There. A little over two thousand words on the noir objective vampires today, to finish the draft. A short story! All completed and stuff!
I've been meaning to blog for a while on writing-related topics, but you know, the funny thing is, as I get better at this writing gig, it gets harder to find things to talk about. One is that historically I've always blogged about what I was learning, and these days, while I am still learning about writing (and I imagine I always will be) the writing curve is a lot flatter, and a lot more of the skills have moved into the realm of unconscious competence. I can still tap into that knowledge when teaching, editing, or critting, but I'm no longer having to work it out for my own self on a daily basis.
And the stuff I am having to work out is much more arcane and of more limited application.
Like right now, for the noir objective vampires, I am writing in third person objective for the first time I've attempted it at length. (That's Dashiell Hammett POV, for those of you who aren't familiar with it--basically, camera-eye point of view, without internalizations.)
It's one of the weirdies, and it's hard. There's so much exposition we usually do in introspection, so much sensory information we convey that way.
I have two stories to write that want it, and I'm having to learn it as a new skill. But at this point, it's more like an accomplished musician picking up another string intrument than it is learning banjo when you have never done more than blow on a plastic recorder before.
The other thing I'm working on--a much bigger project--is accessibility. I've been saying for years that I believe that accessibility is a literary value. It's one that's often in direct tension to other literary values, such as ambiguity and complexity, but that does not mean it's not of worth.
I say "tension" advisedly, by the way, because I don't believe that accessibility and ambiguity are mutually exclusive. I believe that doing one makes the other more challenging to achieve. But that's not the same thing as orthogonal or oppositional.
Anyway, I have traditionally been very bad at making my work accessible. I have a weird brain; I have to translate from Me to English most of the time anyway. (Hell, I spent ten years just learning to do visual description. Apparently most of you interact with the world through your eyes? Who knew!)
So here I am, still plugging away at trying to make it work. Because I don't have anything invested in being a difficult writer. I mean, I acknowledge that I am, and I do believe that the reader should not have everything handed to her--effort is part of what makes it fun, after all. I like a book better if there's stuff in it for me to figure out for myself.
But engagement is not the same as obscurity.
I have no idea how to write about that, though (accessibly, she said, ironically), because so much of it is microtweaks. A line of exposition here, a better command of clarity of sentence there. A semicolon added here, a prepositional phrase removed over there. Better verbs. Less ambiguous phrasing.
Writing about things I have to learn about, rather than things I Know In My Bones, so that I have a better idea of what needs expositing without falling under the Pedantry Bus.
Yeah, some of that is insider literature versus outsider literature. Carnival is insider lit. For the full impact, it helps to have grown up in the culture I grew up in, or at least be heavily steeping in it.
I may be a while figuring this one out.
So. In the meantime. Here. Have a cool link to heterochromous eyeshine.
State of the Honeydew:
Massachusetts Library Association Conference: April 30
Connecticut Authors & Publishers Association University 2010 - Writers Conference: May 8
Realms of Fantasy Review Column: June 9
Fourth Street Fantasy Convention: June 25-27
Secrit projekt deadline: June 30
A Reckoning of Men: July 1 (with truepenny)
"Dolly" (formerly known as the untitled noir objective stuntwriting thingy): July 1
"Spell 81a": July 15 (with stillsostrange)
Readercon: July 8-11
Viable Paradise: October 1-10
Gaylaxicon: October 29-31
The Steles of the Sky: November 2
"Uniform": November 15 (with stillsostrange, blackholly, coffeeem, willshetterly, and leahbobet)
Darkover: November 26-28
The White City chapbook: late fall
"Ligature": January 15 2011
Eurocon: June 17-19 2011
The Steles of the Sky book 2: November 2 2011
An Apprentice to Elves: December 1 2011 (with truepenny)
No fixed deadline:
space opera thingy
revise "The Romance"
REZ (formely known at the Singularity Rent novel)