16 January, 2008

Here's a useful thing to think about...

...when next you happen to be stuck in the middle of writing a novel:
For me, a book—whether I'm reading it or writing it—needs to do something a little different as it approaches the halfway point, to up the ante and subvert some expectation I've developed along the way. I can feel a writer spinning his wheels, building fake suspense (or sticking slavishly to some preconceived outline) and the momentum deflates, leaving me high and dry with a book I couldn't give a shit about. I'd always rather have the writer seem to go a little mad at the midway point, seeming to risk more than is actually advisable, and when this happens I feel a familiar thrill of recognition. As a writer I've been there plenty of times, that moment when your toes no longer touch the bottom and you actually panic a little before heading instinctively toward what's next. It's the books that hug the shore and do what's expected that I usually end up letting drift away...There's just too much out there that I'd rather read.
(From The Scary Parent.)

Oh, and I have 7300 words of steampunk that I didn't have two days ago. And yes, it does need to go a little mad somewhere, but that's often the case with my first drafts.

7 Comments:

Blogger jonathan said...

That's funny. One of the things I've always liked about your stories is that right from the very first line you seem to go a little mad and risk more than is actually advisable.

17 January, 2008 07:59  
Blogger Among Amid While said...

Har-har. But one can never have enough madness and risk...

19 January, 2008 15:01  
Blogger Jonathan said...

Sounds like you're on a creative streak!

20 January, 2008 10:59  
Blogger jonathan said...

I didn't say that! Don't tell me there is someone else in the world with the same name..

21 January, 2008 16:42  
Anonymous Jonathan Strahan said...

Hey! I'm pre-you. I was commenting here first :) Who are you?

sgd
The 'Real' Jonathan

21 January, 2008 18:03  
Anonymous the other jonathan said...

Who am I? Nobody really. Just a librarian called Jonathan. Not a real live editor or anything fancy :-)

21 January, 2008 18:34  
Blogger Among Amid While said...

Well, you're both very welcome here, and I'm glad to have provided the place for you to meet.

21 January, 2008 18:38  

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