Jul
30

Angry Robot Live! #4 Recap

By

Last night was our fourth Angry Robot Live! We talked about Scope and Scale in Fantasy.

Our panelists were Kameron Hurley and Anna Kashina.

 

If you missed the live show, you can watch the whole thing here. Please note that you’ll want to turn up the volume for the first 23 or so minutes, as Kameron’s audio was soft until she switched over to a different mic.

Much fun was had by all!

 

During the panel, Kameron mentioned Universe Sandbox.

And this is me waving goodbye to dozens of writers reading this as they disappear for two weeks.

 

Gatsby wave goodbye

 

Paul S. Kemp wasn’t able to make the panel, but he wrote at length via twitter on his thoughts about Scope and Scale. You can read them in a Storify here.

 

And last, but not least, I’ve included a couple of questions below that we weren’t able to answer during the panel.

From Paul Weimer:

How does individual character creation and development change (or not) in working in different scale sizes in Fantasy?

Do you find maps, glossaries, concordances a necessary evil or a joy to create (and have readers read) in secondary world fantasy?

Do you start or approach a novel idea differently depending on whether its S&S or Epic in its scales/stakes?

 

Please feel free to continue the conversation here in the comments. Until next time, Stay Angry.

Buffer this pageTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on StumbleUponShare on RedditDigg thisEmail this to someone

2 Comments

1

Paul, sorry we did not get to your questions last night. Here are my answers:

1. How does individual character creation and development change (or not) in working in different scale sizes in Fantasy?

I believe character development should be the same for all scales, since the characters ultimately drive the story and readers are only going to care if the characters are done well. At the same time, if a book features fifteen main characters versus, say, two, each character would get less time in the book. This limitation presents challenges in developing characters effectively, and it comes down to very individual approaches to make this work. Personally, I never do more than three major characters at once. I know Kameron can do many more. My ultimate example of the large scale approach to character development is J.R.R. Martin, who can create a character in one chapter that will be remembered for another 500 pages to come.

2. Do you find maps, glossaries, concordances a necessary evil or a joy to create (and have readers read) in secondary world fantasy?

Personally, I find it a joy. It is a very powerful feeling to be in charge and to get to set all the rules and come up with all the details. I think if I didn’t enjoy it so much, I probably wouldn’t write secondary world fantasy.

3. Do you start or approach a novel idea differently depending on whether its S&S or Epic in its scales/stakes?

I never wrote any Sword & Sorcery, and I guess for me the boundary between S&S and Epic is a bit vague. I have written smaller scale fantasies, and I did approach them differently from an epic. For an epic I almost always have to set the ground rules first and come up with a preliminary outline, even if I don’t use this outline later on. For a smaller scale fantasy I sometimes just write, and then shuffle the chapters around and fill in the blanks as needed. Both approaches worked well for me in the past, but with an epic series there is just so much more to keep in mind.

2

Thank you so much for your answers, Anna. I do tend to carpetbomb questions. Have a reputation, maybe.

Leave a Comment