One of the things that has helped me out on this writing charge is visualization. Now, I'm not really talking the meditation and breathing deeply and visualizing a quiet forest kind of visualization. But it's kind of similar. In the past I've been really stuck when it comes to writing because I didn't have a coherent idea of where I wanted the story to go, or what I really wanted it to be about. I'd have an overarching plot, but nothing that made it special to me, and when that moment came my work in progress would usually fall victim to the Apathite, the champion of all things apathetic. This beastie has killed off a lot of my works in progress in the past, but this time I'm trying something different. I'm visualizing.
Specifically, I'm thinking about what kind of a book I want this to be. Maybe everyone else out there already does this, and I'm just way late on the visualization train. Or maybe this is just too pathetic for words, so no one else has even thought about it, let alone written. But it's actually helping me. I've been thinking about what kind of book I want to have published, what kind of book I want to be known for. Now, of course everyone wants to be known for excellent writing and best-selling-ness. And it's going to be a long time (at the very least) before I'm agented, published, and well known. But this is still helpful to me, trying to answer the question, "What do I want to be known for writing?"
For me, at least for this book, the answer is obvious. "Lush" is the word that comes to mind. I want this book to be so perfectly real in its construction that the reader is completely immersed in a lush culture and world. I don't want it to be just another medieval-esque world. And I want the characters to feel absolutely real, and their trials to be heart wrenching and affecting.
Maybe that all boils down to this: I'm writing fantasy, and I want it to be real. Which, when typed out like that, is really kind of boring. It sounded better in my head! I swear! And it actually is helping me stay on track and focused and interested in the story, which is always a good thing, even if it turns out to be a boring blog post.
Thinking about what I'm aspiring to as a writer has gotten me thinking of the books/shows/music that I think do some things absolutely right, so right that I get giddy while reading, or shivers while watching/listening, and I thought it might be a good idea to share some of that with you. Look for those to come! First I need to come up with an appropriately cutesy feature title.
Also, did you see that I've been writing? See? See? (I'm actually a little behind, but still. I'm writing. It's going. This is happening. And it's exciting!)