Complexity in fiction


One of the first science fiction novels I ever read was The Gods Themselves by Asimov. It was a rather daunting introduction to science fiction for a 14 year old, but I was hooked. Years later I found that Asimov had also written the
Lucky Starr series. By that time I craved complex stories and was rather shocked to think that Asimov had gone out of his way to make books that were intended for juveniles…I wanted long and intricate novels.

One of the joys of participating at Novelas, a wiki where anyone can drop by and write fiction, is that all kinds of writers are thrown into a collaborative environment. Authors have a chance to interact, learn from eachother and try new kinds of writing.

At Novelas nobody has really gotten into categorizing the works of fiction according to their complexity or possible appeal to young readers -which might be a good thing- we can be forced to wander outside of our comfort zones if the boundaries are not well marked. Still, I have many tricks for staying in my own ruts…for example, my addiction to complexity keeps me away from most short fiction. I’ve started thinking about the possibility that I might find a way to break my addiction to overly-complex stories. After seeing an outline for a new story I started thinking that Asimov probably had fun writing about “David Starr: Space Ranger” in a way that was not possible for most of his other works.

Can I “let my hair down” and work on a story that offends my taste for hard science fiction? Gee…maybe I’ll find that it can be fun to “break the rules” that I usually follow when I write fiction. Maybe I’ll learn how to break my addiction to complexity and find new ways to have fun writing.




Upper image: Cotoxy processor KX-263 This image is licensed under the GFDL.
Lower image: public domain.

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