All of the frustrations!

So, I’m trying to research my topic. Trying to find a model for class.

This isn’t going very well. I do love this topic and am still very interested in it, but going over my past sources has reminded me just how difficult this topic is to research.

I did find one article that, though unrelated to my specific topic, is similar as far as a possible direction I can take my project. LitRPG: Exploration of a New Genre is exactly what it sounds like. The writer, Nathan Woodbury, is using the article as a means of exploring a new sub-genre of science fiction. He explains the background of the genre, lists elements stories of the genre tend to include, and gives examples. It’s very opinion based, which he clarifies is primarily because it’s so new of a topic.

Now I know those of you reading this are probably like “Hold up, Emily, I thought you were writing a short story? What’s going on here?”. A couple of very good questions.
The way I see it I have 2.5 options:
1) Explore the various ways technology can be found within the high fantasy context in a more ‘op-ed’ way than I previously wrote on the topic. This could involve me either using examples I used previously (The Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss, Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson, Lord of the Rings series by J.R.R. Tolkien, Lightbringer series by Brent Weeks, The Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson, The Beka Cooper Trilogy by Tamora Pierce) or I could still keep the more creative side and write up my own examples.
1.5) Write a series of character vignettes, each one set in the same world but at different periods and regions within the world. This would entail at least 3, but most likely no more than 5, very short stories exhibiting various characters as a way of showing the world to the reader without giving only descriptions.
2) Write a single short story, as planned, with focus on the plot (tbd) and less focus on making sure the use of tech come across to the reader as the main point. However, most of the examples I have found span over entire series of novels and technology is usually a reference to a very background element not at all central to the story. I’m unsure if I’d be able to even include references in such a short medium without pushing the topic and destroying the story. If I were to continue down the short story path, it would likely be split into two parts: the first would take place in an earlier time in the world to set a base of world history and give room for tech growth mention sin the second part of the story which would take place in the present time of the world. That is the only way I see this avenue working out.

I’m definitely leaning towards a combination of 1 and 1.5. Using an op-ed as a preface to what I’m trying to achieve will help make my project more accessible to a wider audience, and using character vignettes will allow a more successful exploration while still keeping the creative element I originally intended.

Phew. Glad I could think that out a bit. Now to make this post even longer.

google trends
Disappointing search trend.

Most of the sources I can find, aside from the prior mentioned article, are a couple years old and not the most credible. Meaning they’re from personal blog sites or lesser known forums. This forum thread from 2012 is sort of relevant. At least it shows that someone else in the world is thinking about a semblance of this topic. Unlike Google Trends which shows exactly 2 spikes in the search term “tech in fantasy”. The first in August 2013 right before I wrote the essay in my senior year, and the other this month while I’m searching for everything all over again. This is all very motivational.

 

Emily Post

Mostly books and buildings, with a hefty dose of veggie foods.

2 thoughts to “All of the frustrations!”

  1. Hi Emily! We talked in class about your frustrations regarding finding a good sample, but I do think it’s impressive that you found a blog that explores a new genre. I feel like that’s a great model to work off of. As for your two listed options go, I like option 1.5 haha. I think the character vignettes would be really interesting because you still get to use your creative side, but it’s not as daunting as a task as writing a complete short story.

  2. I’m sorry to hear about the difficulties you’ve been having with your research but you came up with a creative way to get around some of the problems you faced. I’m excited to see your project no no matter what option you choose, you sound like an expert and you have a lot to teach me regardless of genre. I’m happy you ended on a motivational note, good luck!!

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