Writing as Improv
I love writing fantasy because it gives me the freedom to make the rules. As a reader, however, fantasy works best for me when I can easily relate to what unfolds on the page. As an author, then, I like to craft my worlds with what I call the –ish. For example, in Tournament of Chance, the world is Earth-ish, and the era is Medieval-ish. My historical accuracy is relaxed and fun, with a cinematic view toward composition.
Tournament of Chance began its life as a short story of about 8,000 words. At that time, I was looking to place stories in magazines as a way to get some credits. To keep the length manageable, I concluded the narrative a few scenes past the actual archery tournament itself. One might say, I cut it off just when the story became the most interesting! Despite good feedback, I was unable to find a home for the short story. I put it aside for a while to work on other projects. Eventually, I brought it out and started nibbling away at a full-length novel.
Unlike other more disciplined writers, I don’t plot. That’s not to say I careen down a dark alley like a drooling, blind zombie, but admit I often don’t know what’s going to happen next. This sort of work ethic doesn’t serve well on a deadline, but it can be a great deal of fun if you can trust yourself to pull a rabbit out of a hat. In Tournament, I did not plan to write about shape-shifters, time travel, trolls or fairies, but write about them I did.
It’s just a guess, but I suspect this method of writing stems from my improvisation work in my acting days. The teacher would put two or more of us on stage, give us a setting and an intention, and let the action play out. Over time, I learned what worked, what was boring, and what was funny.
The late actor/dancer Gregory Hines used “tap improvography” when he was filming some of his dance scenes in the movie White Nights (1985) (see film clip HERE). In other words, he made it up as he went along… and it works. Perhaps what I do can be called “write improvography.” Hopefully, it has the right stuff.
~ S.G. Rogers
In Tournament of Chance, a hunter’s daughter becomes the spark that ignites a revolution—in time.
Available in all e-formats from Musa Publishing HERE. Also available at Amazon for the Kindle. Coming soon to BN.com and wherever fine e-books are sold.
Originally from Southern California, S.G. Rogers has lived in Asheville, North Carolina and Laurel, Mississippi. She earned her first black belt in taekwondo from martial arts champion Billy Blanks. Later on, she earned black belts in taekwondo and hapkido from Master Myung Kim. Currently residing in beautiful Savannah, Georgia, S.G. Rogers writes fantasy and romantic fantasy stories. She’s owned by two hairless cats, Houdini and Nikita, and lives on an island populated by exotic birds, deer and the occasional gator. Although she’s most often drawn to speculative fiction, she’s been known to break away to write other genres. Tab is her beverage of choice, but when she imbibes, a cranberry vodka martini doesn’t go amiss.
To learn more about S.G. Rogers, visit her blog at www.childofyden.wordpress.com and follow her on twitter