February 8th, 2013

SnowflakeExercize

... chapter five finished. After mental Cirque de Soleil.

I finished my chapter. Would have done it sooner, but I wrote myself down a blind alley and had to delete and go in a different direction. It was very interesting to think my way through it, though ... I had to describe a horror scene, and I started out writing it as if it was modern horror, you know, where you start out with innocent expendable ordinary bystanders going about their ordinary business, and then splatter 'em all. I couldn't make it work. Then I realized it didn't work because my book isn't modern horror, and I couldn't make myself imagine it that way. It felt wrong. I shifted things so that all the splattering had already happened and my small band of knights rides up afterward to a still, dead scene of horror. But with everything silent and almost frozen, like a photograph. Already happened.

Once I'd got that in place, blamm, I sat down and the rest of the chapter just rolled out. It's fascinating to think about how that works.

I think it's because of genre. In modern horror, you're mostly dealing with scenes with just a small group of characters in a small setting, which simplifies things so you can focus on the horror special effects, whatever they are. It's about the personal fates - I mean, the gory deaths - of a handful of characters. I think.

A fantasy scene, though, has a big worldbuilding-y background that always needs description, and adventure fantasy means lots of characters and battle scenes and the fate of the world at stake. Jamming that all in as well makes it impossible to focus on the horror in the same way; there's just too much that has to be described and kept track of. Also the mood is completely different. That's probably even more important.