I had the awesome opportunity to attend SCBWI’s annual national conference in L.A. a week ago, and you’ll be pleased to know that the spec fic world was well represented. I saw the likes of:
Holly Black (Valiant)
Kathleen Duey (Skin Hunger)
R.L. LaFevers (Theodosia Throckmorton and the Staff of Osiris)
Ingrid Law (Savvy)
Marlene Perez (Dead is the New Black)
Cindy Pon (Silver Phoenix)
Michael Reisman (Simon Bloom: The Octopus Effect)
Joni Sensei (The Farwalker’s Quest)
Linda Joy Singleton (Dead Girl in Love)
And these are only the people (off the top of my head) that I ran into with spec fic books out! It boggles the mind who else was there.
BUT this post isn’t about name-dropping (too much). It’s about Holly Black’s talk, Examining the Strange: The Basics of
Some key points:
-As fantasy writers, we need to read broadly and widely. Some of the best fantasy is melding ideas from so many genres. We are in a genreless genre.
-Fantasy gets labeled as escapist, but it’s no more so than any other kind of literature
-In fantasy, we can sometimes learn things that are much harder to learn in realism; fantasy gives us distance
-You have to watch your metaphors and be aware of what stories you’re telling
-Fantasy is like historical fiction. In both, you’re introducing readers to a place they’ve never been and can never visit, but you must convince them that they HAVE been there. And like historical fiction, there’s a lot of research
-Magic rules can be divided into day logic (the same action gets the same result every time) and night logic (rules are seldom spelled out; must work intuitively…it contains the numinous).
-In fantasy, there have to be two stories, the fantastical and the human. The interaction between these two plots is what makes the story.
Well done, Holly!