Monday, March 11, 2013

Epically Fantastic

I'm between "important" projects, which is what I call things that I'm being paid for. My first book is already with the publisher, complete and ready to go; the short story that I'm lucky enough to be able to work on for their sister house is not yet back to me for revisions; and my next book is still being considered. So I'm at loose ends. I can do whatever I want. And what I want to do, what I always want to do, is write more, so that's what I'm doing.
In this case, I'm writing the first book of a series. A fantasy series, which I'm trying to make into an epic fantasy series, but, you know, how does one reach "epic"? A matter of scope, one could say. A big world, big themes, big stakes. That's epic fantasy. Hell if I know, really. It's like obscenity, in that one knows it when one sees it. For now though I'm doing what I can to make it epic in all those ways, the world, the theme, the stakes.
I'm trying to do things a little differently. I don't much favor standard fantasy anymore. Hate this if you will, but I find it to be too patriarchal, too European centered. So while I have a male main character, he's both homosexual, and shrimpy, and uncertain about everything except his blinding faith. And the setting launches from a base of the Islamic world, instead of a base of medieval northern Europe. And women are important, strong figures not dressed in chainmail bikinis, not oppressed by some gloomy dictate of their (imaginary yet still traditional for some reason) culture.
I don't know if any of that makes it more epic. I do know it makes it more fantastic, in the sense of amazing if not magical. And I do know I mean to keep doing it.

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