Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Catching up

Hello, again. What a couple of weeks. It's been 9 days since my white-water rafting trip on the Ottawa River, and the bruises are just starting to fade. Bruises or no, I had a great time. I like being outdoors and on the water. WWR is a lot of fun, and I highly recommend it. I don't think it's terrifying (like sky-diving might be), and it's not as physically taxing as you'd think. Yes, you have to paddle, but there are a lot of rests, and you have to wait for other boats to go through the rapids one at a time, so a 6-hour trip works out to about 3 hours of actual paddling. Now, white-water kayaking... that's something I'll have to look into.

Here's a picture of your truly, steering a little boat right into a rapid on Day 2, cursing the pantywaists in my crew.

Of course, unlike the dinghy paddled by my super-crew, not every boat stayed upright.

We're still waiting to buy non-proof photos.

I've also been busy with work. If I haven't mentioned it yet, I'm interning at Fitzhenry & Whiteside, working on contracts and rights for now. Being a writer and editor, what do I know about contracts and rights? Mmm... I know a bit now. A lot of it involves royalties and advances. (Hint: authors make very, very little. It's quite sad.) And a lot of it involves subsisting on coffee and tea. I need to start making bigger breakfasts and better lunches, or I'll start to waste away. More food, less caffeine. That's my goal.

There are quite a few good children's books at this place. My favourite so far has to be The Nine Lives of Travis Keating, by Jill Maclean. It's doing really well, and I just saw the manuscript for the sequel today. (If anyone's read it, book 2 is about Prinny Murphy. Yay!)

But speaking of books and writing, I resolved one of the elements of my story that's been bothering me: the magic. The more you explain how a magic works, the less wonder there is to that magic–but the more chances you have to use the magic in solving problems. That's how Brandon Sanderson put it a couple of weeks ago when he was guest-blogging at Borders. As a fantasy author, how can you describe magic and keep it interesting? Magic needs rules, so how clearly do you define them?

You can get an idea of how to answer these questions by understanding what kind of story you're telling. Mine involves a journey (I know, original), and a couple of people who can wield magic but do so sparingly. There are few of the stereotypical fantasy races, and no elves, ogres, or gnomes. According to the breakdown of types of fantasy, I suppose mine would fit somewhere in-between High and Low fantasy, but it's probably closer to Low.

Two more things before I break away from the fantasy thread:
1) For something a little different, how about guns in fantasy. How many people are doing this? Well, Brandon Sanderson brought it up in another post. I'm sure gunpowder was in books for ages, but I didn't know about it. Pardon my ignorance.
2) Steampunk. It's not for everyone, but I love it. AND I love Girl Genius. Adventure, Romance, Mad Science!

I was going to add stuff about my band, and some pictures, and a couple of trailers, but I think I'd like to do some writing now. Tomorrow is Canada Day, so I'll have time for another post pretty soon. Au revoir!

1 comment:

Big Bear said...

Steampunk is a great genre, and is pretty much where my take on Oz lies.

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