Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Fool's Gold

From the Speakers: HURRICANE by Something Corporate
Just Read: CITY OF GLASS by Cassandra Clare--Again, a great story by Clare. Enjoyed the intricate plot, the back story, how everything came together . . . much more than I enjoyed the writing in general. Still, overall a fun and entertaining series.
Reading Now: A CLASH OF KINGS by George R.R. Martin

You ever get a really exciting idea for a story, dedicate a few hours of your day to penning it, and wind up with something that's just . . . mediocre?

That's the theme of this week's piece of work. I starting full speed ahead but lost steam almost at once. I don't know if the concept--a generally over-medicated society, with the focus on one guy and his best friend and their ensuing troubles--was simply too grand for me, or if it just sounded better in my head but had too many flaws to really come to fruition, but it just is NOT as good on paper as it was in the planning stages.

I'm disappointed. I started out thinking, "Yeah, this is a good idea, and it will be a cool backdrop for a character-driven story that coveted, professional magazines will enjoy." Now, rereading it, I'm thinking, "This is okay. Competent, at least. It could be great in the right hands, but in mine, eh . . . ."

It's like finding fool's gold.

I'm hoping a few hours' worth of revisions tomorrow will improve it. Such work often does.

In other news, the Poe story I wrote last week got passed up through the editorial boards at Penumbra Magazine. That means I'll be one of the final stories considered for publication, and at a professional rate, no less! Fingers crossed, everyone, fingers crossed!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

And this week, Poe!

From the Speakers: BEFORE I FORGET by Slipknot
Just Read: THE TALISMAN by Stephen King and Peter Straub--Absolutely awesome! Exquisite writing, fantastic evil villains, and an all around awesome story. Loved the journey.
Reading Now: CITY OF GLASS by Cassandra Clare

Been reading a lot of Edgar Allen Poe this week, and my Write1Sub1 project reflects it. It's just a creepy story about a creepy guy in a creepy jail. But after having so much Poe this week, it was impossible not to incorporate it into my story.

I've done this kind of thing before, write a story similar to an author/style/story I've been into recently. When I read short stories by Stephen King, my characters end up in twisted situations and plots that all come together somehow in the end. When I read Chuck Palahniuk, my voice becomes faster and more stylish, and each story has unique quips. And so on.

Do you writers do that? Adopt a favorite author's style, or even decorate a story you read with unique tweaks and call it your own? I wonder if all artists do this to some extent. I feel like they must; new rock and roll bands always mention earlier bands in their genre as inspiration. Perhaps painting and drawing and singing are all the same.

But this week I did it on purpose. Penumbra magazine's monthly call for stories is in the theme of Poe, and in order to get in the zone for it, I've been rereading stories like THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM, THE CASK OF AMONTILLADO, and THE MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH. Hopefully my creation, in a similar vein, will be equally enjoyable and of comparable quality.

PS: This week's amusingly incorrect prepositional phrase/figure of speech: "We thew everything under the book at her." Nope. No you did not.