The Mammoth Book Of Extreme Fantasy, edited by Mike Ashley, is now available for pre-order. It includes “Charlie the Purple Giraffe Was Acting Strangely” as well as many other fine stories by authors such as Michael Swanwick and Howard Waldrop.
Archive for May 12th, 2008
Word count: 5420 | Since last entry: 4436
My first collection, Space Magic, can now be ordered from http://www.wheatlandpress.com! Also, don’t forget that I have a reading and signing at Powell’s Books at Cedar Hills Crossing in Beaverton, Oregon this Wednesday, May 14, at 7pm.
Yesterday I finished the first draft of the story I was working on, and it’s now in the hands of my crit group. This was an interesting and difficult story, for some reason. I just couldn’t get motivated to start work on it until a week before the deadline (actual deadline is June 1, but I had to have it done by yesterday in order to get it critiqued before then), and once I did start it just refused to take off. On Wednesday I realized that I’d written 3500 words, out of a maximum 5000, and the conflict hadn’t started yet. My protagonist wasn’t protagging — it was all exposition and backstory. I spent the day cutting exposition and got it down to 2500 words, but it still wasn’t going anywhere. Thursday I cut some more, but I couldn’t see how I could get all the necessary information in before the reader got bored.
I thought hard about the problem for a day or so and decided to use a trick: I would cut the climax into pieces and distribute them throughout the story, starting at the beginning, so that all that exposition becomes flashback. I started doing that Friday, and also cut more exposition as it became clear which pieces I could do without. Then I spent basically the whole day Saturday pounding away at it — about 2600 words in one day (hard to say for sure, because I took out a lot I’d already written as well). The result is satisfying — a real pulse-pounding adventure, I think. We’ll see what my critters think of it.
On Friday I was the guest of the Immaculate Novelists’ Kult writing group in Vancouver, WA. They made me very welcome, let me talk about myself for four and a half hours, and gave me a lovely parting gift (a basket of fruit, chocolate, cheese, crackers, pens, a notebook, and a Powell’s gift card). I’m overwhelmed.
Saturday I attended the Diet Soap issue 2 launch party at the Writers’ Dojo. Interesting space, great people, and I got to participate in the reading even though I’m not in the magazine (I read an excerpt from “Falling Off the Unicorn”, the Space Magic bonus track). Fun stuff.
Also, we went to Ikea and bought shelves. Two assembled, two more to go. Whee!