Thus revealed, the creature buried its nose in the tire-tilled soil...
October 31, 2001
(Halloween 2001!)
Category: Ancient

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Yep yep. Favorite holiday is upon us. Joy.

Alrighty, what new have I got to share. I bought books yesterday! Found this nifty little used and rare bookstore around here, got lots of Anne Rice novels. And Frankenstein, which I'm sad to say I haven't read yet. Well, we'll remedy that soon, won't we? Still working on this story of mine. It's finished, but it needs critiquing so I can revise it and then send it out for publication! It'll be my first real submission. I.e. one that I actually care about. But here's the kicker. Most of the stuff I've read in these magazines is like, the wind blew against her skin as if the ghosts engaged her in foreplay, the creaking of the trees was like that of old doors leading to dusty, forgotten attics, where the old things lie locked in chests and wrapped in sheets, kept from the sight of mortals until that fateful, curious step sounds on the stairway... Now, I'm capable of that. This was just a silly little demo. And I'm even more capable of it when I'm NOT trying to produce anything fantastic. In fact, I'm better at it when I'm trying to be stupid, because most of the time that's how it comes off to me. Point being, this latest story of mine, it doesn't have any of that. Or not much of it. It's told in first person, it's a love story, and action and reflection dominates it, which I think is right. I mean, maybe it's just me, but when I get really focused on something I don't notice every intricacy of my surroundings, let alone enough to craft exquisite metaphors to them.

For instance.

I just woke up 15 minutes late for class, and I have a paper due today. (You: Then why the hell are you updating your page right now? -- Relax kids, this is what we call a hypothetical.) I throw on my clothes QUICKLY, brush my teeth (yeah, I know most of you DON'T when you wake up late, and then you have the audacity to come talk to me...), grab my paper and run out the door. As I scramble to class, do I take note of the falling leaves of passing autumn, the trees naked and emaciated, dessicated skeletons of seasonal vitality...the chill winter wind whispering abrasively into my ears, its message unintelligible, but the connotation there -- it bites and stings; my ears are red -- ? Do I? Nah. I might say, "Damn, it's kinda chilly out here..." But that's about it. I have more important things to worry about at this moment. Yeah, it does help convey a sense of atmosphere to the story. But I kind of like them to be realistic too. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, and often I read stories where it's just thrown in because people want to be impressive. But I'm not the editor of these magazines.

Woo, I wrote an awful lot there. The words fill the page like...just kidding. Anyway. This may turn into a literary criticism essay; perhaps I could be the one to revive an emphasis on characters and action. I mean, read some of the older (and actually much scarier) stories. Yeah, there's atmosphere, but not excessively so, because they rely on characters and actions to creep you out. Sometimes I still throw in the atmospheric crap, because it's popular, though I think it's mostly BS even when I do it. Sometimes people think that's the best part. I do think that third person stories lend themselves more to the atmospheric elements, though, since first person stories suffer from the problems mentioned above. It's easier to see a disinterested observer being interested in the whole scene and not just the players, though emphasis should always fall to the players. E-mail me if you have any thoughts on this; I'd love to hear from you. The tests are still below, enjoy, maybe one day I'll get that me page up and some links. And Happy Halloween!

-posted by Wes | 9:45 am | Comments (1)
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