Wee Dave and Wee-er Dave love stories. I’ve found the Junior Partner sitting quietly by herself “reading” a book any number of times in the last several weeks, her Number One Buddy is constantly making up backgrounds for the creations he build. And I can hold them both rapt for easily an hour just by talking. Which is where this arrives at the MGC. For the past several weeks, I’ve been telling the Pretend Story at bedtime. (I’ll work up a better title for it when we’re done.) Read more
Posts from the ‘WRITING: ART’ Category
This originally appeared on my blog as part of a series. You can find all of them here. This seemed appropriate here, as well, and I’m dealing with some stuff that makes my writing a little… fuzzier than usual. More on that later. I have no answers, and as I wrote a while back, humans need answers.
Ars longa, vita brevis, occasio praeceps, experimentum periculosum, iudicium difficile
We were talking about overdone themes in books recently. The First Reader had been attempting to read a book by a writer we normally both enjoy very much, and he was grumbling that it was yet another Monster Hunter book. No, not that MHI. But a book with the same general theme. “It’s like zombie books, or vampires,” he told me. “They just don’t know when to quit and find their own thing to do.” Read more
You may remember I mentioned last week having trouble with a story because it was one-paced. Pace is one of those terrible things to try and do well, because there are several components to it. It’s a bit like patting your forehead and rubbing your belly, or like my efforts at operating an excavator. Yes, it DOES look easy when someone skilled does it. Ridiculously easy in fact. Appearances can be deceptive: I mean you might look at me and say ‘ugly and dim-witted…’ oh. Well, moving rapidly on. A lot of writing is like my excavator ditch-digging efforts, where because there are four ideally co-ordinated actions and I find one on its own a bit of a challenge, the trench tends not do what I want it to do.
Naturally this is the silly ditch or trench’s fault, just as it is the reader’s fault when he gets bored and decides that it’s the right time to clip his toenails or pluck his ear-hairs, rather than bothering to read your book. Read more
A historian and novelist’s musing on history, fiction, and a milestone date.
The guns on the Western Front stopped firing one hundred years ago today. I am one link away from WWI, in that I have a friend and a supervisor who both knew relatives who participated in that conflict.
In some ways, the century that separates us from the end of WWI is amazingly short, because of the longer lifespans that developed in part because of medical technology and practices that arose from warfare in the 20th Century, and in part because of the documentation of that war. In other ways, it is hugely long. The world changed far faster between 1918 and 2018 than in most of the rest of human history.
I’m frantically trying finish a short by deadline – so forgive me digging the start of another short up as a how I do this exercise. You should see me show the setting, establish the characters and hopefully set a hook in this.
The moonlight shadows on the water trembled slightly, shivered by the pre‑dawn breeze. “Not too fast, Eochaid. Not too fast. Wait for the wind to be still,” whispered Fintan.
My wet fingers were numb. I had a frozen snot stalactite forming on the end of my nose. “What are you whispering for, you daft old bodach,” I said, trying to stop my teeth from chattering. The icy water wanted about three inches before it would come fountaining over the top of my waders. It would probably drown me, or worse, let Fintan rescue me. He stood about 6’2″ in his bare feet and dirty white robe, so the water would be barely up to his underwear, if he ever actually wore any. I could always hope it would freeze his testicles off, and save me a lot of trouble in future. But I knew from bitter past experience I wouldn’t be that lucky. Read more