• The Submissions Keep Rolling

    Horrible story I had to critique for Critters today. 50% exposition, cliche story, dull characters. And everybody talks in midievil (I gotta learn how to spell that. That and suspicious are my two words I never seem to get) speak. “Yes, Mother. Tell the young man that he should not wait any longer.” No one important uses contractions. That’s for the masses. Goddammit, write how people talk. I had a good run of luck with some decent stories, but this one broke my streak. You know it doesn’t look good when I’m looking at a half page of comments in raw form alone. I wonder what gets in some people’s…

  • Writing Advice #9

    Read the type of material you mean to write, for a wide range of ages, levels of seriousness, audiences, classics. This is a bit hard to decipher. I guess if I was Neil Gaiman, I’d read lots of stuff about myths, folk tales, and legends. This is not hard to do at a wide range of ages, seriousness, audiences, and classics. If I was Stephen King, it’s hard to find horror for a wide range of the above-mentioned criteria, unless you wanna read the Goosebumps books, but I don’t think he has debased himself to that. If you’re Audrey Niffenegger, what do you read? Dean Koontz and Louis L’Amour? Seems…

  • Friends Who Want To Read Your Work

    You ever have someone who wants to read your story? This is why I have a hard time telling people I’m a writer. None of my friends are writers, or are much of readers (except Janet Evanovich novels, which are all the same). So I get a book in the mail and say it’s research for a story I’m writing, someone says “Oh, can I read it when you’re done”. Maybe I’m just being a moron, but I don’t think they really mean it. I think they’re just being polite. Why? Well for one thing, not everyone’s favored genre is the same, and moreso, favorite authors and styles. So it’s…

  • Not Writing at Work Anymore

    Something happened. I don’t seem to be writing at work anymore. I don’t know why. I wrote Blood 2 at work just fine last Fall/Winter. More than 2,000 words a day. But nothing seems to be coming when I write at work. Maybe because I have too much drive to get my work done. Maybe I have too many internet distractions. Maybe I have too many things to read. Maybe I can’t get enough inertia going inbetween spurts to get a decent momentum of writing and flowage going.None of these are good excuses. But I have been able to write at home. Unfortunately, I also have no time there either.…

  • Writing Advice #8

    Writing is telepathy. It is trying to communicate a message or image (both, really) from your mind to another person’s mind. No person will see exactly what your mind sees. It is the job of the writer to communicate as much as what is necessary, while leaving enough left out for the reader to have fun filling the gaps. The writer cannot be fully detailed, or the work becomes an instruction manual. This King’s first piece of advice in his book On Writing (after forty pages of biography). Therefore, we can presume that this is his most important message. I almagamated this from his three page introduction to ‘how to…

  • Types of Audience

    There seem to be two types of audience when dealing with fiction that may not necessarily be to their liking or “fit” with their interpretation. One staunchly resists it, refusing to accept or just plain getting angry. The other tries to consolidate what happened into the universe, offering conjectures and theories, none of which have much basis in the story and are mostly based on circular reasoning (only true if you’re thinking it’s true as you’re reading it). I count myself in this latter category, and is probably a reason why I like fan fiction so much.For example, in Buffy the vampire slayer, there’s a lot of controversy over how…

  • Why I Write (the first)

    I was thinking the other day about why I write. I, like many other writer/reader types, am an escapist. I play video games and watch movies in addition to reading and writing. Of these, they are nearly all science-fiction. No historical novels, no romance, and almost nothing that takes place in this reality. As far as setting, characters, and plot are concerned, I prefer something that could not happen in real life (given that science and scientific discoveries are always evolving). I’m not going to presume why this is, I’m sure there are psychological oratories on the purpose of fantasy and escapism. And this is not the place for it.…

  • The Top of the Tower

    I’ve finished reading The Dark Tower septology. It was a lot of work to avoid the spoilers, but I’m glad I did. The journey was long and strange. Not everything was filled in, not all the prophecies were fulfilled. Some events exceeded my expectations, some ended unsatisfied. But the important thing I think is how it ended. HERE THERE BE SPOILERS FOR THE DARK TOWER. At the end we wrap up the whole metafiction theme. Stephen King has been introduced, his near-fatal accident has been made an integral part of the plot, and if we haven’t realized by now that this is a story about a story, we’ve been smoking…

  • The Concept of Dread

    Stephen King uses the concept of telling what’s going to happen to his characters (e.g., that they’re gonna die) before the event actually happens. This is a bold move by an author. Risky, in that you alienate the reader automatically by telling them that their favorite character is gonna die, leaving them with no motivation to go on. I know this happens, because I saw it when my wife was reading The Time Traveler’s Wife. But it left me wondering, when King writes this way, does he know how he’s gonna die, or does he just write it in, knowing no more than that fact, and setting himself up for…

  • He Writes the Right Stories.

    In the midst of the Dark Tower now. 65% done. The most amazing thing about the book (and book 6), is that it’s self-referential. King puts himself in the book as a character, kind of in a Never-Ending Story way. And as we discover, every book he’s written (or most of them) have references to the Dark Tower, like these seven books are the spine that make up his body at work. And of course, King isn’t without poking some fun at himself. One of the minor women characters says she didn’t like King, read four or five of his books, and found them good stories, but horrible with the…