Just listening to Orson Scott Card’s First Meetings and very interested in the format and how he jumps fifteen years. It’s as if he wrote the book in sections, like short stories. I’ve already been through the whole Enderverse series of books and this is a prequel though it might’ve come first. I like getting to see what went before, and these parent characters were pretty shadowy in the main…come to think of it, you could use this to show how children take over our universe!
Going back to the format, I’d like to have a go at this – as opposed to creating a saga. I’m also listening to Asimov’s Foundation, and that jumps fifty years. Maybe this is a common feature in SF/Fantasy genres.
Chuck Palahniuk wrote Haunted as a collection of short stories (I really should go back to that) and I’m sure there must be more books out there like that but, how successful are they?
Now that I’ve finished listening to First Meetings I see that it’s a strange collection of isolated and distant sections of the lives of four characters that appear in other books. Even that is interesting to me – kind of like showing the cut scenes in a place of their own. I loved the first two from the parents’ POV, but the third takes you into how Ender meets Jane and problems with money – I’m sure there’s a contradiction there somewhere (that the meeting is described differently in one of the novels) but it may be that these really are cut scenes from the original conception. I know that the last story is the original short where the novel Ender’s Game came from. The thing is I’m not so sure that they all stand up as individual short stories. I really enjoyed them because I’ve read the series and know the characters.
I think I’m interested in all this today because I’ve been musing on the idea of writing poems around or through a novel, so that the reader would get a whole picture from each poem but also the feeling of a complete novel at the end of a slim book – twenty- four chapters become twenty-four poems.
The idea came from remembering a book, lying on my shelf gathering dust, by Vikram Seth called The Golden Gate which is written completely in sonnets. I haven’t read it yet and don’t think it’s really a viable idea because it falls between the camps; it just doesn’t seem like something that would attract either reader. Maybe it’s the formality of the sonnet that puts me off. I’d be more attracted to different shapes.
So, this is just another field for me to plough.