Monday, December 05, 2016

339: Launch

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A placeholder will have to do for now, until such time I steal some decent pictures of my stint with the Davao Writers Workshop 2016 yesterday and for the book launch of The Best of Dagmay 2 this afternoon. Suffice to say, it was quite a satisfying weekend. I gave a presentation on Writing Fantasy Fiction, drawing on what I know best. I sat in the panel for a punishing five prose fiction discussions throughout the day. And, of course, the book launch.

My talk on Writing Fantasy Fiction marks my, what, umpteenth craft lecture spread out over the Davao Writers Workshop, the Ateneo Writers Workshop, and various other venues to which I've been invited to. I am happy to say I have not repeated any of my talks, each one being new. Though thematically related, they have looked at fiction, particularly fantasy and science fiction, at various angles. At some point I will have to put all this into a collection.

This time around, I took a swing at worldbuilding. With the success of franchises like Game of Thrones, the Potterworld, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there's a lot of focus on worldbuilding, a la JRR Tolkien and Lord of the Rings. While this may be both the pursuit and the reward for many writers, I think it's ultimately a fruitless exercise. Worldbuilding should be at the service of the story, and for this reason, I prefer a leaner approach, one where you only describe the world inasmuch as it affects your characters and your plot. Anyway, that's just me.

With the book launch of Best of Dagmay 2, we finally have the climax to a two-year-plus project. I didn't do a lot of heavy lifting this time around. God knows, I've done enough, with the eight or so books under my belt. This time around, the younger members of the guild did most of the work. I do get my name on the cover as editor, though, because I chose the nonfiction bits.

While I'm happy with the outcome, I couldn't help but note that, for me, the satisfaction was in the completion of the project rather than the excitement of the actual book. At some point, it became...work. Satisfying, yes, but...work.

The weekend closes on a somewhat sour note, though. Looks like there's more political skulduggery afoot. I keep hoping for God's Justice, because that seems to be the only thing that I can hope for. But when will it come? Will it even come? Or is God asleep, or indifferent?