Thoughts on Writing #41: Something Old, Something New


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Post September 29, 2012, 07:16:50 AM

Thoughts on Writing #41: Something Old, Something New

Another solid entry here.

In some senses, the "classic" stories are getting a little worn out. There's maybe 100 good ones, simply because they date from a time when it was much harder to both write and distribute books than it is now. (Or was! With the struggles of certain bookstores, maybe books are becoming scarcer through lack of sales channels!)

So I think there's a lot of "second tier" books out there that have inspirations, that relatively few people know because they are just sufficiently old enough to have had their two years on the shelves and then vanished into the gaping maw of time.

So then when you get to the mashup stage, it's still pretty fresh. Like this:
"You are in a creepy old house, with twisty hallways and rooms that are nothing alike". Of course, the first part is a purposeful inversion of the legendary Zork wording, but what's the second influence? I know there are other "good answers" but I bet you not one of you picked John DeChancie's Castle Perilous. That kind of thing.

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Post September 29, 2012, 02:11:56 PM

Re: Thoughts on Writing #41: Something Old, Something New

TaoPhoenix wrote:Another solid entry here.

In some senses, the "classic" stories are getting a little worn out. There's maybe 100 good ones, simply because they date from a time when it was much harder to both write and distribute books than it is now. (Or was! With the struggles of certain bookstores, maybe books are becoming scarcer through lack of sales channels!)

So I think there's a lot of "second tier" books out there that have inspirations, that relatively few people know because they are just sufficiently old enough to have had their two years on the shelves and then vanished into the gaping maw of time.

So then when you get to the mashup stage, it's still pretty fresh. Like this:
"You are in a creepy old house, with twisty hallways and rooms that are nothing alike". Of course, the first part is a purposeful inversion of the legendary Zork wording, but what's the second influence? I know there are other "good answers" but I bet you not one of you picked John DeChancie's Castle Perilous. That kind of thing.

You are just too smart - and should be writing non fiction professionally, my friend!
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Post September 29, 2012, 02:25:37 PM

Re: Thoughts on Writing #41: Something Old, Something New

So then when you get to the mashup stage, it's still pretty fresh. Like this:
"You are in a creepy old house, with twisty hallways and rooms that are nothing alike". Of course, the first part is a purposeful inversion of the legendary Zork wording, but what's the second influence? I know there are other "good answers" but I bet you not one of you picked John DeChancie's Castle Perilous. That kind of thing.

In my case, you're doubly right. First, because I've never seen the word 'Zork' before, and second, because I've never heard of John DeChancie.

The creepy old house -- I've met that place in a number of disturbing dreams.
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Post September 30, 2012, 03:01:45 AM

Re: Thoughts on Writing #41: Something Old, Something New

Mark Edgemon wrote:
TaoPhoenix wrote:Another solid entry here.
You are just too smart - and should be writing non fiction professionally, my friend!


Heh - Perfect lead in Mark to these bits of advice I found today. It's from the creator of the comic strip Dork Tower (and role play book illustrator) John Kovalic.

"CREATORS! Remember this: You aren’t just competing with every great artist. You’re also competing with every mediocre artist who can make deadline. - John" (This includes writers, etc.)

"Two things are critical to your art. Starting It and Finishing It."

So I agree I have swabs of talent floating around... but I don't yet know how to ruthlessly drill out something to meet a goal and a deadline. I have troves of started fragments. I have very few finished ones. The day I get that down, the sky... or at least the landing at the top of the stairs, is the limit.

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Post September 30, 2012, 03:21:52 AM

Re: Thoughts on Writing #41: Something Old, Something New

TaoPhoenix wrote:...but I don't yet know how to ruthlessly drill out something to meet a goal and a deadline.

I DON'T EITHER, but I believe for once in my life, I'm ready to create and give it everything I've got! Even if the end is the finished work and nothing more...for once in my life I will say, "I gave it everything I had"!

I believe I can add something unique and worthwhile to the body of work that is already out there. At least, I will find out!
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Post September 30, 2012, 11:44:23 AM

Re: Thoughts on Writing #41: Something Old, Something New

Meanwhile, at over 200,000 words, I'm contemplating a major plot revision . . . that may give some validity to my putting this novel on my 'bucket list' -- at this rate, I'll be lucky if I can finish it before the -- literal -- DEAD line.
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