I'm back! And gone!

Posted by Unrepentant Escapist

July 26, 2010 -- 3:47 p.m.

Back from Hawaii! Now off to Oregon. I'll tell about the Maui trip another time. I have some really cool pictures of this garden that had insane plants. Like, stuff you'd expect to see on Mars if it had water. Sea turtles were everywhere and SCUBA diving rocks and three different kinds of dolphins rocked the side of our PWF tour boat. Oh, and white chocolate macadamia pancakes with coconut syrrup? TO DIE FOR. I miss fresh pineapple.

Well, I guess that was my trip. Read one of the most horrible pieces of fiction I have in awhile. It was supposed to be a black comedy, if black comedy is defined by stupid suburbenites whining but never doing anything about their crappy lives and jumping into bed with anything that moves. Oh, and their kindergartner boy has his eye shot out in a school shooting at the end. Are you laughing yet?

I'll be back in two weeks, after an old friend's wedding. I'm going to try and see lots of people I haven't seen since high school, which will be for the win.

Skin Farm is about 80 pages from reaching the 80,000 word mark now.


Title: Place
Genre: Any
Type: Setting

So many of the great books have at least a side-trip to fun foreign locations. In classic fantasy setting-based travelougues, journeying strange places and meeting strange people is all you do. Gotta love the weird alien planets, too. I've been pouting because I can't find my copy of Dune, the epitemy of a great setting.

Unfortunately, a lot of the epic settings of the present just don't feel very epic to me. Maybe because I'm a jaded reader and I've seen it all done. Blah blah forest blah blah blah space suit. You know what I want to read? A fantasy novel set in Afganistan! There's probably one out there, but I haven't read it yet.

But that's just me. Most people want to read books about places they would actually like to visit. So if you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be? Why there? If it has to do with social connections, it doesn't count. Pick somewhere where you don't know anybody. Pick what you think sounds really cool about that setting and expand it, incorporate it into your world. Now write about your exotic fantasy-land vacation. Go wild. Talk about stuff that will never ever come up in the novel, because your character is a million miles away, but this tourist will see it.

Avatar was a success largely because it had a cool setting that was beautiful to look at. Can you replicate the same emotions? The same feeling of strangeness? Or will you try and evoke a different emotion, terror or awe?