26 October, 2010

Story Research and Awesome Discoveries

Hello to my one blog follower!

At times, I wish I could include sound and perhaps video in my stories. "Perhaps you should write for film," you say? That isn't quite what I mean. I suppose I just want to show people what I'm trying to get at in my story, and to show the inspiration for the story would make that easier. I suppose, really, what I'm trying to do in writing is bring something to life through another person's imagination, which means I'm trying to make them feel what I feel when I watch this:

Where Historical and Fantasy fiction meet, one starts writing about the spirit of an age, rather than the age itself. I suspect, in trying to capture the truth of anything, the spirit becomes everything. Though in all honesty, you'd have to ask a wiser person than myself.

29 June, 2010

I've joined the Clarion Write-a-thon! To be honest, at first I thought I shouldn't bother. I'd write anyway, so affiliating my summer progress with Clarion seemed pointless. But that was a selfish attitude, and that which has no impact upon me, but might help others, might as well be done.

There's nothing wrong with joining the write-a-thon. It might compell some people towards my blog, and it might generate some money for Clarion. To anyone who reads this, know that I'll be working my buns off. Know also that I'd work equally hard if the write-a-thon didn't exist. If you'd like to give Clarion some money in my name, I'd be honoured. I'm sure next year's scholarship students will appreciate it, too.

Good luck to all this year's Clarion students, and to all write-a-thon writers!

You can find my profile here.

28 June, 2010

Science Fiction rules

I just watched Doctor Who push an old lady off a roof. Now, how many genres other than Sci-fi can you see that happen without being horrified? God.... Science Fiction rules.

04 April, 2010

The ONLY writing advice I can give.

There's a lot of advice out there.

That's it.

That's my point. Now if you'll excuse me, I must get back to writing.

Oh, fine. I'll yap in this black hole a little longer. You see, you have to read and write a whole lot, and there really is tonnes of advice out there. Mine? Read the advice by the writers whose FICTION you like, and would like to understand. It's probably not my fiction, which is why I'm not saying what I think. You may have seen my work around. I find I can get most of what I write published these days. It's just that there isn't much out there yet, and it isn't in the highest-profile places.

My favourite book on writing is "I Can't Accept Not Trying" by Michael Jordan. It's nice to remind myself that a human can accomplish anything, provided they are willing to fight hard enough. Einstein once said, "There's nothing special about me. I'm just passionately curious." If that's true, then talent is a matter of love.

If talent is a matter of love, success is a matter of persistence.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I really must get back to writing. Even though it's Easter, I'm writing a short story today. I can't control how many agents read this blog and decide I'm the next big thing, but I can control my time, my effort, my patience, and I can't accept not trying.

02 April, 2010

Comments on the modern Star Trek movie

Amazing how many people "loved this movie". It was trash. Many people are saying it "moved fast enough" that the problems occured to them later... Really? Is it possible for a human being to be that dim? Part of being sentient is that things occur to you AS THEY HAPPEN, so when someone stumbles into a hole and happens to find Spock, it just doesn't make sense.

To anyone who doubts the awesomeness of the original series, I challenge you to re-watch seasons 1 & 2 (3 was trash, as was every odd numbered movie... or is that even numbered? Whichever one didn't include Wrath of Khan). Seasons 1 & 2 were excellent, and small wonder. They were written by some of the best script writers of all time, including Theodore Sturgeon and Harlan Ellison.

There is a difference between revitalising a series and smearing over-egged crap all over its face. This movie accomplished the latter, and did so hiding behind the idea that "Rebooting lets us do anything!" While technically true, Star Trek deserved at least one decent writer behind the project, and any decent writer would have made use of the strengths already present in firmly established characters and in the relationships that made the first two seasons great. Good writers also tend to care whether their plots make sense, and good writers tend to write for the smartest, most attentive reader/viewer possible, not the people too slow to realise that Spock can't be down every hole simply because it serves the plot.

Also, please would every moron look up the word "reboot" in a f**king dictionary? It doesn't mean what you think. Film magazine writers don't get to alter language just because they don't respect the vocabulary of their average readers.

