If you’ve been following me on Twitter, you’ll know that I recently completed my novel Kingslayer. And to be honest, this was a major step in my career as a writer. I can barely remember the days before I started working on this project, primarily because I’ve been working on it for over ten years. It’s been a lot of work, mainly because this book has been the project that taught me how to be a writer. And when I say that, I really mean it.
Not a day goes by in which I don’t think of the characters, which is likely to continue even though I’m moving on to other projects. I hope some of you will grow to enjoy reading this book just like I enjoyed writing it. Some will not, which comes with the territory of writing high fantasy (or sword and sorcery), but that’s okay considering what my goals for this project are. But now that I’ve revealed what kind of book it is, let’s get into the nitty-gritty about how the novel is set apart from other books in the same genre. There are three things that really stand out: it’s told in first person, it does not have medieval-level technology, and most importantly, there are dozens and dozens of footnotes in the book.
First Person POV
This isn’t too revolutionary, though as anyone who is well-read in the fantasy genre could tell you, first person point of view is something that never happens in high fantasy. The Lord of the Rings is written in third person, as is Harry Potter and A Song of Ice and Fire. But the truth is (in regards to writing in first person), I wasn’t trying to be unique. I was simply trying to write the best story I could, and third person POV just wasn’t working out.
This high fantasy has guns, airships, locomotives, pocket watches, and bionic arms. I personally think of the tech being a little steampunk-ish, but that’s open to interpretation. One thing that isn’t up to the reader, however, is the fact that the world I’m writing about isn’t medieval Europe. Think more industrial revolution plus magical world, and you may be getting close.
Lots and Lots of Footnotes
This is a bit of an oddity in fiction, particularly the kind I’m writing. There are a couple famous books with them (including Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke), but none that really stand out to most readers. The truth is, I fell in love with the idea of using footnotes in fiction, which to some may seem a bit nerdy, but it’s the type of art I wanted to produce. With a single viewpoint character, I was limited on what I could do with the book. The footnotes solved that problem. They provided “historical” records of battles that take place, plus simple definitions of made up words and terms, not to mention the fact that they helped me insert incantations and descriptions of spells that are being cast by wizards or magic-savvy characters. The bottom line: they helped me tell a story in a very unique way, and honestly, I’ve never seen a high fantasy written this way before. It’s something I’m truly proud of.
I’ve yet to release a plot description or a cover (which should not be a surprise, considering neither have been put together yet), but I will post updates on Twitter as time passes.
If you like what you see, don’t forget to reblog and follow. See you guys next time.