This is an advance announcement for the Tuesday, July 5 2011 Poetry Fishbowl. This time the theme will be "low fantasy."
I'll be soliciting ideas for characters of minor heroes, antiheroes, sidekicks and second fiddles, ordinary villagers, henchmen, characters in that grey area between hero and villain, broken or mismade magical artifacts, unusual adventuring gear, ordinary items used to save the day, small-scale conflicts, side scenes from epic events, ways in which epics affect ordinary people, scenes that show off the gritty tone of low fantasy, solutions that don't involve magic, places where something important happened long ago, classic low-fantasy settings such as sleepy villages or deep forests, and poetic forms in particular.
What is "low fantasy" anyway? It's usually contrasted with high fantasy, and can mean: small-scale rather than large-scale events, minor rather than major heroes, less rather than more magic, also sometimes stories set in a close analog of our world rather than an obviously different fantasy world, ambiguous rather than polarized morality, and/or a tone more gritty than glowing. Low fantasy is about saving a village rather than a country or a world, about getting one or two people's lives to work halfway decently, about solving problems with the gear on your back rather than an army's worth, and dealing with problems that don't really have good solutions. In the rain. So for instance, the Fiorenza series mainly concerns life in a quiet little village, with occasional preternatural problems that get solved more by wit than magic.
If you're interested, mark the date on your calendar, and please hold actual prompts until the "Poetry Fishbowl Open" post next week. Meanwhile, if you want to help with promotion, please feel free to link back here or repost this on your blog.
Writing is usually considered a solitary pursuit. One exception to this is a fascinating exercise called a "fishbowl." This has various forms, but all of them basically involve some kind of writing in public, usually with interaction between author and audience. A famous example is Harlan Ellison's series of "stories under glass" in which he sits in a bookstore window and writes a new story based on an idea that someone gives him. Writing classes sometimes include a version where students watch each other write, often with students calling out suggestions which are chalked up on the blackboard for those writing to use as inspiration.
I'm going to host a Poetry Fishbowl on my blog on Tuesday, July 5. I'll be soliciting ideas for thematic characters, objects, plots, settings, and poetic forms in particular. Chances are I'll spend a good chunk of the day, from afternoon to evening or more, alternating between this site and doing stuff offline so my back doesn't weld itself to the chair.
Perks: I will post at least one of the resulting fishbowl poems on the blog for everyone to enjoy, and an extra one if there's at least one new prompter or donor. The rest will be available for audience members to buy, and whatever's left over will go into my archive for magazine submission. If donations total $150+ then I'll write an extra series poem after the Poetry Fishbowl, and post it for free. Everyone will get to vote which series gets a new poem. This month's donors will get some kind of input into the poem's content, such as prompts.
If you enjoy my poetry -- or if you just love poetry in general, or want to promote interest in low fantasy -- please mark the fishbowl date on your calendar. Drop by and give me some ideas, comment on the posted poetry, encourage people to come look, whatever tickles your fancy. I hope to see you then!