|Friday, October 14th, 2005|
not pirate hooks..although.
A lot of people over in the nano communities have been busily worrying about outlines and plots etc. I am not sure I could ever write like that.
What I do need though is a good hook. Do you know hooks? Runs from one sentance to the 1st paragraph and..yes..hooks the reader's curiosity. Or in my case the writer's. I admit it..I write fiction not so much to write (that is,after all,what poetry is for) but because I am curious about what happens next in the story. But that is me.
|Saturday, September 10th, 2005|
Ok..I have had an excuse for not writing lately (are there really genuine excuses? well..not really..but shush). But I have been in the process of moving into a house. But now I have a study/den..and a library so I think I am running out of escapes.
|Wednesday, October 6th, 2004|
photos and siding
I like looking in rural_ruin
from time to time. Unlike its urban counterpart, urban_decay
which has its own strange beauty, the former tends to focus on old residences. There was one today of an old farmhouse in Ontario..an old TV thrown on top of an abandoned chesterfield, beautiful old wall paper hanging in strips from what was left of the walls.
Which brings me to a point of course..that landscapes,including houses are also characters. Not to mention story ideas in and of themselves. Why was this grand house abandoned? Not grand as in mansion but grand as in built for families to live in..generation after generation.
I think almost every area has houses like that..not all of them abandoned..houses which have evolved their own character. I remember one of the quirkiest..a small place in the middle of Amish country in northeast Ohio..where the roof of the porch was a rowboat cut in two and auto license plates had been used for the siding.
characters and sturgeon
Another question comes to mind..do you create characters? I am not totally sure that I do. If I look hard enough I tend to see people from real life that are taking the advantage of a new environment..and who can show a great deal of will power in how they are written.
I think that may be one reason I do not write a lot of science fiction. To me science fiction is a venue to find entirely new species. Of course that could also be a reason I do not read all that much in the genre anymore. ET species in most science fiction (not all..but most..but then remember Sturgeon's Law) are,when you peel away the cosmetics, quite human. Not only human but generally with a European background.
Sturgeon's Law btw was formulated by Ted Sturgeon years ago and states that 98% of anything is pure crap. He was talking about science fiction, but the rule has many more applications.
|Monday, October 4th, 2004|
First of all,let me make it clear that I am not an insider in the publishing industry. But I brush up against the market from time to time having an odd set of friends..from writers to Wall Streeters. Nor am I sure exactly what the final effect will be.
The last 30 years have seen a feeding frenzy in the business world of small companies being gobbled by medium companies being swallowed by larger companies being....etc etc. Every year we have fewer and fewer independent houses and even fewere where the ultimate ownership is connected to the literary world. imprints disappear as do magazine titles..the latter also due to the fact that there is less competition among distibution companies in most cities.
Now one could say that the computer/internet industry has helped compensate for this. Obviously people have no need for a publisher at all if they desire given the number of free hosters our there in cyberspace. And the reduced price of printing that computers has brought have enabled a number of shall houses to spring up. Not to mention an increase in teh number of vanity presses. All o f which is well and good if all a writer wants is to see their words in print. If,however, the author wants others to see their words in print also, it does leave a bit to be desired.
|Sunday, October 3rd, 2004|
I've an idea
The best way to send information is to wrap it up in a person.
Idea novels. That is..novels that are written to convey an agenda or idea first and a story second. I have actually tried to write them..my problem is that the characters don't always agree with me. And it is their universe once it is started.
It does seem that authors who write agenda novels tend to be either shallow writers or much more remembered for the agenda than the writing. Ayn Rand has helped spawn an entire politics but the writing is more or less ignored these days. It was not always this way of course..and may not be in the future. In fact it is possible that the problem lies with the publishers more than the authors. But then publishing is a different battleground altogether which shall be dealt with tomorrow.
|Saturday, October 2nd, 2004|
some idle thoughts from writing classes I have been in either as a participant or instructor (yes I have..and find that scary)
I always find it amazing that people do not really look around their world that often. I used to put 5 objects in a classroom and then have people close their eyes and tell them what they were and where. We are not talking everyday objects..swords,a centurian's helmet, a chess set..things like that. Most people had not noticed.
