Web fun!

Posted by Unrepentant Escapist

November 10, 2009 -- 9:36 a.m.

If you haven't discovered regrEtsy yet, you definitely ought to visit it. The worst of the hand-made crafts. Definitely not work safe! Hehe. Somebody bought this...

More useful for writers is Ralan.com which rounds up many sf/f/h short story markets and ACTUALLY IS UPDATED.

The worst and weirdest Vampire Products (The article is written for Halloween, but what the heck? Why not read it to celebrate the upcoming release of New Moon in theaters?).

Tor.com has the first chapter of R. Scott Bakker's new book up. Neuropath, like his Second Apocalypse books, has graphic sex, profanities and uh...sex education/incest jokes? Not to mention it breaks the cardinal rule of not beginning a book with a character waking up... But because he's Bakker, he can get away with it. You can see his philosophy background really jump out, which is cool.

I like his fantasy genre stuff better, but good writing is good writing. How can you not love lines like: "Mia’s real name was Emilio, but everyone called him Mia, either because his last name was Farrow, or because of his days as a drag queen."


Anyway...I signed up for a second online critique group because I wanted some fresh eyes for my book. I think seeing a draft prejudices people and so they may not see things sometimes. Still keep up with the old writing group, just juggling both, because I'm just that awesome. I haven't made much progress on the book since last update. I'm stuck trying to deal with some chronology and writing a chase scene. Chase scenes are soooo difficult to write. I'd rather write a sex scene, and those aren't my forte either. I'm good at graphic violence :)

Which is funny because I don't see my writing as graphic at all...I guess my exposure to my good friend's horror movies, too much Japanese anime and my George R.R. Martin have disabled my "this is too much" radar. Anyone remember when Cartoon Network censored the blood out of Gundam Wing...because heaven forbid cartoon characters get a scalp wound? And you couldn't say "kill you," you had to say "destroy you?" I think that kind of hiding glamorizes violence, sweeps under the rug the consequences of the fight.

Then again, I was probably the only one cheering when the Ashaman began exploding men like melons going yeah, bring on the gore.

I guess I feel like the only violence that seems to grab people's attention is violence that goes a step too far, and that's how I make things horrible and real in my books. Or try to. I think fantasy violence is often too clean, too heroic. And it could be subconscious on my part. I didn't realize that this book was going to have a moral of anti-violence until I read it, but gore compared to the beauty and life of the yei... of course it's going to look too didactic, though. I didn't mean it that way, and I'm not sure I even believe in that message since violence is often necessary, but you write what your subconscious puts out. I also realized that my obsession with eyes in this book--lost eyes, creatures built with no eyes, beautiful eyes, exploding eyes--could stem from an old college gender class about the male gaze. Think about it...a male god. Always watching. ALWAYS WATCHING. The creepiness abounds.

At the speed dating thing, I saw someone with the most phenomenal brown eyes. For a moment, when I looked at him, I was rendered completely speechless. I almost told him he should be an eye model. It was as if someone had taken a brown eye in photo-shop and juiced the colors up really high. Like dark, liquid ochre. He didn't particularly interest me in any other way, but those were fantastic eyes.

Anyway, one thing I've noticed is that, while before I was always able to take my critiques in good spirits, lately I've been tempted to fight back. My motto going into groups has always been, "if my manuscript can't speak for itself, there's no reason for me to defend it" but for some reason, my work lately has been different. I want to cradle it to my chest like a baby to protect from the harsh, evil world.


Must look at things objectively. I want to improve my child, not protect it, since it has no feelings. Manuscripts are sociopaths. No feelings! They drain souls!

Weird mood. Sorry.

I suspect the overwhelmingly positive reviews I got from Dave Farland's book camp went to my head and have now made me unsufferably arrogant. Or, because I am exceptionally worried about the ending and that worry makes me snappish and overprotective.

I'm hoping this fear is just the regular author's so-tired-of-this-stupid-thing-misery and not this book really is trash, plot-wise. If it is, hopefully one of my critique groups will help me fix it.

I felt better about the end when I added some more foreshadowing. Of course, now I'm worried it's less foreshadowing and more fore-hitting-my-readers-with-a-ton-of-red-bricks...

I'm mainly worried about betraying my implicit promise to my reader. What the heck is my book promising? Darned if I know.


Post a Comment