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.


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 Strahan 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 Anonymous said...

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

The 'Real' Jonathan

21 January, 2008 18:03  
Anonymous Anonymous 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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