Monthly Archives: January 2015

Comments Policy

Unfortunately, few readers comment on my posts. The comments have, for the most part, been positive, even the critical ones. Given the amount of comments, I did not have a policy to police the comments. All of that has changed, however.

I am going to be policing the comments. Abusive comments will not be allowed. Period. There is far too much negativity on the internet as it is. Let’s have respectful discussions, even if there is strong disagreement.

My post on George R.R. Martin’s comments regarding the possibility of including an explicit gay male sex scene is at the root of the issue. To date, the two reader comments (I trashed the second one) have been abusive. I responded to the first. I trash the second.

If you want to debate me on the merits of diversifying characters, especially protagonists, please do so. I look forward to it. Just don’t be abusive about it. I will trash your comments if they are from now on.

The Portal of Frustration

If I am honest with myself, the portal fantasy will not be the first of the four projects I wrote about last October to be completed. That honor will, more than likely, go to Black Magic (which has a new and better working title). The frustration is that the portal fantasy is one of my oldest ideas. I really want to write a portal fantasy. But, in the end, I have no satisfactory idea where the hell I’m going.

The earliest iteration of the project was sword and sorcery. The series of stand alone novels followed the adventures of Leo Crowley (Tyler’s antecedent) after he became trapped in a fairly standard Bronze Age inspired world. The main difference between this older version of the portal fantasy is that Leo became merged with a demon shortly after he is summoned to the fantasy world by an evil wizard. At the time, I liked the idea. It was a decent juvenile effort, but too derivative of traditional sword and sorcery. (I want to write a sword and sorcery series, but I want to make it my own). So I abandoned the project for years.

Gradually, I began to wonder what would happen if a fantasy city intruded onto present day Earth, thus was born Two Cities. Characters from the present day (at least at the time of writing) travel through time and to other worlds for an adventure or two (or more), but characters from fantasy worlds rarely return the favor (that I know of). It is time, I think, to change that. I like this idea. There is a domesticity and literariness that calls to me. But where is the conflict (or one that I don’t feel is needlessly stupid)?

Finally, I returned to a modified form of my original idea with two leads, Jett Drake and Tyler Spang. As I wrote in my series of posts on the portal fantasy in October, Tyler had all the action and Jett just hung around. I’ve recently hit upon in interesting arc for Jett, but now Tyler is in the lurch. I don’t want Tyler’s adventures to amount to nothing more than sex tourism. The idea is strong and I like it. But it needs work.

Honestly, I should step back from portal fantasies for a while and figure out fully what the hell I want to do with these projects. What is it, ultimately, that I want to write?

I have an answer. I want to combine both Two Cities and The Journey (for lack of a better name) with a few more ideas into a grand epic fantasy that spans Earth and two or three fantasy worlds. I want to explore how Earth would react to real life fantasy worlds. I want to imagine what types of diplomacy, trade, and tourism could develop. And I want to see how Earth characters would deal with other worlds facing epic conflicts, moments, events, etc.

This is very ambitious stuff. Creating two to three worlds would strain my world building to the breaking point and beyond. I don’t know if I can do it. Nor, honestly, do I know how to make it all work at the moment.

I have a lot to think about.