*dusts off the old blog*
So, guess I haven't done this in ages. School got busy. Writing got busy. I will admit that I sort of forgot. But, here I am again, at least for now. :)
The new series is into its third book already, even though I've slowed *way* down. The three works form a single story, with no more than hours between each section. What's funny about this is that my original goal here was to write something episodic. Like, set up some characters and a situation in which short stories would be viable. I still want to do that, but I have yet to finish setting up the pieces: the nature of the protagonists and the space they're exploring. I expect to finish setting up the premise with the current story.
Between all three books, I'm already over 184,000 words altogether.
This has given me a new appreciation for why some people who want to write fantasy books just drop in elves or vampires and call it good*. The easy answer is that it's a lack of imagination, but I don't really believe that. As I said in an earlier post, imagination is part of what being human is all about: everybody's got one.
I think it's mostly about time and energy.
If you introduce something your audience already understands, you can just drop it in and offer a brief explanation of how your vampires aren't quite like Hollywood says. It only takes a minute, then you can race off to the plot.
Setting up something brand new means losing the advantage that shorthand offers: you have to explain it, and you have to sell your audience on it enough that they care in the first place.
It's riskier. It takes longer. It requires more skill overall, to avoid the dreaded infodump.
This isn't the only reason you see a lot of vampire/werewolf romances or fantasy books full of elves, but I don't remember seeing it talked about anywhere else, so I wanted to throw it out there.
Anyway, hope to post again soon.
(*Disclaimer: that's not to say I never use these props at all. I appreciate stock tropes too. It's just that I hate stopping there and calling it good. It's more fun to go further afield.)