’t historical, but I’ll probably do a Google search to see if he is, and Davies, too. So far it’s been as good as ‘Declare’.
I’ve taken a break from fiction for a while, though. I blame iTunes and the OS 5.0X upgrade for my iPhone. I saw that they have made an iTunes U app. So I checked it out and downloaded a couple of Psychology seminars; one from Yale, and the other from Cornell. I have to admit, the human mind has fascinated me since my first semester of college 34 years ago. Had I not been so swayed by rash assumptions based on other’s opinions, I might have pursued a career in that field. Everyone said you needed a doctorate to do anything with it, and, I don’t know why, but that discouraged me. After listening to these seminars, I would love to have earned a PhD in psychology, and work on interesting psychological studies. Oh, well. I’ll just use the information I get from these seminars to eat better, sleep more, and put it into my fiction.
I’ve been posting audio episodes of my first completed novel, “The Price of Friendship” at www.podiobooks.com/title/the-price-of-friendship. It was my learning novel and took nearly three years to write, after countless rewrites and edits. So it’s a bit rough and I find things that I would change if I were to do a written version. With audio, you can edit as you record and emphasize words and phrases to make even obscurely written sentences make sense. But it’s done and I have eleven episodes posted, with two more going in tonight.
What has this got to do with writing?
I was asked why I write YA Urban Fantasy. I really had to think of a reason. It’s a fact that of the four Nanowrimos I have completed, all four of them have main characters who are either in high school or community college. The two other novels I’ve written, “The Price…” takes place at the end of Chad’s eighth grade year, and the other at the beginning of a freshman’s year. Most of my short stories are about children and teenagers.
First, I think, being an adult is filled with so many things that are serious. Sure, there is a lot of opportunity for conflict, but I’m left feeling serious, and negative. I’m writing about a mad scientist right now and I find it is extremely difficult for me. I’m happy with the way it is going, but I was only able to write about 300 words at lunch time today. During the first draft of my previous two novels I would average between 900 and 1400 words at lunch time.
Secondly, they say write what you know. I remember my youth well. I remember my emotions, my dreams, failures, fears, and girls.
Thirdly, I find more adventure in those years than I have had in my life since then. There is so much potential, so much mystery and though we probably didn’t recognize it, so much danger. Personal relationships are fast and hot and every day is competition. Turn all that ninety degrees and introduce the characters to a fantastic new world with unusual people, beautiful scenery, a dragon, some elves, and a hot babe, or two, and those teenage years wasted watching reruns of Gilligan’s Island and The Brady Bunch take become an adventure worth writing about.
Philip ‘Norvaljoe’ Carroll is a staff editor at Flying Island Press, enjoys writing first drafts of novels and learning more about psychology, history, and sciences. He begs you to go to Podiobooks.com and subscribe to his novel, “The Price of Friendship”.