Tuesday, 22 May 2012

When the Words Attack...

See, I was just sitting there minding my own business...

From out of nowhere they came, the Words, screaming like vicious banshees wailing into the night, axes held high above their heads. They charged at me and I could do nothing - I was paralysed in fear. But as they reached me they stopped.

The howling stopped.
The heat from their enraged bodies dropped.

And they looked at me...

"Why isn't it finished?" the centre one asked, looking accusedly at me.
"What?" I replied.
He tossed a pile of papers onto the desk in front of me.
"What is it?" I asked, as the pages of the manuscript spilled open.
"It is what you began."
I looked at it. The Words were right. It was my novel. It had laid untouched for several sessions, gone for a few days - only a few days - and not forgotten.

But the Words, the Words took it personally.

"You have left us, for what?"
"Shorts," I answered.
"Why? Why do you betray us, so?"
"Because they make me feel safe." I withdrew from them, now more afraid of what I had just said, than of the horror that stood before me.
"Why do they make you feel safe?"
I pushed at the manuscript with a single finger, as if it might bite me. "Because," I said, "I am scared of this..."

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Being an Author: Inspiration

I struggle sometimes with inspiration. On occasion it is swift, unforgiving, and cut-throat, it's blade dancing with me in a ballet of passion and lust, it's righteous hunt for a bard to find it's words... it's forthrightfulness striking at the pure of heart... waitng... waiting to bleed onto the page.

And other times... meh.

It's not so much something that I can talk about in any meaningful way, so much as tell you how it hits me, and whether or not you should worry about it.

These last few months my inspiration has sort of, well, jumped ship. I've tried everything just to arouse the sensation of the word in me. Honestly? Nothing has worked. Not really. So what have I tried?

The Odd Watch

Ah yes. My strange fascination with strange movies. Yeah. That didn't work. I mean, let me count the ways.

I've had oddball Spanish horror imported from the US. Odd? Yes. Interesting? Yes. Worth the Watch? Definately. Inspiring? No, not really.

Old horror TV. You know, Tales from the Crypt and that sort of stuff. Good? Yes... blah, blah, blah... and the list goes on.

Art


I hit up the Tate Modern in London. Damien Hirst has an exibit there. I won't go on to tell you about it, lest to say some of it might be considered icky. No dice on the inspiration though. But the food was nice.



Books

Oh surely, books can inspire any writer? No. (and don't call me Shirley.) I'm reading a lot at the moment, especially for me. I'm editing for Wicked East, my own shorts, looking long and hard at something else, and of course, reading for fun. (James Herbert's Once, FYI)




But no, alas, none of it helps.

So what inspires me to write? Alcohol? Drugs? Fast cars? Faster women?

No.

Writing does.

'til next time.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Three Random Writing Rambles: 02/05/12

Today's 3 bites of writing randomness:

  • Finishing the story is hard - especially if you don't want it to end. Maybe if you have to kill off your lead, or if you just like what you're writing you don't want it to end. This is particularly pertinent to first drafts. The answer is actually easy. If you want to waste your time keep writing. Drag it on. Make it longer. Hell, make it as long as you like. I mean, no one's going to read it anyway. Second draft? You'll hack the whole lot out. Drop that sword. Kill that lead. All good things come to an end.  
  • Picture the people that you write about in your head. I know it sounds a bit crazy - baring in mind that your readers will probably picture them differently - but if you do, then you'll find that continuity in speech and action will come more easily.
  • Don't bog down and over complicate. I don't know anything about submarines. I know nothing aside from that they are big tubes that go under water; they have periscopes; and somewhere the radar thingy goes, blip, bliip, bliiip! Thing is, if you're setting a horror on one of these things I don't need to know as much about it as you do. That blippy thing is a radar. I don't need to know that it's the third generation 4X2 model, an old yet reliable radar from about thirty years ago n the Czech Republic. Especially if it doesn't go wrong, and is never mentioned again.