My friend Alex, that is locked up her in the same wing of the blogsphere where I am, made a video this morning about the fact that “What do you write?” is quite often a loaded question, and one whose answer must be carefully weighed. In terms of marketing – or just plain old pulling girls – the wrong answer can spell disaster.
In response to Alex’ video, another friend, Flavio, confirmed the suspicion – say you write horror, and they’ll think you’re some kind of psycho that loves blood and mangled corpses, say you write science fiction…
“Call me a science fiction writer, I’ll come to your house and I’ll nail your pet’s head to a coffee table. I’ll hit you so hard your ancestors will die. I’ll punch you so hard your grandmother will bleed. I’m a writer. There’s no adjective in front of it. I’m just a writer.”
I’m writing a 30.000 words story that will not be published under my name. Work for hire, paid in three months time (If they’ll pay me at all). I’m 10.000 words short and today I just scrapped 3500 words because, let’s be honest, they sucked. I’ve a three days deadline. I can do it.
It’s being a fun ride. The story is not my usual genre, so there is a component of challenge, but also the reason why I am ditching so many pages: sometimes the ideas are right, and cool, but the tone is off. It’s like playing a different instrument from the one you usually play, like driving somebody else’s car.
The other day, on my post about the Japanese series, Miss Sherlock, Joe commented
Sherlock will NEVER die!
And I had to agree, of course.
Sherlock Holmes is one of the great characters of popular culture, together with Dracula and Tarzan1, and through infinite version and editions and adaptations, it has reached every corner of the world and every social stratum.
Sherlock Holmes is everywhere, and he is not going away.
And I was reminded, reading Joe’s comment, of a thing I caught somewhere and I’ve been unable to trace, that is, Harlan Ellison suggesting the Canon as the basis of a reasonable education. Continue reading →
“The only thing worth writing about is people. People. Human beings. Men and women whose individuality must be created, line by line, insight by insight. If you do not do it, the story is a failure. […] There is no nobler chore in the universe than holding up the mirror of reality and turning it slightly, so we have a new and different perception of the commonplace, the everyday, the ‘normal’, the obvious. People are reflected in the glass. The fantasy situation into which you thrust them is the mirror itself. And what we are shown should illuminate and alter our perception of the world around us. Failing that, you have failed totally.”
― Harlan Ellison
I’m checking out time zones.
As I explained in a post a few days back, I’m going to do a public writing experiment – I’ll write using Google Documents and share the link with the public, so that you will be able to look over my shoulder as I do it.
I do not know if it will work, but I am willing to try.
With a modicum of luck, it should take me about five hours to do the trick.
Or I will crash and burn, who knows. Continue reading →