Planning: If you’re going to do it, finish it!

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Well people, I’ve finally foced myself to write another post on here. It’s been a while since I last put up a story, and there’s a reason for that; I HAVE NO MORE STORIES!!!

Not at the moment, at least.

I know;  I’m just as  shocked as you are. The simple fact is this: I’ve been missing something for my writing. My muse has been hiding from me recently, and simply will not reappear, despite my constant pleading, begging and offerings of cookies.  And so, without my muse, my writing has vanished to a little corner of my head where it is no longer within sight.

I’ve been doing a lot of planning, but most of those plans will just vanish into the mists of myth and legend, never to be brought forth into the world as fully-fledged stories. And this got me thinking: Why have I been planning things I won’t even write?

The honest answer, I think, is that it provides a suitable excuse for why that time was not spent writing. Is this a good enough answer? No! Not by any measure. Put basically, I have been applying what little creative effort I could muster into fruitless tasks that will lead me nowhere. Well, no more! I fully intend on devoting my creativity in places where it is worthwhile, either writing or planning pieces that will actually come to fruition.

Now, I’m not the only person who has suffered from this lament, I’m certain. I’m positive that there are other poor souls out there who, like me, sought an escape from the heady task of putting words to paper by pretending to plan. So, my input on the matter (small though it may be) is to do one of two things. When planning, ask yourself this: Is this plan going to end up as a story/novel/poem/screenplay etc…?

Think long and hard about that question, and your response should be one of two. If the answer is yes, devote yourself fully to the plan. Give it the time and attention it needs to create a working model for your piece. This is, in my experience, vital. More than one of my stories has become no more than a pile of crumpled paper in the bin as a result of lazy planning. So give your plan some attention.

If your answer was no, however, then stop! If your plan is not taking you anywhere, stop working on it immediately. Don’t throw it away, by any means. Keep it somewhere you can easily find it again, but put it out of sight for the moment. If you can say to yourself that your plan is not taking you where you want to go, now is not the time for that story. Move on. Find something else to write. Your creative efforts are best suited to things that play out, and a plan that’s going nowhere is simply a waste of time and effort. Keep it, and check in on it every now and again, and see if you can fix whatever issue you were having, but do not slug through something you feel is pointless.

Well, there you have it. I’ve had my nice little rant on my lack of productivity, have posted a new comment on my website, and have hopefully given some of you something to think about.

Not a bad day, in my opinion.

So, what about you? Have you been suffering a down period? How are you getting through it?

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What does ‘Fantasy’ mean?

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Well, guys, here it is. My first post. As such, I want it to be something worth reading; more than just a simple introduction.

I considered writing about myself, but then it would be an introduction, no matter how much flourish I put into it. There’s enough about me in the About page.

What I settled on was writing something about a passion of mine; Fantasy.

The Many Worlds of Fantasy Contain Within Them Infinite Possibilities.

Let’s think about what people mean by ‘Fantasy’. For a lot of people, that word evokes images of dragons and wizards and magic swords. This is quite a way from the truth, however. Fantasy need not be about magic and dragons, although those are tropes that appear fairly often within the genre.

The main point of Fantasy is the world in which the story takes place. I don’t just mean the landscape, I also mean the cultures, people, races, creatures, political and economical systems; anything about the world that is even slightly different to our own. To give an example of this, I want to mention one of my current favourites in the Fantasy genre; A Song of Fire and Ice by George R. R. Martin.

This is a series with a storyline far too complicated to cover. Sufficed to say, it doesn’t take place in our world. There are certain things about it that ring true, such as the medieval feel, but there are also things that are far beyond anything we will ever experience. In the world of Song, the world is split into two main masses: Westeros and Essos. That in itself is beyond our own world, but one other thing is astounding. Their seasons, Summer and Winter being the main two, last for years.

Now, this post isn’t out to promote A Song of Fire and Ice, though it is definitely worth a read. The purpose of this post is to give a definition, even if it is only my own, to Fantasy. While magic is certainly a mainstay of Fantasy, it is the worlds in which the story is created that allow the magic, or dragons, to exist. Therefore, I think the main point of Fantasy is the world the story is written in.

What do you think? What does Fantasy mean to you?