Friday, March 28, 2014

Writing a novel

I'm involved in an online course based on the hero's journey and the group of us in the class are working on novels based on the hero's journey model.  I'm having a fine old time outlining a new fantasy based on an incident that happened as I was driving to work one day.

I was driving to work up route 495 in Massachusetts, and I passed the body of some kind of animal. It was on the wooded median, had tan and white hide.  A glimpse was all I had time for as I drove past. Shortly thereafter, I saw an old mattress on the right side of the road. By the time I arrived at work, I'd scoped out a short piece, which I quickly wrote down and posted to my critique group.

I ended up with my main character taking the blanket-wrapped body of his father and leaving it beside the road for the Dogs to eat.

"Love the piece," one friend wrote, "but this feels like the beginning of a novel."

Ah, yes, a novel. It's turning into a fantasy, my first, as up to now I've written regular old novels or science fiction. I've written about 6000 words and have a plot outline that I'm working on filling in.

I've encountered a number of structures for outlining novels, but the hero's journey feels very natural to me, more so than some of the others. I read tons of Robin Hood, King Arthur, Greek and Roman myths and the like growing up, and I believe this is why this sort of story wormed its way into my consciousness.

In any case, I'm having a fine old time with my main character, who is living in a cave in a future ice-age.

If you're a reader, do you enjoy reading heroic fantasy? If you're a writer, have you written any? Why or why not? 
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  1. I loved reading fantasy growing up. And, like you it must have settled in somewhere because I wrote a MG fantasy. :)

  2. I've never been a huge lover of fantasy novels. I guess I've always felt more comfortable reading and writing stories set in the real world. That said, if the characters captivate me, I'll read a fantasy novel or two.

  3. I enjoy a good fantasy story. I've written a couple of paranormal books, but mostly stay with contemporary or historical. It just depends on what ideas pop into my head. Interesting article.

  4. I love the hero's journey. That class should be a good one. I'm not a big fan of fantasy, but I read everything. I guess I prefer real life situations. However, I do like a touch of paranormal. That's what I write. Good luck on writing your fantasy. That might be one I read..