Jump to content

DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY
Rufae

Author Q&A: L.E. Modesitt

Recommended Posts

Hello L E Modesitt! How are ya?

 

As a writer, I don't believe in waiting for inspiration. It's our task to create it.

 

Ive got to say, best answer ever to the inspiration question. Love it!

 

Do you outline everything, or do you wing it? How do you get round times in your story when you dont know enough yet?

Edited by Drekka Mort

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As I've noted elsewhere, I don't outline everything. I do outline as much of the background details -- location, geography, maps, culture, government, technology, economics, as I can possibly think of before I start writing in earnest, but often discover that I've left out or forgotten something. So I'm adding to the background outline as I'm writing the story, As for plot... I have the general storyline n my head before I start writing. I also don't always write in sequence, but may write chapters much farther on in the story [of course, I often end up revising them considerably].

 

All in all, I'd have to admit it's a hodgepodge of outline, advance details, rethinking, unthinking, and feeling out. I also work out many details and problems in my mind on my morning exercise walk, and I'm fortunate to be able to keep much of the unwritten part of the story in my mind.

 

 

L. E. Modesitt, Jr.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mr. Modesitt,

 

You've slowly become my favorite author. I would not be the honest, thoughtful, patient, insightful person I am today without your influence. Still have a ways to go though, keep writing.

 

Thanks,

 

Damien

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you.

 

I do intend to keep writing, at least so long as my work meets my own standards and so long as readers wish to buy it and read it.

 

I think the greatest, honest fear that a writer should have is the fear that he or she won't know when it's time to set aside the pen, typewriter, or computer. The problem is, of course, that some writers retain their abilities until the day they die (or close to it)and others don't.

 

Again... my thanks for your kind words.

 

 

L. E. Modesitt, Jr.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As for the issue about the far-reaching impact of magic, that's because of my view of what magic would be in any realistic human society. Human beings are tool-users. Anything that we can use in a practical fashion as a tool, we do. And all tool use has impacts that reverberate throughout the world. In any world where magic is workable, we'd work it as a tool, and there would be implications far beyond the immediate use. Another reason for my focus and concern about effects was that, especially at the time that I wrote The Magic of Recluce, far too many authors were ignoring the obvious costs and repercussions of magic use, and just concentrating on the "gee-whiz, that's neat" aspects. Thankfully, this has changed considerably [but not vanished]over the past 20 years.

 

 

L. E. Modesitt, Jr.

 

To follow up on this reply, what authors do you think really hit the idea of magic influencing the environment, as you strive to do? Any before you that you felt particularly influenced this particular aspect of your style?

Edited by Elend

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's late, at least for me, as I write this, but frankly, I don't know that many authors, even today, who factor in the impact of magic on the environment. I know that, in at least one book, Brandon Sanderson does to some degree, as does Sharon Shinn in one book. I honestly can't think of any who did so before I did [not that there may not have been some, but if so, I either didn't read them or can't recall them]. That lack of interrelation and impact was one factor motivating me to write The Magic of Recluce.

 

This, of course, brings up the question of whether magic systems the way I write them are truly fantasy. There have been readers and other writers who claim that my approach is not fantasy at all, but science fiction disguised as fantasy. I don't think so, obviously, but there are those who do.

 

 

L. E. Modesitt, Jr.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's late, at least for me, as I write this, but frankly, I don't know that many authors, even today, who factor in the impact of magic on the environment. I know that, in at least one book, Brandon Sanderson does to some degree, as does Sharon Shinn in one book. I honestly can't think of any who did so before I did [not that there may not have been some, but if so, I either didn't read them or can't recall them]. That lack of interrelation and impact was one factor motivating me to write The Magic of Recluce.

 

This, of course, brings up the question of whether magic systems the way I write them are truly fantasy. There have been readers and other writers who claim that my approach is not fantasy at all, but science fiction disguised as fantasy. I don't think so, obviously, but there are those who do.

 

 

L. E. Modesitt, Jr.

 

Thats interesting. I think of the two genres as the same thing but in different time eras, and I think amalgamations such as this might be becoming "the new thing." At least I hope so as Im doing a fantasy/sci fi mashup myself haha

Edited by Drekka Mort

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The late Robert Jordan lived in Charleston, SC and mentioned on several occasions that the storytelling nature of the Southern Culture found in the city had affects in his writing. I noticed that you have lived in Utah for some time which, as I am sure you kow already, is also the home of Brandon Sanderson and Orson Scott Card. That is just a sample of the top-notch SF/F talent that appears to call Utah home. Do you feel that the cutlure of region has affected your writing? Do you feel the region is condusive to the development so many good writers, or is it just coincidence?

 

Beyond any of teh aforementioned regional influences, who/what do you feel has influenced your writing the most?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd already been published for twenty years before I moved to Utah. So I don't think that the Utah "culture" had much to do with nurturing or inspiring me in that respect. Also, Brandon Sanderson grew up largely in Idaho, and Orson Scott Card lived in California and Arizona growing up, as well as in Utah, although both attended BYU. Likewise Dave Wolverton [aka David Farland] grew up in the Pacific northwest before moving to Utah. Still, for whatever reason, Utah has generated -- or attracted -- a disproportionate number of F&SF writers, but it may be that "western" states generate writers... or... the possibilities are many. It's definitely an area that's "writer-friendly," especially to the F&SF genre.

 

Certainly, Utah and its geography and its culture have inspired a number of my novels, as well as some short stories, and the Utah culture has certainly influenced both my life and my writing, directly and indirectly, and likely always will.

 

It's extremely hard to say, at least for me, that there was a single influence on my writing that overshadowed all others. My parents introduced me to the written word, and my mother was the one who introduced me to F&SF, while a handful of teachers in high school and college refined and spurred that interest, as have the works of all the writers and poets I've read over the years.

 

 

L. E. Modesitt, Jr.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

By the tale of the clock, we have come to the end of our Q&A with SF/F novelist L.E. Modesitt. I want to sincerely offer my thanks to him on behalf of the members and administration of Dragonmount for taking time from his busy schedule to talk with us.

 

If you would like to continue to follow Mr. Modesitt, he has a really awesome website: http://www.lemodesittjr.com/

 

I would like to encourage everyone to read Mr. Modesitt's books, they will give you a lifetime of enjoyment that you can relive again and again.

 

lemodesitt_header.jpg

Edited by SamVimes

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This was a great experience - thank you so much for sharing your time and yourself with us!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...