Sunday, 29 January 2012

Top Writing Blogs, Missing Scenes and Stephen King

College Finder have come out with their shortlist for the Top Writing Blogs Award, and you can vote! I'm on there, but so are many others, like Alex Cavanaugh, Adam Heine, Glynis Smy, Michael di Gesu, Medeia Sharif, Denise Covey, Melissa - well, you get the idea. Vote for some or all of us, there's no limit to voting.
And to the 15 people who voted before I put my vote in or even mentioned it on this blog: wow! thank you!

I've finished all my edits on paper and discovered that: a) I have 25 gaping holes that require lots more writing; and b) penultimate scenes are hardest for me to write. Endings, no problem. But all that high-octane action and emotion leading up to the final sweet resolution? Let's make no bones about it, I suck.


You'd think I'd have learned something after all these years of writing, and of reading the best. Which reminds me, I'm rereading Stephen King's It for the first time in 20 years. I wondered if I'd be affected the same way as I was when I was 13 and read It and The Stand in one week - I was. There may be some so-called rules -- such as: don't have characters with similar sounding names, don't introduce too many characters early on, don't use flashbacks too often, and all that sort of dribble -- but King breaks them all so easily that you wonder why anyone ever though such tricks were wrong. His world, and characters, are terribly real; you don't just want to be friends with them, you're afraid they won't like you. Here's an essay that explores King's legacy and worth.

My latest review, of Leigh D'Ansey's The Duke's Blackmailed Bride, is up at One Hundred Romances.

And now, more Neil Gaiman. In Fragile Things, he mentions writing to the author R. A. Lafferty, and I've printed a few of Lafferty's stories to read. Apparently, after Lafferty died, they sold the rights to all his works, for about 70,000$. I wonder who bought them? Does anyone know? I discovered this quote about Lafferty which I quite like:
"He always admitted he had a drink problem, and magically appeared at the head of the queue whenever the bar opened. Smiling, enigmatic, uncommunicative, he showed few signs of the inspired blarney in his fiction. A French publisher nervously asked whether Lafferty minded being compared to G.K. Chesterton (another Catholic author), and there was a terrifying silence that went on and on. Was the great man hideously offended? Eventually, very slowly, he said: 'You're on the right track, kid,' and wandered away."
I asked Neil Gaiman a question on his Tumblr feed. Let's see if I get a response. Oh, and Jenny's got some more awesome posts on Gaiman. And Lynda's hosting a BBQ for Australia Day!

19 comments:

Jess said...

Stopping by from Lynda's blog! It's so nice to meet you!!

Happy Australia Day!

Vicki Tremper said...

Neil Gaiman and Stephen King - great influences! Good luck plugging those plot holes and with the Top Blogging Awards!

Jemi Fraser said...

I've voted for you and my other buddies a couple of times now! :)

I'm really struggling with my ending right now - botht the action scene and the wrap up. so frustrating!

Old Kitty said...

I hope you get a response from Mr Gaiman!!! Yay!!

And of course I voted for you - and all my writerly bloggy friends nominated! Yay GOOD LUCK!!

I love re-reading classics!! Last year I started re-reading Agatha Christie! I may do Stephen King this year maybe, we'll see! LOL!

Take care
x

Elizabeth said...

OLD follower.

I am stopping by from the Top Writing Blog competition.

Just wanted to say hello. This is a great way to find new blogs and visit ones you haven't visited in a while. :)

Elizabeth - Silver's Reviews

http://silversolara.blogspot.com

The Golden Eagle said...

Congratulations on being on the shortlist! :)

Good luck with your writing.

Trisha said...

Congrats on being on the list, Deniz!! That rocks!

Zan Marie said...

Wow, Deniz! I just added my little vote. ; )

Jenny Maloney said...

It is next on my list! I've never read it before, but I just finished 11/22/63 and I recognized a lot of It references so I figured it was time.

And definitely let us know whatever Gaiman says when he gets back to you!

Deniz Bevan said...

Nice to meet you too, Jess!

Thanks so much Vicki and Jemi. Good luck with your ending, Jemi. I know I need all the luck I can get with mine...

Thanks so much, Kitty! Love rereading Christie!

