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Tag Archives: jeff vandermeer
Last year I provided a list of five gifts for the speculative fiction writer on your list. Here’s another installment of that. Sure, you can go for the old standbys: notebooks, pens, a gift certificate so they can buy books, … Continue reading
I spent a good chunk of my summer reading through a multi-volume fantasy series for the sake of completeness. The series will remain nameless, because I can’t in good conscience recommend it, but it did impact the amount of other … Continue reading
What I worked on: Sent out a story to an audio market. More on Circus In the Bloodwarm Rain (novel): 574 Prairie Dog Town (working title)(story): 715 words. I’ve rounded the 3k mark on this, and think I’m in the … Continue reading
Collaborations can be a lot of fun. My first collaboration came about when Jeff VanderMeer asked if I’d be interested in working together on one and tossed me a 1500 word lump that would end up becoming “The Surgeon’s Tale.” That story remains among one of my favorite pieces of writing, in part because reading back through it evokes the pleasure of batting it back and forth, adding thousand or so word chunks each time, until it ended up in the land of the novelette. I think we managed to make the final result pretty seamless – I have trouble remembering who wrote some bits, although others stand out clearly in my head as Jeff’s or mine, because I remember first reading them or spinning them out.
I’ve been following Jeff’s posts about this book, which is a very VanderMeerian approach to writing theory, for a while, and so I danced around a bit when this arrived in yesterday’s mail.
Once you’ve mastered the basics of getting words on a page and moving characters around through situations, there’s some things that (in my experience) the majority of writers need to focus on. Examples are narrative grammar, paragraphing strategies, trimming excess from sentences, and getting inside a character’s head. Here, I’m going to discuss the last of those.
A lot of this is taken from correspondance with my student Hasnain. He’d asked about story structures, particularly Freitag’s Triangle, and we’d discussed where the triangle occurs in Junot Diaz’s story, Fiesta 1980. In looking at his most recent story, I’d said I thought he needed to get inside his main character’s head more.