Escapism and Relatability: Where is the Happy Medium in Fantasy?

Escapism and fantasy are very different from the world we live in. The very nature of fantasy is to be an escape and be different. Magical some might say. But, this brings forth a very interesting question about the current fantasy front runner A Song of Ice and Fire(Game of Thrones). Why is it so accurate to real world politics?

Escape and the over powered protagonist are great but they tend to wear thin as the reader ages and matures along with their literary tastes (I am well aware some people never grow out of what they read as a child). Readers still want an escape but don’t want the protagonist to be able to mow down scores of enemy soldiers or navigate a deadly encounter through sheer luck and being a one trick pony. Readers want tension and uncertainty which is a feat not easily done by something that advertises it’s length as much as a book does. It can be done and quite well which brings us to the answer as to why GoT is so popular.

All the really needs to be done is to introduce more realistic combat and removal of supporting characters no matter how major that supporting character may be. Those characters that seem safe throughout the entire novel dying unexpectedly because of a realistic combat injury is something that brings a lot of tension into the novel. There is another way should you be too infatuated with your characters that killing them off feels like killing a little bit of yourself (like when losing a D&D character).

It is one of my favorite things to do when I am writing a character and that is to give them some big flaw. In one of my projects it is crippling mental disorders and in the rest of the projects I am working on it is a foul mouth and a terrible nicotine addiction that dictates how they spend their day. Flaws add a layer of relatability to characters and makes them stop seeming like this god like being in the story using their over whelming powers to get through the challenge. But, it is best not to over do the flaw so that it seems that the character is skating by on luck through the entire work or series if you make it that far as a writer.

What I am doing in my main project is a bit of both. Not to spoil anything but the main characters have mental disorders that will grow to cripple them as people over time and I make sure that if they are in a situation that is overwhelming then they will not make it out alive unless by some crazy magical means. But, as an author I am curious as to what others do in their stories.

Do you give characters terrible flaws but let them live? Do you go the George RR Martin approach and drop them like flies? Or do you write a mixture of both. Please let me know as I am very curious.

Alignment in Storytelling

The words Lawful Goid conjure distinct images in everyone’s mind. Some think of the white knight paladin while others gravitate towards a certain red and blue spandex covered alien. That’s right Martian Man Hunter! Despite his name he is still lawful good. But are people lawful good and deeper than that are believable characters solely lawful good? Does the Chaotic Evil character never do anything good? I believe people and characters are messier than one alignment will allow them to be.

Other than D&D characters the best example of complicated alignment in a character come from Dr. Octopus in “Spiderman 2”. Through out the movie Doc Ock is portrayed generally as CE. He is blinded by rage and only wants to do what he wants no matter the cost to others. That is until he *SPOILERS* sacrifices himself and his experiment to save NY. It shows that he is still human deep down. So while he may have been CE on paper he saw through that and did a LG act.

Alignment is heavily debated at D&D tables and in some fantasy circles. But, if you think about the characters as humans and not just figments of your imagination you’ll see they too can be a bit complicated and have a complicated alignment.

Writers: Real Life Introverts, Imaginary Extroverts

The title is absolutely a bold claim but let me explain what I mean. Modern day writers spend a lot of their time sitting behind a computer screen having sometimes 1000 imaginary conversations with people that will never exist. In the outside world most writers are introverted. There is always that one exception to the rule and there will be some extroverted writers. But mostly writers are on the quieter side and contribute to conversation with planned responses or when they feel that their response will make the most impact, or I’m projecting.

That brings me to flesh out the “imaginary extrovert” claim. Sitting behind a computer screen I have way more conversations that I do in person. Right now you and I are having a very one sided conversation about writers and their personalities. In the real word I would probably never approach you about this idea, but here I am imagining myself as an extrovert and talking at length about this subject.

It is crazy to think about blog posts or really any article as a one sided conversation where an introvert(not always but mostly) tells you what they think about a certain subject. But, I want to know what you the reader thinks about this idea. Are you an introvert in person but when you write you are extroverted or are you an extrovert that likes to write. Do you agree with me or disagree. Please let me know, I would love to have conversations about this subject.

Writing On A Busy Schedule

Writing while working on a more than 40 hour work week can be hard, trust me it has impacted my blog more than it has anything else. I went from blogging once a week to maybe once every two weeks. Nothing has made more upset about the job I currently work more than the fact that it is impacting my ability to write.

While I could go on and on about how much I dislike what I do that is not writing that is not what this blog post is about. I am here to talk about what I do to combat the impact on my writing. The real question is: how do you write on a severe time constraint? That answer is not a simple one. What I do personally is I write a lot by hand to work on the projects that I have going. Transcribing those to electronic copies still takes me a long time but I get there eventually.

I have found that making “To-Do” lists get me going and help me get things done that need to be done. Crazy how writing things down on a piece of paper and physically checking them off really motivate you to get them done. Hopefully this advice has helped you or given you the inspiration needed to make a to-do list or something else that will help get the motivation juices flowing and that project that you are working on done.


Hope and dream
You’ll make it out of here
Your personality doesn’t fit here
You’ll find a way
It’s not all gloom and doom
There is a light
At the end of this terrible tunnel
Sales isn’t as bad as it seems
But this place is
This place is worse
Your talents will work for you
They’ll be your tools
Make them a shovel or pick
And you’ll escape
Escape to where you belong
Escape to a place that is better
You can run away from it
And tell this place to kiss your ass

Casual Friday

Jeans and a t-shirt
If it's the right day
Jeans and an oxford 
On a normal Friday 
It's a casual day 
But there is still a dress code
Boosts morale
Changes perspective 
Sell more, you're comfortable 
Dress how you would on a night out
Minus the drunk face and vomit stains
You'll be ready to leave and cope with the stress
Follow the code though
Or you'll be sent home
It's casual Friday 
A reason to celebrate

An Update on my novel and The Office Suffering Series

Just wanted to put out a quick update. Because of a couple things happening in my late all at once I have not been able to write as much as I would have hoped to. There are still 2 poems to come from the Office Suffering Series and my book should be done soon(I say that knowing full well I’ll procrastinate). 

I didn’t want anyone to think I ended the series on a sour note or that I had stopped writing my book for one reason or the other. Have a great day and if you care to let me know if anything gets in your way when you write. Other than your own self criticisms.

A New Project Approaches

Much like any author I have a ton of ideas. The new project I have started with the help of several other writers is an idea i sat on since college. I’m super excited about it but want to keep as much of a lid on the specifics as possible to not ruin the surprise. 

It is something that hasn’t been done before and I think it will be a great testament to what a group of people can come up with. I can’t wait to tell everyone more about it.

What Makes You More Creative?

As a writer and a lifelong creator there have definitely been things that I feel make me personally more creative, or rather get me out of my head. This can be a multitude of things from a generous pour of whisky(yes I spell it the European way) or epic metal songs and honestly anything in between. 

I have the tendency to get too much into my own head and over think how something might sound or read. This is a terrible thing to do because it halts my progress. The music, usually folk metal or neo-classical, gets me out of my head and makes me write and let’s me get more into the story. The whisky does the same as long as it’s done responsibly. (I refuse to be responsible for anyone reading this getting black-out drunk and writing.) I usually just take one drink let it sit to loosen a bit and then go. It does the same thing of getting me out of my head but with less background noise. 

I am very curious does anyone else use alcohol or music to get the juices going? Or do you do something entirely different like watching D&D streams, playing an RPG, or something way off like taking a hike? I want to know to open myself up to these and just see how everyone else does it as well.