20 July 2014

Blog Shy

Hello, friends. I am wondering why I've been so blog shy for the last year or so. I don't know?

Part of it has to do with spinning out into a bit of a depression last year. There is also the fact that I've been putting more effort into my other job / other projects, which require a lot of tending to and careful attention to get things up off the ground. I've been reading and looking into some marketing information, and I guess everything I'm reading seems to apply more to my small business than it does to writing. Why is writing so different from everything else? Blah. Blargh.

Updates and stuff:

I wrote the last page of my page-a-day project on July 1st. Actually it turned out to be more like my page every day and a half project, but it still was a great experience. I know now that I can write at a totally different pace than full-on crazy fast.

I'm formulating an elaborate theory about the pacing of a story vs. the speed at which you write it. I'm not sure in any way that this is accurate, and it's totally subjective which means it's either brilliant and insightful or wrong and not representative of reality at all, BUT! seems to me that the page a day allowed for a lot more introspection / internal focus on my main character. The conflict in that story depended on the conflict between the role the main character was supposed to play and who he really was inside, so without a thorough representation of the mc's internal landscape, it wouldn't work. Doing a page a day made me much more aware of the minutiae of the story, much of which was the character's thought process as he worked on keeping up his facade. What I'm trying to say is that the page a day writing process seemed particularly well-suited to this kind of storytelling, but I might be making that up.

Switching gears, I'm writing a bunch this month trying to speed through some raw word count to get my creative juices flowing on some other projects and draft some short fiction. Clearing out the idea backlog is always a good idea, I find, since it prevents locking on to a single project and becoming obsessed with making everything perfect, a constant problem and issue for me, especially when I spend the bulk of my time trying to edit and polish. Fresh raw word count is always a good solution, as is calling something finished and sending it out onto the market.

I've had the (Canadian) Netflix for a while now. There is some pretty good indie horror on there. Did you know? Dave and I loved The Shrine for its creepy, Grudge-style no-way-out plot, and its no-holds-barred climax. I struggle with story endings. The most common feedback I get on stories from editors is that the ends are not satisfying or complete-feeling. I could make a whole study of the way The Shrine builds to a very dynamic, physical, visceral ending and then lets it all spin out in a way that feels totally inevitable. Yeah yeah there are some flaws, but seriously. We nervously giggled through the grossness of the ending. 

Also, The Seasoning House. This hard to watch but super satisfying revenge film is really beautiful in its symmetry. I always love seeing Kevin Howarth play a villain, ever since I caught his better-than-Bale turn as a psychopath in The Last Horror Movie. I could watch Rosie Day crawl through filthy ducts and emote all day. Okay, just kidding, but hers is a jaw-dropping performance. 

A minor household disaster (i.e., breaking something that isn't mine and trying to find all the pieces for gluing back together) caused me to completely empty a small bookcase full of paperbacks this week. I haven't dusted these for a dog's age, so as I put the shelf back together I rearranged, sorted, tossed some (goodbye, Mill on the Floss! I hated you! And also, I don't need you, second copy of Crime and Punishment). I rediscovered my old copies of several books from the Abyss horror line, which I am still sad about because if all was just in the world it would still be going. If you're not familiar with this apex moment in the history of horror publishing, there's a good summary here at Too Much Horror Fiction. I'm looking forward to digging into some of the ones I remember loving and some I never got to in what remains of the summer.

That's me. You?


3 comments:

Andrew Leon said...

Like John Byrne the comic book writer?

Hey, and that could be a great strategy for -you-. I mean, people may tell you you're wrong, but if that works for you then it works for you.

Elizabeth Twist said...

I have no idea if it's John Byrne the comic book writer. Maybe once the horror market finally tanked in the late '90s, he switched venues.

It is late and I think I don't understand the second half of your comment unless it's about getting a whipping boy of my own, in which case I can only say I'm considering it.

Andrew Leon said...

John Byrne has been a comic writer/artist since the 80s, at least, maybe the 70s, but he's also written a few books. I just don't know what books.

The second half of my comment is about your page-a-day thing.

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