Thursday, July 02, 2009

What shall I write?

When I was growing up I loved science fiction and I was a fan of Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, E.E. "Doc" Smith and John Wyndham, amongst others. All men, of course. I didn't know of any women writing science fiction at the time. I loved the rather terse and understated style of the writing and I tend to look back on those days as the peak of the genre.

More recently I've been trying to write and I've felt a bit lost as there doesn't seem to be a market for that kind of science fiction these days. I've been wondering whether it's even worth trying to write science fiction. (I know that Writtenwyrdd writes in that genre but she has her own particular take on it and she is seriously talented.)

Then I read Man in the Dark for Evil Editor's next book chat and I thought that it's the kind of book that couldn't have been written fifty years ago. It made me ask myself: "what kind of stories could I write now that I couldn't have written then?"

A whole new mental space has opened up in front of me and I'm looking forward to exploring it.

15 COMMENTS:

Whirlochre said...

Oooh, write something!

I'm itching to get cracking on novel #2 before the world throws a spanner in its works.

And — I'm with you on WW. That zombie story of hers is a cracker.

writtenwyrdd said...

Thanks for the shoutout, FHH!

I say, write what you love. What's the point of writing if you don't love the idea of it, right? And there is a big world out there where you can sell your stuff, so I am sure you can get a market.

One of the reasons I started that Boetha The Electric Zombie series is because I love that space opera stuff. But I don't write the same way as the old pulp classics.

Sarah Laurenson said...

I just read Pubrants this morning (agent Kristin Nelson) and she mentioned how hard it is to sell SF books these days. Not sure why.

Write what feels good. Write whatever it is that will keep you coming back to it time and again. Write what sticks in your head and won't let you loose. (Can you tell it's been awhile since I've had a chance to sit and write? Driving me batty.)

sylvia said...

All men, of course.

Have you read this?

http://www.amazon.co.uk/James-Tiptree-JR-Double-Sheldon/dp/0312426941/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1246545442&sr=8-9

I ordered Man in the Dark via Amazon and it's due any day now. I must say I'm looking forward to this one.

Bevie said...

Write what you like. If it isn't "in style" today, it may be later on.

fairyhedgehog said...

My comment got lost and I didn't realise. Here we go again:

Whirl: I'm at the thinking stage at the moment. That's what I tell myself.

writtenwyrdd: I'm just giving recognition where it's due. I'm looking forward to reading more of your stories.

Sarah: I'm working out what I like writing but I'm still not sure. I think probably sci fi but I often come back to women finding themselves in love with each other.

sylvia: I did say, "I didn't know of any women". I had no idea that women were writing under male names. It says a lot about the times that they felt that they needed to.

Bevie: It's a good point about the style. I think I've just realised though that I can write stuff today that I couldn't have written when I was younger. There's a freedom in that.

sylvia said...

No, I hadn't been aware of it either. Sheldon is fascinating and the book is a very well written of her life and tribulations - including her attempts to write as a woman. I highly recommend it.

Robin S. said...

Hi FH,

I didn't see this post before. Here's what I think about you -
you have a distinctive, intelligent and, how can I say this accurately, kind-yet-dead-to-rights-incisive, natural voice. People trust you. I know I do.
They know you know things, and yet at the same time, you're the farthest thing from a braggart on Planet Earth.

If I were you, I'd write using the voice you use when you talk to us. Not a memoir, not a helping book, not science fiction, but a kind of meta-fiction, I suppose, where you are FH. Stay in that voice and just write without thinking ahead about what happens, sit and free flow write for a couple of hours, without boundaries, and see what happpens. That's what I'd do, if I were you. And use who you are, use the tiredness and the infusion of that into your life.

fairyhedgehog said...

Robin: Thank you! That's such a kind assessment of my voice that I don't quite know what to say.

I'm not exactly sure how to take your advice but I'm going to give it a go.

Thank you.

fairyhedgehog said...

Robin: PS
You really are a great encourager. I've written 1000 words this morning!

Robin S. said...

I'm glad! Just write away and see what forms itself. Don't toss anything until you see what happens with it. I think you hit the nail on the head with the Paul Auster novel, and feeling a tug toward that type of fiction. I think it suits you well.

fairyhedgehog said...

Thank you. It's all forming in my head and it's going to be hard to write as fast as I'm thinking. You've unblocked something!

Robin S. said...

Excellent!

Joe Iriarte said...

Actually, space opera may be making a comeback. Gordon van Gelder, I think, as had two anthologies of short space opera out, and several of this year's Hugo Nominees are space opera--check out Zoë's Tale by John Scalzi, for one.

I followed you over here from StoryTellersUnplugged, because your comment on Bev's situation seemed like a particularly apt summation of what's wrong with people's perceptions of gender roles. Cheers!

fairyhedgehog said...

Joe: That's encouraging. I hope there are some women writing it too.

Thanks for popping in and for your kind remark about my comment over on StoryTellersUnplugged.

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