Friday, January 22, 2010

Blog Chain: Writer's Voice!

Oh, hey, guys, I didn't see you there!

I was just staring off into the distance thinking about how awesome it was when I saved all of Earthlandia from the evil, dragon flying wizards, all with one sweep of my Fell Blade of Agmarr.

That was pretty schweet.

I do stuff like that all the time.

Oh, this?

This is my War Bikini.

The chainmail keeps the goods protected, but leaves me the agility I need on the battlefield.

The boots are there because it's a wee bit cold out today.

Don't want to catch my death, after all...


This round of the Blog Chain, the sorcerous Sarah posed the question:

How did you discover your particular voice as a writer?

I don't think it's much of a secret to anyone who knows me that I'm a huge geek. I've always loved dressing up and having make-believe adventures, reading Tolkien, day-dreaming about the day the robots take over civilization and enslave us, and playing games involving more dice than a back alley in Vegas.

Because of my Incredible Geekdom, I've always loved science fiction and fantasy, but have had very particular tastes. I think I found my "voice" in my writing by thinking about what I liked about the genres and what made me put books down.


Awesome adventures!

Maps in the front of the book!

The apocalypse!

Mythical beasties!

Super cool magic!

Pet Peeves:

Weak, whiny bitches!

Chain mail bikinis! (Cause, seriously... who is trying to stab you in the crotch? Why not just wear armor or go naked? MAKE A CHOICE!)

Magic systems that are explained in so much detail they cease to be magical! (See: Midichlorians)

Trying too to speaketh liketh it's Ye Olden Timez!

Not trying hard enough to speak like it's the old times, dawg!

Mystical nomadic races that are actually just black people with arm bands.

Basically, while writing Legacy of the Empress, I was thinking that I wanted it to be the kind of awesome old school fantasy I loved, but without the things that made my brain itch. I wanted to be magical but realistic; medieval but accessible; action-packed but with girls having some cool roles, etc.

Luckily for me as a reader, a lot of contemporary is like this, whether it's urban or classic :). I guess I could say, I write the kind of book I'd want to read, pure and simple!

How did you find your voice as a writer?

As a reader, what kind of things make you love a book, or put it down for good?

Please check out the chainmail-clad Cole before me, and the karkadaan-slaying Kate posting tomorrow!


Sandra said...

Are you familiar with Esther Friesner's Chicks in Chainmail anthologies? I think you'd enjoy them.

I also don't like weak, whiny women, though the other extreme of heroines going to all lengths to prove they're hardcore warriors with major attitudes is getting old too. How about something in the middle?

Christine Fonseca said...

Spoken like a strong woman!! Go get-em! Great post.

Rebecca Knight said...

Sandra: Ooh! I totally agree. Tough characters can be fun, but I still want them to be realistic, and not characatures. Too extreme in either direction can get offensive.

Christine: Thanks, I will! :D

B.J. Anderson said...

LOL! I would comment, but I'm too busy laughing. Awesome post, Rebecca. Just awesome.

Pen said...

Great post. I'm a fantasy geek too (though not so much SF).

Love the pic.

I always thought the warrior women in "no" clothes was pretty dumb too. It's like standing there saying. "Ohh, kill me! Kill me!" I mean, Duh!

Nisa said...

You've nailed it for me too! I hope my fantasy novel comes off that way!

Kat Harris said...

I'd just like to know the identity of the person who said sci-fi and fantasy lovers were geeks.

I'm not a huge fan of sci-fi and fantasy, but I know a lot of writers whose bread and butter come from those genres. They have more fun than anyone I know because they're real.

So I have this theory: The person who started that myth didn't have any imagination whatsoever, and since he...

Meh. Nevermind. You get the picture. Great post!

Lisa Amowitz said...

LOL! Got a good laugh out of this. Great post.

Mandy said...

Oh. My. God. That was the best post EVER! SO funny! And that picture? LMAO! I'm a self-proclaimed geek to, and I totally speak your language!

Kate Karyus Quinn said...

Chain mail bikini *snort*

I love the writing a book that you would want to read principle - that is a really great way to go!

A. Grey said...

OMG this blog chain is the best idea ever!

I'll geek-out with you any time. By sis and her hubby D&D every saturday evening, although I could never get into it because there were too many rules (I have to roll dice just to see if I hit the guy?!?!) but my inner geek runs deep.

I agree with you on everything!

I need a good book to be like real life. Does that make sense? No matter what world the story is set in, it has to come across as everyday life for that particular story. And I'm quirky about magic. I take it seriously, but it doesn't have to be serious. Ella Enchanted, for example, is not high drama with the magic. It's light-hearted and fun but it's serious in its repercussions.

Books like Harry P (don't hate me, I'm not tearing it, this is just MY pet peeve) though, drive me nuts because magic is a huge element in the story and yet, NOTHING about it is ever explained or even explored. It's talked about but its principles are nonexistent.

My voice as a writer is still developing. It's pretty solid but because I don't yet have and agent or a book deal, I'm still trimming the edges of my voice. I am what I am, and I wouldn't change me for anything inside. But I think I can sculpt my voice to be more marketable without making it something that isn't me.

Oh, and while Vallejo taps into the absurdly undressed and ill-equipped yet fabulous warrior woman like the one you use above, Larry Elmore (in my opinion) actually nails the tough woman in armor theme realistically. His woman (usually) have on real armor (or pieces of it) and look like they really could kick your bum! :D

A. Grey said...

Wow. My comment was a big as a karkadann...

Cole Gibsen said...

Chain mail clad Cole? Puh-Shaw! Any nymph worth her wood knows you never wear chain mail after labor day. :) Hilarious post! Loved it!

Sarah Bromley said...

Love it! Nice job, Rebecca!

Eric said...

Nice post. I love the whole chain mail bikini bit. Of course, naked adventuring has it's benefits as well.

This is a great view into the window of your world Rebecca, so thanks. Awesome list btw.

Ann said...

Great Post!! I agree women portrayed in a more realistic manner makes for better reading. Tired of the bikini clad amazons. Gave me a laugh Karen, thanks for that.