Weird kid alone in the attic with his books.

I'm having fun with "The Wyvern Riders." It's a bit of a mess because I'm making it up as I go along. I will need to do some sort of reference book for the Thirteen Principalities as the mythos gets more convoluted.

This story has a different story arc than normal. I don't really introduce the villains until 2/3rds of the way in, and they will be a distant threat to the end. I haven't plunged the characters into danger. I haven't done most of the things "those who know how to write" tell me I should do.

Which is fine. I'm only trying to please myself. Frankly, I don't want all the drama. I just want an adventure story.

This is sort of my declaration of independence.

I can see how I'm probably going to settle into this slower pace, this inner pace, this just doing what I want when I want. I can see how it will be both a defeat and a victory, because the defeat was doing what wasn't all that fun, and the victory is not having to do it.

I'm going to create an entire world. By writing it, by doing it. By taking note of what I've done and making sure it fits the rest of the stories. This is very satisfying in a weird, young kid alone in his attic room sort of way.

That weird kid alone in his attic room was where this all came from. In 1964, I didn't know anyone else who read fantasy. In fact, modern fantasy as we know it didn't really exist yet. Tolkien lit the fire and a million fantasy writers were born.

 I sought it out, read everything I could, went backward and forward and sideways and just studied the whole genre, especially its history. When I did start running into other SF or fantasy readers, I realized most of them had no real context, no real awareness of the history.

I got so immersed in it that I burned myself out. I walked away. Every fantasy seemed to same to me, just an endless string of Tolkien knockoffs. Spent 30 years reading everything else, mostly mysteries and thrillers, some SF, non-fiction, historicals, etc.

When I came back to writing, I thought I'd be writing fantasy, but instead found the horror genre was much more open to invention.

I still think that.

But in my heart, my first love is fantasy.

I don't really know if the fantasy of the Thirteen Principalities is standard or strange or something in-between. The point is, it doesn't matter, because I've written so much in the past six years that I can finally just delve into my stories without worrying about it.

Nurturing an entire fictional world is going to be fun. Like I said yesterday, I wanted to live in Middle Earth.

This is even better, really, because it's MY world.