Fiction Writing

Fiction difficulties

So my rewrite of Fratricide got caught in its own lack of internal logic, and I couldn’t bring myself back to rewrite the rewrite. As it was, I wasn’t spending any time writing what I liked best about that story, nor did I think the plot did it any favors.

I like the idea of writing around a topic and maybe getting somewhere. I’ve done it in the past, maybe even on this site, and it has helped me poke at specific topics in a couple thousand words or so. It’s not a strategy that works for fiction. If I’m writing fiction that explores a topic, it needs to be planned a bit. That’s at least one reason allegory is so popular.

And then on the other hand, I’ve been continually entranced by magical realism and new approaches to fantasy. I mentioned offhand a while ago how taken I was with the games Oxenfree and Kentucky Route Zero, which are both grounded in this sort of genre: magical realism is, from a literary perspective, grounded or realistic fiction taking place in a world with fantastical or otherworldly elements. Both of these games fit the description: Oxenfree is about a group of teenagers on an overnight trip to a coastal island beach…and then things from beyond get involved. Kentucky Route Zero is about rural decline and an old truck driver’s last delivery…along an otherworldly underground highway.

If this sounds like I’m getting an idea…well, you’d be right. That said, man, is this thing tough. One of the things that drove me away from fantasy after my initial voracious consumption in middle school was that there was always something about it that was hard to take seriously. Usually, grandiosity was at least part of it…thanks to Tolkien (and yes, to D&D), modern fantasy has often been stuck on saving the world. While Harry Potter is tightly written and clearly very popular, it still does beg the question: why does it have to spiral up to saving the world from a tyrant? The series takes place in a school for wizards…I could list plot hooks and world beats in that setting until I retired, if I wanted to.

So I still want to write something small, but in a different sort of universe. I do have a few thoughts, but they’re all over the place. I also have some established characters, a few wacko ideas, and a little bit of speculative nonsense. So maybe it’s time to write, instead of write about writing or think about writing or all these other things that aren’t writing. I know the parts I have fun with, so let’s start with those and shake out the rest from there.


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