Assorted stuff and nonsense


I read Robert McKee’s book Story very recently, and have been playing around with the stuff he talks about. It’s a very mechanistic view of writing and the nature of story, and it’s primarily aimed at script writers, causing the prose novelist in me to scoff and say that’s fine for a screenplay because it’s a mechanistic art, versus the more artsy fartsy internal nature of prose.

Which of course is utter bollocks. But still, his view of the importance of outlining and setting up value charges in each scene robs the art of romance for me, so historically I’ve resisted it and gone for the method Stephen King outlines in On Writing – look at it as though you were a paleontologist unearthing a dinosaur, you dig in and find the spirit of the story. These two forces in my head battle constantly, my left brain wanting the clarity of an outline and my right brain wanting the spirit and romance of the more adventurous seat-of-the-pants approach.

So I’ve settled on more of a hybrid approach with the latest story. It’s to be a sequel to Kidnap over Dyra!, but this time I’ve written it straight as I did with Kidnap, before breaking the first draft down into scenes on 3×5 cards, throwing some scenes out and dropping others in, and eventually winding up with a full outline running to about a thousand words – the story itself will probably run at around four and a half thousand, and the thing will end up on Lulu just like Kidnap.

On Lulu, but not only there. I’m going to do a full rebrand of Daily Flash Fiction, primarily because it’s an awful name that sets up all kinds of false expectations in readers (specifically that it’ll be daily). I still don’t know what to call it, and the old domain will still go there, but instead it’ll be a base for serial fiction as well, sort of like Mike Stackpole’s serial fiction experiments. And the old Flash fiction will stay up there as well, possibly with an explanation.

On not-writingy-stuff news, I’m learning PHP in the hopes of being able to get a better day job, and I’ll probably play around with category-specific templates to separate the stuff in more of a clean manner.


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