Thanks Elizabeth, Eagle, Trisha and Zan Marie!

Ooh, are there really It references in there, Jenny? What a serendipitous reread for me :-)

Missed Periods said...

I read It when I was thirteen too!

And I am off to vote for you.

Missed Periods said...

It won't let me vote for some reason, but I will try to figure it out.

Romance Reader said...

Waiting to read the responce you get from Mr Gaiman!

Outlander Kitchen said...

I'd hardly say you suck! lol...the fact that they're your most challenging scenes to write must leave you feeling pretty good about yourself when you finally get it right! theresa

Susan Fields said...

I loved Stephen King when I was younger, but I haven't read anything by him in years. I can't believe you read It and The Stand in one week - The Stand alone would probably take me a month.

Rek said...

I was one of those 15 pre info voters...was voting for for a blogger friend when I saw some more names and decided to vote for all 10 I read. .. I will check out your review too. Writing books are not gospel, go with what works for your story...remember Tolkien on verbosity and Rowling on details, my bro says to me all the time...good advice I think. :)

Deniz Bevan said...

Thanks, Missed! I've been having trouble with the voting, too.

It's up on Wednesday's post, Romance!

Aww, thanks for the vote of confidence, Theresa :-)

I had to read them that way, Susan - they were so good and It was kinda scary...

It is good advice, Rek. Hope the voting starts working again.

maine character said...

This is the third time in the last month I've had IT recommended. Never read it ('cause I scare too easy), but I like his non-spooky stuff so much I may have to finally give IT a try (and leave the lights on).

Deniz Bevan said...

It's scary, but not simple-horror scary. It's more that you care so much about the characters that you worry for them!
Do you have a blog, maine?

