As part of my Guest blog series for authors and fellow bloggers I am proud to present another guest blog spot. Patch Middleton
Make sure you check outby Patch Middleton. Available soon from Realmwalker Publishing Group.
I Am Not Interested In Saving The World by Patch Middleton
Let me make this quite clear. I do not care about saving the world.
Obviously, when I say this, I am not speaking literally, but literaturely (yes, this is a word now). In my reading of fantasy novels, I have recently grown a little tired of the ‘Saving The World’ storylines. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the odd one every now and again. For example Robin Hobb’s excellent ‘Farseer Trilogy’ starts off very personal and slowly evolves to become something greater over the course of the story. It uses tropes and then subverts them in ways that keep you on your toes. And then there’s Lord of the Rings, which is all about little men saving the world from great evil. But like I said earlier, these are the exception.
I feel there is so much more to explore in fantasy rather than sticking to the well-trodden road of the ‘Saving The World’. I would be happy if I never again read anything about ‘A Prophecy’ and ‘A Chosen One’, who is the only one who can save the realm against overwhelming odds. Why not have a novel that is about a man defending his farm from the onslaught of giant mutant onions? Doesn’t have to be particularly long but if the characters are strong and the prose is interesting then I’d be hooked. The late, great Terry Pratchett is a fantastical example of what I’m talking about. In my particular favourite ‘Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents’, it’s fantasy but not about saving the world nor is it particularly sprawling and epic. It’s just very interesting and very good.
Which brings me onto my next point. I am interested in characters, and not just on a surface “this guy’s fun, look at the way he killed those orcs and then said a witty remark” kind of way, but deeper than that. I love to get inside a character’s mind. In other forms of media, there are plenty of examples of character studies, so why not more in fantasy? There are great characters that are explored in fantasy books, Sandor Clegane and Jaime Lannister in ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ spring to mind, as well as Fitz from the afore mentioned ‘Farseer Trilogy’. Now, I know some of you may be reading this and going “there’s plenty more that do that!” and I’m sure there are, it’s just, I might not have read them yet. And this is just my opinion anyway, so ignore all of it if you want, that’s fine.
I believe, just because a book is set in a fantasy setting, doesn’t mean it has to be epic and huge and massive and sprawling and all of this. Why not make it about smaller, more personal issues. Things like revenge or dealing with loss or just a character trying to get by in life. I feel fantasy is the perfect background for these types of things because it provides just the right amount of separation from the real world to deal with issues in a sensitive way.
For those of you who don’t know me, and I presume most of you don’t, my name is Patch Middleton, and I am a fantasy writer. My first book ‘The Shadows Dance’, first in ‘The Shieldlaw Trilogy’, drops around November time from the Realmwalker Publishing Group. In this book, I centre primarily around the character of Erryn Shieldlaw, and how she deals with loss, friendship and survival. It also slowly evolves into a revenge story, but that’s all I can say for now. In the world I have created, there is no great threat to everyone’s well-being, no great battle where millions die, no all-powerful villain who aims to destroy the realm. It’s pretty much set entirely in one county. If that sounds boring, and you prefer battles and world-saving quests, fair enough, but I don’t.
To conclude, I am not saying that having these things in a book make that book in anyway bad, I’m just saying that we should not feel like we have to stick to these tropes for fantasy to still be fantasy.
That’s just some of my rambling thoughts anyway. I hope you take at least a little something out of it. At the end of the day, enjoy what you read, and don’t let anyone tell you your preference is wrong. But maybe sometimes, whether it’s writing or reading, go outside your comfort zone and try something new.
About the author:
Patch Middleton is a young author from the north of England, the lovely Lake District to be exact. With being from this lovely, yet rural place, he found little to do but write. Inspired by the works of Garth Nix, Angie Sage, and Neil Gaiman, he found a love of the fantasy genre. Influenced by A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin and Robin Hobb’s works, Patch wrote his debut novel, The Shadow’s Dance, the first book of THE SHIELDLAW TRILOGY, to be released by Realmwalker Publishing Group in early November. Now living and studying in Manchester, Patch continues to work on THE SHIELDLAW TRILOGY, as well as other creative endeavors.
About the book:
The Shadow’s Dance book 1 of THE SHIELDLAW TRILOGY
Hunger. Murder. Revenge. All things a young girl should never have to experience.
After the death of her father, Erryn Shieldlaw lost everything: her family, her friends, her home. That was until she was taken in by The Beggars Guild, a secret society living beneath the streets of Forktown. But her new life is put at risk when she is asked to join a plot to kill the Baron.
Available soon from Realmwalker Publishing Group.