Sunday, July 7, 2013

Writing a whole novella of backstory: excerpts from Joe Hill interview

I love reading through the short story magazines I'm subscribed to: Clarkesworld, Lightspeed, Nightmare, and Fantasy & Science Fiction. So potent. Novels, even good ones, often run the risk of losing the potency that a lot of short stories can retain with ease. That's part of the challenge of course.

I finished up the July issue of Nightmare Magazine today. It wasn't my favorite issue fiction-wise but the non-fiction worked for me. I really liked the interview with Joe Hill, who is the son of Stephen King apparently. Will have to check out his latest novel, NOS4A2, at some point.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

What I'm Currently Working On

I've been working hard on my plots. Changed the focus of the novel and honed it down to one central protagonist with a single main goal to provide some real drive to the story. Thanks to the great recommendation from my current writing teacher, Dennis Foley, I'm using beat sheets to help me outline better and more simply. Foley's Writing The First Novel class is great, by the way. Already into Week 5 of it - excited for even more insights awaiting me in the last half of the course. Beat sheets are the outlining method used in Hollywood (where Foley started his writing career). Just write out each beat that's necessary for moving the plot forward, then go back over it and divide them into scenes/locations. So simple and so useful.

Quote from Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan

I really enjoyed Altered Carbon (by Richard Morgan) - delicious cyberpunk detective-noir. The reading by Todd McLaren was excellent as well. Recommended.

From the opening, I knew this was going to be sweet. Here's a short quote from Chapter 1 which I was going to post back when I read the book in May.

“You’re a lucky man, Kovacs.”

Sure. 180 light years from home wearing another man’s body on a six-week rental agreement Freighted in to do a job that the local police wouldn’t touch with a riot prod. Fail and go back into storage. I felt so lucky I could’ve burst into song as I walked out the door.  - Takeshi Kovacs

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Excerpt from a short story draft

I joined a writing course as of May 20th. It's called Writing The First Novel and is an online course taught by Dennis Foley (you can see a list of his courses here: Thus far, we've only gone over introductions and the basic structure of the course, but I am excited about the creative energy I have already observed in the other students and in the teacher as well. Here's to hoping the rest of the course is suitably instructive and inspiring.

As a refresher, I started reading through the Scrivener folders which contain the latest versions of my novel. Forgot how much was in there! It also reminded me of the background to a short story I wrote more recently. My sister sent me the postcard posted below last month and challenged me to write a short story based loosely off the pictured scene, letting it take me wherever my creative, fantastical musings took me.