Books I'm Reading and Finished Books

  • Arthur and George by Julian Barnes
  • ***Reading At Intervals***
  • The Peoples of Middle-earth - Book 12 in the History of Middle Earth series by Christopher Tolkien and J R R Tolkien (reread)
  • Edmund Campion by Evelyn Waugh
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  • A Woman in Arabia: The Writings of the Queen of the Desert by Gertrude Bell
  • 12 Anne and Avonlea books by L. M. Montgomery (skimming/reread (this was free on Kindle!))
  • Parade's End by Ford Madox Ford
  • 11 Doctors 11 Stories by various authors (including Neil Gaiman)
  • The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien manuscripts edited by J. D. Rateliff
  • Creed or Chaos? by Dorothy Sayers
  • Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  • The Jerusalem Bible
  • ***Finished Books***
  • Career by Yevtushenko (poem)
  • Human life in this century by Yevtushenko (poem)
  • Willow by Anna Akhmatova (poem)
  • Sonnet LXVI by Shakespeare
  • Sir Walter Raleigh to His Son (poem)
  • Fair Jenny by Robbie Burns (poem)
  • MacPherson's Farewell by Robbie Burns (poem)
  • World's End, the collected Sandman No. 8 by Neil Gaiman
  • O Wert Thou In The Cauld Blast by Robbie Burns (poem)
  • The War of the Jewels - Book 11 in the History of Middle Earth series by Christopher Tolkien and J R R Tolkien (reread)
  • The Rolling English Road by G. K. Chesterton (poem)
  • The Noise of Time by Julian Barnes
  • A Tradition of Eighteen Hundred and Four by Thomas Hardy
  • The Hierophant by Lee-Ann Dalton (short story)
  • The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street by Helene Hanff
  • 84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff (reread)
  • Lonely Planet guide to Switzerland
  • Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen
  • beta read!
  • Ode on Venice by Lord Byron (poem)
  • Little Miss Scatterbrain by Roger Hargreaves (reread)
  • Little Miss Lucky by Roger Hargreaves (reread)
  • Little Miss Trouble by Roger Hargreaves (reread)
  • Homage to Switzerland by Ernest Hemingway (short story; reread but I really don't remember it after 20 years)
  • The Hockey Sweater by Roch Carrier (reread)
  • Sing a Long Children's Songs
  • Emily's First Christmas
  • Up At the Villa by Somerset Maugham (novella)
  • Telling Stories by Tim Burgess
  • The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • The Marble Collector by Cecilia Ahern
  • Sophie's Throughway by Jules Smith
  • Baby Animals (Little Golden Books)
  • The House That Jack Built (Little Golden Books)
  • Scuffy the Tugboat (Little Golden Books)
  • The Saggy Baggy Elephant (Little Golden Books)
  • Morgoth's Ring - Book 10 in the History of Middle Earth series by Christopher Tolkien and J R R Tolkien (reread)
  • A Child's Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Who's A Pest by Crosby Bonsall
  • Mine's the Best by Crosby Bonsall (reread)
  • The Case of the Hungry Stranger by Crosby Bonsall (reread)
  • extracts from the diary of John Evelyn (Volume 1 of 2)
  • extracts from Lord Byron's letters about Villa Diodati
  • Pippin the Christmas Pig by Jean Little
  • Ite Missa Est by Anthony Martignetti
  • The Last Battle by C. S. Lewis (reread)
  • The Silver Chair by C. S. Lewis (reread)
  • The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C. S. Lewis (reread)
  • Prince Caspian by C. S. Lewis (reread)
  • The Red Angel by G. K. Chesterton (essay)
  • Emily's Runaway Imagination by Beverly Cleary
  • The Boy Who Set Out to Learn What Fear Was by the Brothers Grimm
  • The Horse and His Boy by C. S. Lewis (reread)
  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis (reread)
  • secret beta read!
  • Preludes by Wordsworth (extracts read aloud)
  • Little Miss Scatterbrain by Roger Hargreaves
  • Dance Me A Dream by Kait Nolan (ARC)
  • Once Upon A Coffee by Kait Nolan
  • England and Switzerland, 1802 by William Wordsworth (poem)
  • Once Upon A New Year's Eve by Kait Nolan
  • short story by Becky Morgan (http://forums.compuserve.com/discussions/Books_and_Writers_Community/Writers_Exercises/Becky_Morgans_December_X/ws-books/85291.1?nav=messages)
  • Blood In Blood Out by Brenda Novak (short story)
  • That Hell-Bound Train by Robert Bloch (short story)
  • Distraction by J. L. Campbell
  • Humble Bundle Peanuts collection (strips by Charles Schulz)
  • Peanuts Volumes I to VI (bought via Humble Bundle; very disappointing as it's mostly new strips -- how is that even allowed?!)
  • Sandals and Sangria by Talli Roland (short story)
  • Over the Hump by Talli Roland (short story)
  • issues of Journal of Inklings Studies and Amon Hen and Mallorn (Tolkien Society)
  • Z is for Zamboni: A Hockey Alphabet by Matt Napier
  • Babar and his Family by Laurent de Brunhoff
  • Illusions Lost by Byron A. Maddox (short story)
  • ongoing rereads of most board books listed last year!
  • Lost My Name book for Emily (https://www.lostmy.name/)
  • Now We Are Six by A. A. Milne
  • When We Were Very Young by A. A. Milne (reread)
  • Neil Gaiman comics on Sequential app
  • Moranology by Caitlin Moran
  • see the 2015 list and statistics at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.ch/2015/12/annual-books-read-statistics.html
  • see the 2014 list and statistics at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.ch/2014/12/books-read-in-2014-review.html
  • see the 2013 list and statistics at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.ca/2014/01/toast-to-professor-books-read-in-2013.html
  • see the 2012 list and statistics here http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.ca/2012/12/the-hobbit-review-and-year-end-books.html
  • see the 2011 statistics on http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.ca/2012/01/books-read-in-2011-statistics-fourth.html
  • see the 2011 list at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.ca/2012/01/books-read-in-2011.html
  • see the 2010 list at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.com/2010/12/books-read-in-2010-listed-here.html
  • see the 2009 list at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.com/2009/12/books-read-in-2009-part-ii.html
  • also in 2009 at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.com/2009/12/books-read-in-2009-part-iv.html
  • see the 2008 list at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.com/2008/12/books-read-in-2008-part-ii.html
  • also in 2008 at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.com/2008/12/books-read-in-2008-part-vi.html
  • also in 2008 at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.com/2008/12/books-read-in-2008-part-iv.html