Saturday, October 27, 2012

World Fantasy Convention

Kristin and I will be going to the World Fantasy Convention next weekend, and we will both be on the panel "The Real World  in Fantastic Fiction" at noon on Saturday.  Here's the description:
Just because a story is set in a secondary world doesn’t mean its medical/legal/political/military systems cannot be grounded in some kind of reality. Inaccuracies can abound when authors try to incorporate procedures and systems that exist in the real world into their created worlds without paying proper attention to details. The panel examines why and how reality is all important, even in a fantastic world.
The other panelists are Ian Drury, Geoff Hart, Christopher Kovacs, and Kenneth Schneyer.

There are a number of different ways that this panel could go, and it's not clear yet exactly what we'll be talking about.  Presumably the moderator will ask us questions, and we'll do our best to answer them.  We can talk about they "why" of getting the reality in your fiction right, but I often find the question of "how" to be more interesting.  How do you get the details right?  One of the keys is research, but how do you do the research?  How much do you do?  What can't you learn from research?  If the research isn't helping, do you change the story or just make stuff up?  Those are the sort of questions all writers face to some degree, and I think it'd be fun to talk about.

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