Tuesday, January 24, 2012
So, You Write Fantasy?
] Don't usually see you at these things.
} *swig* I hate crowds.
] Oh. What do you usually do after exams?
} *swig* I go find a coffee shop and write.
] *blink* *frown* So you what, write essays and stuff?
} I wrote essays back in high school. Always hated them. Putting the thesis in the first paragraph was the worst idea humanity ever had. Rather swim a mile in bacon grease. I write books now. Books are fun.
] *squint* ... books?
} They're kinda like long essays without a thesis in the first paragraph.
] Thanks, ass. *swig* But how do you, like, write a whole book?
} The same way you get through a night shift—one page at a time.
] You're clever.
} Not clever enough.
] *sigh* Yea, the test was hard.
} The tests are always hard. They're designed to kill the ego before it grows heads and tails. Biggest risk with this group.
] What kind of books?
} *cringe* *deep breath* Fantasy.
} Yep. I call my style fantastic realism. It's like fantasy but believable. Like if there was a dragon in my book, it would need the appropriate wingspan to lift his mass. In fact, I once spent a whole afternoon calculating out the wingspan required to loft a human-sized object into the air with a flapping motion—none of that gliding crud for this scenario—we're talking bonified flying humans.
I based my calculations off Quetzalcoatlus. It was tedious. I almost died.
} Quetzalcoatlus northropi. It was the largest flying animal ever recorded. Ten meter wingspan...probably. It might have been double that. Hard to say at this point. And the bigger trouble is that the weight estimates for the darn species are all over the place. Some journal articles said that these protobirds weighed about 70 kilos. Others said they were nearer 250 kilos.
] That's a pretty big variance.
} Your tellin' me. But I still want to give these human-sized flying objects wings—and I'm not gonna abandon my principles of fantastic realism—so I Emailed the scientist.
] You Emailed the….wait, the scientist?
} Yea, the one who discovered the fossil.
} Yea, believe it or not, you can do that. I said I was researching for a book. He was chill.
] He was...but it was for a fantasy book.
} Wasn't a need to know factoid. Besides, he didn't ask what I was working on. I used my old school address. Freakin' free pass to knowledge, that thing.
] So what'd he say?
} Said the problem I was hung up on was the wrong one. Said that as the flying animal gets larger, it needs to stretch its mass out more linearly. Said humans didn't have long enough necks. Said he started researching the buggers for that very reason. Wanted to see if humans could fly. Dude went to college, went to graduate school, did his post-graduate research, and published on the topic. Then he was at an airport bar in Seattle. Started this conversation with what turned out to be an aeronautical engineer. The engi-nerd blew his entire life's mission out of the water with a complimentary pen and a napkin. Man can't fly, he said. He doesn't have the diffusion of mass necessary for the deed.
] *swig* Bummer.
} For the scientist dude, yes. For me, it was an easy fix.
} I threw in some magic. A linearizing spell. Works like a charm.
] But...I thought you said your style was fantastical realism. Isn't throwing in some magic cheating?
} *swig* Of course. But the most important thing you need to remember about reality is that everybody hates reality. Reality is full of daylong exams and triplicate forms and car payments and Fleet enemas dribbling out the backside. No one complains when you bloody up the bastard a bit. Heck, some'll even pay the price of admission.
] That's rather unsettling.
} So is bourbon. *swig* Yet, we order it over a Shirley Temple every single time.
] True... *frown grows*
} Now what?
] It's just...fantasy? You're a medical student. Why are you writing fantasy?
} I need to get my swings in. I know I'm losin' this fight, but I'd rather go down like Porkins.
] I'd rather be Wedge Antilles.
} *smirk* One death star run isn't enough?
] What can I say, the Force is for lamers. I like to work with my hands.
} Have you considered surgery?
[Don't read too far into this short. It ain't real, and the actual convo didn't happen. I'm just working out some writer's cramps.]