Author Chat Saturday (March 21, 2015)

BryanDavisTributeAuthor chat Saturday is late this month, but here we go. Although I am at a conference, the building has Internet, so I should be able to answer questions, though maybe not as quickly as usual.

Please post any questions (writing, author, book related) you have, and I will answer them as soon as possible. You may even ask questions or make comments about Omega Dragon, but if you include spoilers, please start with a spoiler warning.

If you want to ask a more personal question, I will consider answering that as well, but no guarantees. πŸ™‚

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Categories: Author/Reader Chat

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19 replies

  1. I have a question: I’ve heard multiple times that you’re a “seat of the pants” author. However, reading your books, I feel like you must’ve been planning a lot of it out from the beginning. So, how much planning do you actually do?

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  2. You said that you were a a seat of your pants writer. Do you make a rough outline before you write? Or do you just spontaneously write?

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  3. What was you inspiration for the Dragons of Starlight/Tales of Starlight?

    They’re both so great I’ve wondered.
    Thanks!

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    • The seed of the idea came from my daughter Amanda. She postulated a world in which humans were enslaved like cattle and ruled by dragons. We brainstormed together to come up with the rest of the premise.

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  4. Dear Mr. Davis,

    I don’t know if this question count, but I am curious about your opinion on it πŸ˜‰ Also a spoiler warning for Till We Have Faces by C. S. Lewis.

    About a week ago, you mentioned that you read and really liked Till We Have Faces. I just finished reading that book (and really enjoyed it), but I was wondering if you had an opinion on one point which interested me. Ungit is depicted as very ugly, horrible, and is associated with darkness and blood. Orual, who is extremely ugly, is even compared and likened to Ungit. However, Ungit is Venus (Roman) or Aphrodite (Greek). That goddess is most often associated with beauty. At the end, Psyche gives water from the River Styx to Orual/Ungit which makes Orual as beautiful as Psyche. Why do you think C. S. Lewis flipped Aphrodite’s characteristics? What do you think Lewis was trying to get across by making an ugly Aphrodite?

    I hope you have a good time at the conference! God bless,

    Gabrielle

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    • That’s a great question. Please give me some time (maybe a few days) to think about it.

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    • One of Mr. Lewis’s main themes is the understanding of what true love is. Orual exhibited a twisted, ugly “love” toward Psyche, so she was ugly. Aphrodite was similar. Her jealousy proved that she was, indeed, ugly. So I think Lewis was trying to show the ugliness of selfish “love” by making the characters ugly outwardly.

      Then, when Psyche sacrificially brings a gift from the underworld, perhaps that is the sacrificial treasure of true love, a spiritual gift that transforms.

      I’m not certain of these theories, which is one of the beauties of this story. It forces us to ponder.

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      • Thank you for answering my question; it really has gotten me thinking. I think that might be what Lewis was trying to get across, and the theme of love was very central in the story. This put that theme in a whole new light, though. Especially that both Orual (who encouraged Psyche to look at her husband and therefore was the cause of her exile) and Aphrodite (who wanted Psyche dead at the beginning and then took the form of her torturer in her exile) were both selfishly cruel to Psyche, and yet, Psyche brought both of them beauty and love.
        Again, thank you for answering! I really appreciate it!
        Gabrielle

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  5. My most frequent problem is writer’s block. Do you have any tips on how to come up with original ideas when you’re stuck? And people are always saying to do something unexpected in your book. How do you do come up with something unexpected? And also, how do you know it’s unexpected, since some readers could see it coming from miles away? I hope that made sense…

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    • I don’t get writer’s block, so I have no solutions that I can say worked for me. I have heard that playing music or editing an earlier part of the story can help.

      I think if something surprises me in the story, then it ought to surprise the reader, but that can’t happen unless you write as I do, by the seat of the pants, that is, you don’t plan ahead and instead write as the story comes to you.

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  6. So, if you write by the seat of your pants, how do you infuse your stories with all of the great symbolism? Do they come to mind: a) before you write, b) while you’re writing, and / or c) after you’ve written the rough draft?

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