Back to basics

June 10, 2014

Last night, I finally finished a book I’d been reading for close to two months. It’s a great, liberating feeling when you finish a book. But after two months? Talk about a breath of fresh air.

It wasn’t a bad book by any means. “Elantris” by Brandon Sanderson, his first book, was a unique, interesting take on a fantasy novel. While a lot of the writing “rules” that I’ve had drilled into me appeared to be broken many a time throughout the book, it was still interesting and fun to read. My major problem was the characters, in that the main characters and their closest companion were all intelligent and could figure out every problem, while everyone else was a complete and utter moron.

But that’s beside the point.

It took so long to read mainly because of my new job. I started reading it shortly after I started, and didn’t have a lot of time to sit down and read. Not just because of work, though, but because I prefer to spend the majority of my free time editing my own novel right now. And no, I haven’t started writing that story I mentioned yesterday.

As a writer, nay, a lover of words, I immediately went to find a new book to start reading. I love to read, and I love to learn from what I do read. So I am going back to basics, and continuing to read some of my all-time favorites.

Bloody, dirty, gruesome, wretched Conan the Cimmerian. A king, rogue, pirate, killer, thief, lover, savior, fighter, and all around badass.

My own characters, Clay and Styg owe more than a lot to Conan. One of my favorite characters and licensed properties EVER, He-Man, owes damn near everything to Conan. And my model for how I want my body to look as I continue to attempt sculpting it at the gym more than I should, is Conan (specifically, the Jason Momoa incarnation as I could never hope to look like Arnold).

To me, Conan is as basic as it gets. The writing lacks the finesse and flow we are used to these days, they the stories raw. They are bloody. They are true. But more importantly, they are stories. They leave me feeling entertained, and thirsty for more.

I want my body to look like Conan, and I want my stories to be as revered and entertaining as Conan. Is that too much to ask?

Thank you, Robert E. Howard. Thank you, Conan. You are what make it worthwhile for me.

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