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Sunday, May 15, 2011

"Epic Writing"

I'm not one to get bogged down with page after page of backstory in my writing. Epic's call for a lot of research and backstory to bring the reader up to date. If my writing needs a backstory, I usually do it through dialogue or a couple of short narrative sentences. Just giving my reader bits and pieces as they read. Writing an epic story would be the death of me. Epic's usually have to many characters for me to keep up with. Three or four characters is about my limit to connect with. With epic's, I found myself skipping over the pages to get back to the current story. I write with the attitude, keep the stakes high, tension pulled tight, and then boom, main character has changed somehow. Conflict solved. End of story. Give me a new story to read.

However, I will confess, I did read Ken Follett's epic story: Pillars of the Earth and his follow-up World Without End. Loved the story. Connected with the characters. But thought it would never . . . never end. I was exhausted by the last page. Almost gave up on the story once or twice.

Now, with the Harry Potter books, I read all seven. I never once felt bogged down with too much backstory. I couldn't wait for the next one. Why? Because J.K. Rowling is a master of keeping her story moving forward. Backstory was kept to a bare minimum. That's the kind of writing that keeps me reading.

Epic's or quicker reads. Either way, I'm glad we readers have both. Having a choice is a good thing. What do you like to write? Would you like to write an epic? If so, share your thoughts.

1 comment:

  1. I was able to read epics when I was single/no kids, but these days, it has to move along pretty quickly to keep me reading!