Y is for You Never Know

I had real trouble with this one. I couldn’t come up with any Y words that directly said “epic fantasy.” I played with ideas, like using a list including words like yataghan and yogurt to talk about how specificity aids in bringing a world to life, or using Yahtzee in the title and segueing into the use of games in fiction, or talking about Yog-Sothoth (although Lovecraft is most definitely not epic fantasy), or saying something like “Y is for fantasy spelled backward” (though I couldn’t figure out where to go from there).

By the way, if you’re interested, you can get Wikipedia to give you a list of pages that start with a particular letter (possibly numbers, too, although I didn’t try that). Here’s Y to get you started.

What do I mean by “You never know,” and how does it apply to epic fantasy? Well, it really applies to everything — every genre, every creative effort, whatever you’re doing. You never know what’s going to be important, what’s going to click, what’s going to work. Explore widely. Read other genres. Watch movies you wouldn’t usually. Go to an art show. Go to a monster truck rally. Meet new people (even if it’s only online).

I’m working on planning an epic fantasy that I’ll start writing this summer. I’ve mentioned once or twice that it has music related to the magic. That was because a friend told me she was taking a drumming class. I love taiko drumming, and I was having trouble concentrating on some work one day, so prompted by her mention, I put taiko on my iPod and listened while proofreading. The driving music combined with random phrases from the book I was working with and the scent of a candle my husband had lit in the other room, and I just jotted note after note as I worked. I’m still working on sorting out story lines, but it was lots of little things coming together to spark it.

You never know.


This is a post for the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. My theme is epic fantasy, and blog posts will cover authors, books, tropes, themes, or anything else I can think of to fill the alphabet. Check out some of the other bloggers participating or follow my blog by e-mail if you like what you’ve read.

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6 Comments

  1. That’s so true. You never know if you can do it until you try. You never know if killing your character will kill your story until you try. You never know how successful you can be until you put yourself all out full force, guns blazing.

    • Great way of thinking about it, Nicki — although I’ll admit I’ve not yet killed off a main character. Maybe something to think about this year.

  2. You’re right. You never know what that *spark* will be that produces page after page of notes, but it’s thrilling when it happens. 🙂
    I didn’t know that Wikipedia would sort that way. I’ll have to remember that.
    Gah! Can I use the dreaded word “that” more than I just did?

    • 😀 Sparks can be anywhere.

      And, sure — you could have said “it’s thrilling when that happens.” 😉

      Thanks for commenting!

    • It’s awesome. What can be really dangerous is going to the Main Page for Wikipedia, which includes a featured article, info about the day, and more. Today’s featured article, for example, is on the search for planets beyond Neptune.

      Thanks for commenting. 🙂

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