I obviously cannot wander around and do that to everyone..so here is the question..name the first 5 things around you right now that come to mind. And why are they there?
|Thursday, July 29th, 2004|
In true writer fashion I spend a fair amount of time house sitting. The nice thing is that they have satellite. Which means I get to watch History International quite a bit. While it is obviously not exactly an academic resource it is still interesting to watch to get an idea as to how epochs are perceived by the general public? Although one can pick up the odd piece of trivia. I did not know that Edward I was 6'4". And their computer models of nowgone castles,temples,etc help give a more tangible feel to recreation.
|Wednesday, July 28th, 2004|
I wonder, wandering through markets,if there is a sign on poets which says.."Disposable Money.Please Take some". It is amazing how many so called self pub markets there are out there. And contests..with entry fees of course. People,people..just because I would like to be read does NOT mean I want to spend money on it. And for my own reasons I do shy away from the legitimate contests (which as a rule are part of the academic circle). Thank Gods for the internet I suppose.
I am in the process of rewriting a mss by September. What this means of course is that the flat is much cleaner. Windows washed,carpets vacuamed,furniture moved. And lots of reading. Last night's book was Ex libris-Confessions of a Common Reader by Anne Fadiman. If you have ever loved a book,had an affair with a book,even casualy dated a book, you should read it. And because behind every writer there is usually a reader I am assuming you have. This slim collection of essays discusses the treatment of books (people can love them and mistreat them) to the arranging of books to the sad loss of sesquipedalians in modern literature.
And the mention of sesquipedalians led me to think on the subject of dictionaries. There are any number of on-line dictionaries available,some of which I do use. But there is something satisfying about dragging down my battered copy of the Compact Edition of the OED. Distracting but satisfying. As an author it can be dangerous, as a poet it has actually led to new poems. And certainly it is more profitable to an author to browse words than search for cobwegs for the 7th time. Unless, of course, you live in a basement flat. Now excuse me while I work in chapter 8..err..after I do the kitchen sinks. Current Mood: contemplative
|Friday, June 11th, 2004|
apparently me first
On a warm early summer day the Funeral Home began to disappear. As the noon sun looked for shadows to chase and children out of school played loudly, the bulldozers approached the building. But the building held some shadows too dark for the sun to deal with, and they sank into the foundations and waited. A young woman, belly swelling slightly with child, walked by and shuddered softly, as though she could see the blood that would be glistening off new floors within a few years.
In the building next door, filled with the echoes of electricity and a million whispered conversations something even darker stirred, but waited.
and then ...and then..err. I do have a basic idea where the story ends up but not what happens next. And alas I am not a writer, I am a storyteller. I have never been able to do an outline. When I was a student I used to do the outlines..AFTER the paper. Suggestions?
|Wednesday, June 9th, 2004|
So why exactly did I start this community? Not for people to post full items for appraisal, although they are welcome to. But for those who are stuck in the middle of whatever and need help. Either with the story/poem/song or just with being stuck. Many people say that the first sentence is always the hardest. Not for me it is not. I can spin you the start of a story at the drop of a hat as it were. In writer's groups people would say..there goes bardi..he writes some of the best hooks that I have ever read. Shame he can't write worth shite for the rest of it.
The other part is research. Perhaps this comes from reading a grand Sherlock Holmes pastiche last week (Shadows over Baker Street). Many of the stories had odd little garnets of fact that leave one wondering..I thought I had a trivial head. So please feel free to post questions. And if you do not have an answer please post the response in your own lj. One of the nice things about Live Journal..somebody somewhere is bound to know,nu?
One more thing. This community is intended primariy for genre fiction..Fantasy, Science Fiction, and Horror. It is not that we would discount the others, just that the moderator (waves hand) when he does read fiction does to tend to lean toward them..as well as when he is writing. One genre I would rather not see, with no disrespect, is strict erotica. If such is what you are writing I suggese dreamsanderos instead.