Sorry to rant, but as a lover of Science Fiction, this movie offended me on a personal level.

09 March, 2010

Regarding Google and Ursula K. Le Guin

On behalf of all aspiring writers, I would like to thank Ursula K. Le Guin for standing up for authors' rights.

Young writers should be considered, here. What Google proposes is nothing less than robbing people of the ability to make a living from writing, thus taking a dream I've held since I was a little boy and crushing it before its reality can begin.

In my twenties, I presently can sell everything I write--just not to pro markets. I keep practising, striving, yearning, selling fiction for peanuts. Luckily, I'm as fast as a young Silverberg, so I make enough money to survive on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, tap water, and the occassional piece of fruit. Why do this to myself? Because I NEED to be a writer. I would rather die than be anything else.

If Google robs me of this dream, I don't know how I'll live. I'll find another way, I suppose, but it will be quiet, pathetic life, and one I'll always deem a failure.

I'm not successful enough to fight with you. Not yet. Not as I'd like to. Indeed, I'm mouthing off in a forum full of personal heroes. I will merely sit at my desk, writing everyday, as Isak Dinesen said, without hope and without despair. But while my fingers are busy I'll keep my toes crossed for you, because if Google succeeds in their strikingly evil ambition of robbing humankind of literature, then no matter what happens with my dream of writing, I'll still need a crummy part time job.

See you at a future worldcon, or perhaps next time one of you visits McDonald's, depending on how this goes, because I have no other lucrative skills, nor do I want any. I said I'm fast, but I'm nowhere near as good as an old Silverberg, yet. Let's see what happens. In the meantime, I'm here to tell Ursula K. Le Guin that she's a hero. On behalf of all aspiring writers, I salute you.

Yours eventually,

Wm. Luke Everest


A thought:

Our predecessors fought hard for the right to vote politically, essentially to fetter the wild urges of power, to make those in power answer to the people. Now we live in a world where, as of 1970, twelve corporations held more economic power, and thus more global influence, than the world's most powerful nation. This trend has only gotten worse. We need the vote on economic issues.

Older people often wonder why more young people don't vote. It is because a political vote lacks the significance one human voice deserves.

Google's business model seems to be the eventual ownership of the internet. So much for the free exchange of information. So much for the ideology that unfettered capitalism is freedom. By this ideology, feudalism is political freedom. The purpose of modern governments is to TAKE freedom from the powerful and make them answer to the people. This is no longer possible, because there are no infrastructures in place to allow people to vote on the actions of corporations, even when those corporations have more global influence than any political body. Google proposes to rob humankind of literature, thus slowing the progress of all humankind. If only I could trust my government to crush such an obviously destructive scheme. But no...

20 January, 2010

A sad day, by Crom...

Flashing Swords Magazine is dead.

It was the closest thing around to the 1930s Golden Age markets. It valued excitement and adventure over sentimentality, which meant real characters, whom the readers could identify with and love, overcoming the type of obstacles we don't often face in the modern world, such as Viking raids and attempted mastery of the sword.

At its best, Sword and Sorcery isn't mere escape fiction. It's a writer's attempt to awaken the primal urges modernity too often neglects. What was the socio-cultural significance of the Shaolin? What made a person wish to devote their lives to combative arts? What ignited the souls of Spartan warriors? What were the human truths behind ancient myths?

Modernity colours modern writing, for obvious reasons, but reasons we creative types should rise above. There are many markets for sentimental fiction, and few places to show the beauty of a warrior's heart. Expertly written S&S might still find a home, but where can its exponents grow? We've just lost the only market devoted to publishing S&S. Robert E. Howard and Fritz Leiber would be crestfallen. In the same blow, we lost a magazine that stood among the best places in the world for a writer to develop his skills. Whenever that happens, the entire art suffers.

So lift a glass to Flashing Swords Magazine. Presently, I believe if I ever achieve half the success I'm after, I will restart FSM from my own pocket. The world deserves a Sword & Sorcery market. It is the oldest genre in existence, and the wisdom of the ancient world is far from redundant. Besides, Sword & Sorcery is good fun. Where else can a writer let loose with blood and thunder? I had hoped to nurture those urges well into my career.