Of Gods and Round Tables

I have to confess: I miss Dr. Schaack. Five years (holy crap five years!!!) out of high school and he is still the only, albeit pompous, creative writing teacher that has ever really given me cause to strive for the stars. I should have gone to college, maybe that would give me a leg-up in the world of writing. Maybe I still will go to college. I just haven’t the time, the transportation, or most of all the money to do it. All in all, I need a mentor . . . or a creative writing group that I can physically go to and work in Round Table discussions with. I long for that. I need someone to be brutally honest and tear my writing apart. It’s OK, I can take it. I know I can. I want it. I need it. And I want to do it to other writers, too. Never maliciously, just in the way that a Sensei would kick a pupil’s ass in the same way over and over until the pupil woke up and realized what they need to do to improve---ok, maybe that doesn’t sound any better, but I hope I get the point across.

Now, if only I could convince my local fellow pens-at-arms to commit to a day every few weeks to gather and share our work with each other. Maybe feedback and *le gasp!* progress could be made with everyone.

In other writing related news . . .

I went to Border’s on Saturday to see if I could pick up the Dragon Age novels. Alas, they were not in stock. That was a blessing in disguise, however. Blasphemy, I know!! So I perused the Sci-fi/Fantasy section for about half an hour, searching for an awesome replacement. I picked up another copy of Stardust (my old copy has suspiciously gone missing) by Neil Gaiman . . . . and a Box set of The Night Angel Trilogy by Brent Weeks:

Holy Fuck. That’s all I can say. I am only about half way through the first book and the man is a friggin’ god among writers. Vibrant characters, thick-yet-followable-plot and a crisp, tangible storytelling. Everything that makes a writer—and a book—great. If you love fantasy, then by the gods pick up this series!




Only Flying Monkeys Can Save This Story

Fresh originality is fleeting. I’ve given up on being “Original” because damn near every possible storyline that could ever be hold HAS been told. The trick is to tell YOURS in a way that no one has ever heard before.

What a Twist!!

Sorry, channeling Robot Chicken there for a second.

The more that I think about an avenue that I want to take Gestalt down, the more the little voice in the back of my head beats it down, says it’s cheesy, has been done, don’t make sense, isn’t interesting, et cetera. I loathe that voice to the very core of my being. It’s not that the voice stifles my creativity, it’s just that it weeds out all of the undesirable filth that floats through my head at any given moment. Epic characters are made to have epic story lines, so why can’t I find the correct boulevards and strings to knit that pathway through? Gestalt will be long, I know that, but I don’t want to end up like Anne Mccaffrey with a good idea and terrible execution. No offense to Dragon Riders of Pern fans, but there really is such a thing as too much explanation. She has such brilliant ideas and clogs her work with slow, coma-inducing description.

Once again a happy medium has to be attained. So I look up plot-generators and hook lines and tweak and twist and flesh it out . . . and delete. If it’s boring to me, it is bound to be boring to my readers. Twice now I have done this with a huge chunk of possible plot. That’s what gives me cause to fire my Muse. I WANT the characters to take on a mind of their own like they did in December. I wrote WELL in December. I loved December. But then January came and it was like someone pulled out the plug in the bathtub. Everything drained. My characters are still there, my goal: my bittersweet ending is still there, and they are all yelling at me to pave the way toward it. But someone stole my masonry kit, and, like the never-ending highway work in Austin, the construction on my Yellow Brick Road is suspended indefinitely.

Back to writing and deleting. I really have to stop caring about my first drafts so friggin’ much.