There’s something to be said for the rolling heroic epics. Stories that span hundreds of pages and several volumes in the course of saving the world. The hero completes their journey, the wrongs are righted and the world is brought back from the brink of destruction. Cinematic storytelling where the stakes are the highest they have ever been. A lot of authors write this style of epic fantasy well, but how do you top saving the world?
You can always save the world again, and in many sequels the hero does, but it always felt less to me. Not necessarily derivative, but even though we were back to saving the world, it had already been done, Feist and Eddings come to mind. I enjoyed the authors work immensely but re-reading them lately got me thinking; are these the kind of stories I want to tell?
How about instead of saving the world, we just try to make it through the day.
As I get older this becomes more important to me, more pertinent to the way the world turns. The world will be fine, it’s us that are buggered, and what are we but a collection of individuals. The saying goes that everyone is the main character in their own story. More focused, character driven stories are what I find most interesting. The world does not need to be saved (Yes it does, its falling apart) the character just needs to make it through the day.
This is far more relate-able to me, and to many people I think. Sure saving the world is fun, but who can identify with that struggle. Even in the tales where the heroes save the world, the small moments between characters highlight the humanity so well. It’s that feeling, those moments I want to capture in my own writing.