I said in a recent interview that truth is stranger than fiction, and that (to paraphrase) setting fantasy stories in our contemporary urban world isn’t that difficult because of that strangeness, because there is so much that already exists that goes beyond our various comfort zones and preconceived notions, that it might as well be fantasy.
I was at dinner the other night, in which we ate a really delicious roast duck. A comment was made about the duck brain, and I asked what it meant—resulting in a story about a boy raised to defend his country, which he did admirably in adulthood as a famed, loved, General—only to be betrayed by jealous rivals. I’m still a bit fuzzy on how that comes back around to duck brains, but I know there’s an insult involved.
I guess what I’m trying to say, in a roundabout way, is that when you’re telling stories, building these worlds inside your head, there’s a balance to be struck between boring the reader and making a world that breathes and lives deeper than just the surface. There are stories within stories, and crazy wonderful things going on all around you—sometimes close, sometimes on the other side of the world. Look to them for inspiration, and let your imagination fill in the rest.
Anyway. Yesterday I was at the Forbidden City. I don’t know what today will bring, but I’ve got a word count to take care of this morning.