I will never be a novelist that is certain. Forgive me, but plot seems hollow and most characters are superfluous. This is my inadequacy as this post, surely, makes clear. I hope I have retained some audience!
The enamoured past and sorrow has darkened my lips among heartless souls.
a group of boys crouched, stirring gazes
upon the timid dissent of caravan clatters.
And I’d say: “…”
Fates drift in as frivolous as the unruly winds. Days we’ll leave behind, as their thoughts and insights seem unfair, burning through on the soluble reflection Forever casts. As it is silvery sheets of memory are busied rearranging pasts; construing adequate space for honesty’s wax and wane. Languorous rivers pass, like grotesque self-deprecating Carnivals, in the night. […]
Waking as strands of imagining reel through my mind: my death savaged at the hands of sight and reverie replete with superimpositions of you remain an instant, trying uselessly to grasp the heraldic complexions of the dream yet consolation is elusive. Now alert, wakened to swelter in the torrid afternoon marked by the imperceptive and thoughtless resonance of minutes.
What had been said, indistinct in the hypnagogic haze, which seemed to match then and Paradise, alike?
That lance has gleaned my heart and drafted multitudes of bile in the thankless void; Incessant accusations enumerate Cataclysm’s inaudible outstretching, reaching every limit.
Beauty derides me in silence.
Many of you probably know that when Elizabeth Kurz was sixteen, she co-wrote and published a book with her father Rudolf entitled An Illustrated Alphabet for the Illiterate. What you may not know is that you can see a handful of pages on Google books.
In Alphabet, Elizabeth and Rudolf take alternating letters of the alphabet and provide short vignettes for each. As Rudolf puts it in the introduction, “The old voice is silly and nonsensical whereas the teenaged girl sounds brooding, mysterious and melancholy. I like this contrast very much!”
As do I. Here’s one of my favourite passages, from Elizabeth’s take on the letter F:
Forgotten: Every morning I was served two eggs, as was the custom in that place, until one day I noticed a crack in one and heard a noise coming from my plate. One of the eggs started to move and I stepped back from my chair in surprise. I turned away and bit my lip because I don’t handle the unexpected easily. When I looked again, both of the eggs were empty and then I heard the same noise, coming from outside. I ran to the window and confirmed that the noise was definitely coming from the sky, then I sat down again to finish my breakfast.
I suggest you check it out, and get a glimpse of Liz’s sixteen year old self. There are several sample pages to read, and if you’re intrigued, it’s still available on Amazon.
While snooping around to write this post, I also discovered some more of Rudolf Kurz’s illlustration work. There is an Indian riding a muzzled tyrannosaur in a parade, a woman in a conch-shell helmet riding a mutated crustacean, a fetal child parachuting into a half-Boschian–half-Seussian nightmare and more. It’s gloriously absurd and lavishly detailed—give it a look.
This excerpt of my unedited draft is a little bit longer, so I’m going to keep the preamble short. If you’ve been following along, you’ve already met the magician Pavel Fell, and we pick up his story in the first of these two chapters. In the second we meet a new character, and if you haven’t been following along I suggest you skip forward to that, since it is (hopefully) a fun read just by itself.
If you want to catch up, check out parts one and two. I hope you enjoy this installment in the working draft of A Sticky City Story. Continue reading “Concrete, Metal & Meerschaum: Sticky City Gets Stickier”
It’s over. The first two weeks went great for me, I wrote ~20 000 words and was having a lot of fun. But then the crucial point came: I needed to spend some time working out my plot. The first 50 pages I was writing entirely off the cuff, which worked out fine. My main character had no idea what was going on and neither did I. What stopped me in my tracks was when I needed to start playing author instead of detective, and make some real decisions.
But I still really like my idea, and I intend to work on it throughout December as I will be off from school for 3 weeks and will want some sort of mental distraction from laziness. I know exactly where I want to go with the book in terms of theme and style, but I need to start making my plot more interesting. Where I stopped, is where my mystery girl Jenny Harlow is found under the most normal of circumstances, and now she has some explaining to do. I also want to make it weirder. I started out really weird with dead things all over the place and creepy atmosphere, but I kind of forgot about my original vision of terror.
Writing on this blog so far has been really great, albeit humbling. Reading Geoff’s book has really motivated me to work harder on writing again, and figure out just how to do that plot thing, with pacing and stuff. And Tasty Yumyum & Halton Stoves’ letters are hilarious, I hope they keep on writing here as well. I am going to try to participate on this blog, but I do have some qualms. I had a blog for years and years back in the day, and I developed some issues with putting my unedited work out in the public. I take fair criticism well, I take unfair criticism very poorly. At this point in my life as a budding and inexperienced writer, anonymous notes informing me of my pretentiousness and poor style can do a lot to crush my ego. Yes I know I’m snobbish and I know that I’m not a good writer yet, I just don’t need other people I don’t know telling me that.
Thanks Leigh for letting me participate here! I like the cut of your jib. (Gib?) (Ed. Note: Jib.)
Expect more from me soon.
At around 10pm on November 29th, I finished my seventh NaNoWriMo novel (in nine tries). The story kind of sucks. Our fearless leader, Marcus, suggested I post my worst passage and celebrate how much it sucks.
But I can’t find a passage. It’s not that I think it’s all good, because it isn’t. It’s just all meh. It’s not offensively bad, but if I put it on Feedbooks with a tipjar, I’d make about forty-five cents, plus ten dollars from my mom.
Here’s an example. The Man in the Gray Suit is one of the main characters of the book. Think of him as an SVP in Hell, Inc. Continue reading “NaNoWriMo is over, and I won”