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bear by san

March 2017

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writing goddamned verbs slithytove

it sounds like you had an epiphany.

You know, I wonder if one of the problems I've been having with the writing lately is that I've been microsteering. I bet that's it exactly. that's what it feels like. Like I've been--rather than looking as far ahead as possible and following the grand curve of the road--making constant tiny little adjustments. Which would be a necessary consequence of trying to write Chill before it was really ripe, in tiny little segments rather than as one long controlled/fluid sweep of line.

But just like in driving a car, it's exhausting. And just like in art, if your line is made up of broken segments, it always looks a little jittery, even if you join them together after.

You need the confidence of being able to look ahead and see where you're going to be, eventually.

And now, in celebration of having finished the damned thing, I offer the first line meme, for outstanding projects:


The Sea thy Mistress:

Breathless.

#

"Smile"

It's harder to get good roles when you're dead.

#

"The Horrid Glory of Her Wings"

No first line yet, but it does have an epigraph:

"Speaking of livers," the unicorn said, "Real magic can never be made by offering up someone else's liver. You must tear out your own, and not expect to get it back. The true witches know that."

--Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn

#

Grail
also has an epigraph:

And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.

And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the Lord is in this place; and I knew it not.

And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.


--KJV

#

"On Safari in R'lyeh and Carcosa with Gun and Camera"

"We wouldn’t be having this conversation if you'd flunked Algebra."

(This story is my "The Amelia Earhart Pancake." I've had the title since 1989, and still haven't written in.)

#

"Snow Dragons"

They're not actually dragons.

#

"Lucky Day"

Gray Putnam was reaching for the door handle when the semi went past, rocking his Audi on its shoes and drowning the driver's side in a wall of water.

#

...and that's what I need to be going on with for the next little while.

Comments

"On Safari in R'lyeh and Carcosa with Gun and Camera"

I have nothing to add, I just love this title. Much like I love "Shoggoths in Bloom" (title and story).
I thank you, and the shoggoths thank you.

(Actually, the Shoggoths title is stillsostrange's.)

(Anonymous)

microsteering

Ah, but when explorers mapped uncharted land, they could only work in small, discrete chunks, right?

But I get the frustration. Congratulations on reaching your destination. Enjoy the ennui. ;)

And thank you for the excellent stories!

lynD
I'm now desperate to read Smile.
I would really like to have written it. It's been percolating for *years*.
I think you are right about the micro-steering. We talked about where "Chill" was going a year or so ago. Like driving on ice, one (speaking theoretically) does not want to make sudden corrections.. Of course sometimes you wind up in the ditch anyway.

And i think you are right, that you have 400pp. of "Middle of the Book." But now you are done.. (rejoicing in the provinces)
Oh I managed to find Hammered and also Scardown. I really liked Hammered when I first read it. The covers not so much. I would be interested in hearing what you thought of them.
Authors have no input on their covers.
I had an Epiphany once but i traded it in on a Framus 12 string.
My son is learning to drive, and you have described just what he feels when he has had his lesson. He's trying to learn how to make all the little sections into one smooth, instinctive whole. Not easy. So I give him hugs, cheers and chocolate cookies to encourage him.

*Sending hugs, cheers, virtual chocolate cookies and whatever else you require to encourage you.* I do like your books so very much!



When I was doing freelance copywriting, I ran across a piece of advice that went something like, "The purpose of the headline is to get the reader to read the first sentence. The purpose of the first sentence is to get the reader to read the second sentence. And so on until the end. Each sentence serves not only to covey meaning, but to move the reader through the text."

I've always been a huge fan of the killer first line. Yours are excellent, thank you for sharing them.
I love that Beagle quote. It's been a favourite of mine for a long time. Because, yanno, it's true.