Archive for May 2nd, 2011

State of the Writer: May 2011

Hey, look at that.  It’s a new month, so it’s another chance for me to unbutton a shirt button to allow for optimal naval gazing.  April was an oddly productive month for me, which is largely to say that I was productive in odd directions.  The primary project of the month has been working on updates for my Lucha Libre story, something that’s turned into a pure joy to write and work on in a way few other stories have.  Almost a shame it’s so short, but there’s really nothing else I can do with it.  Going into May, that story is still going to get much of my focus because even though it’s not due until July 1, I’ve got a personal deadline of May 12 set.

In other projects, Future Lovecraft has just opened up, and yes, that’s the story I was talking about in my previous post.  I have a concept that I like, I just can’t quite crack the blank page to really get a start that I like.  Perhaps because I’ve got a few other stories running around my brain that are insisting on being told one-by-one.  These are the Steam Worlds.  These are the stories that came from my curiosity with the way that the Victorians imagined the earth and the cosmos working.  One already existed, then four more titles came about in the course of about an hour.  By the end, these stories will head to Mars, Venus, Phaeton, the Moon, and even inner Earth.  Right now they exist in the following formats:

  • Mars: Submitted to an anthology, still waiting to hear back (anxious, anxious)
  • Venus: Plot noodled.  I’m loving the plot I’m coming up with, which will include elements of Chernobyl, UrbEx, and 1940s air pollution disasters.  And robots.
  • Phaeton: Title with a vague X meets Y notion.  Least developed of the five.
  • The Moon: Change of title, change of focus, and suddenly there’s a story to be told here.
  • Inner Earth: This one depresses me a little.  Possibly the most ambitious theme and concept of the set.

I don’t know what will ultimately end up happening to them.  Mars, being in current circulation, could really help the others get told and sold.  Perhaps one day when several are sold and some rights revert they might merge together and be my first short story collection.  For now, I’ll search for homes where I can find them without worrying about continuity between them.  They don’t share characters, and don’t really share a timeline, they just exist in similar worlds.

Been reading too much Save the Cat.  Has me wanting to write another screenplay.  A proper one.  Maybe one that I could put up on Amazon Studio.  More on that if it actually starts happening.  Also been thinking about a certain xenophobe and his Serbian mentor.

State of the writer’s beer: Mustache Cat fermentation has slowed.  Bottling could happen this weekend, is more likely to happen next weekend.  Might be able to crack a bottle in time for June.  Looking at my options for batch two, considering a Ginger/Lemon/Honey Ale offered by Austin Homebrew.

It’s going to be a three Fortnightcap month.  First one will be up tomorrow, probably in the form of a new article.

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Lovecraft Landmine: First Person

I did it again this weekend.  I opened up a blank Word document, got to work on a fresh Lovecraftian piece, and started the same way I always start.  By writing the word “I”.

Look, there are plenty of great things about first person, and I’ve written some stories I absolutely love in first person.  There’s some great Lovecraftian fiction written from first person out there.  But there’s something about when I start a story that way that causes it to fall apart.  My problem?  It’s so much the style of the original stories that I start wandering down the path of bad habits and bad prose, forgetting that it was the ideas of Lovecraft that have kept him relevant for so long, not the actual style.

I start in with the first person, and after that flows the bizarre adjectives, the purple prose, the over wrought text, that urging temptation to end the story as some sort of final written confessional from a man about to succumb to his own madness.  Which means along the way I lose my voice, I lose the character’s voice, and I end up trapped in a world of bad writing.

This is my own personal demon, and I’m aware of that.  This post is about me airing the demon out, making myself as aware of it as I can, so that maybe next time I’ll remember before I’ve written a few hundred words that I now hate and will delete to restart in third person when I get home.

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