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

  • Dead Cold by Louise Penny
  • The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien (annual reread)
  • Beowulf and Sellic Spell by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • ***Reading At Intervals***
  • Parade's End by Ford Madox Ford
  • The War of the Ring - Book 8 in the History of Middle Earth series by Christopher Tolkien and J R R Tolkien (reread)
  • What to Expect in Baby's First Year
  • Baby's First Year for Dummies
  • 11 Doctors 11 Stories by various authors (including Neil Gaiman)
  • Nightmares and Dreamscapes by Stephen King
  • Creed or Chaos? by Dorothy Sayers
  • The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien manuscripts edited by J. D. Rateliff
  • Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  • The Jerusalem Bible
  • ***Finished Books***
  • The Banks of Certain Rivers by Jon Harrison
  • Lessons for a Sunday Father by Claire Calman
  • The Magician by Somerset Maugham
  • Rogue Spy by Joanna Bourne
  • The Hotel New Hampshire by John Irving (skimmed last third)
  • A Matter of Grave Concern by Brenda Novak
  • Fatal Fallout by Lara Lacombe
  • secret beta read!
  • The Heart of Christmas by Brenda Novak
  • Deadly Contact by Lara Lacombe
  • Carry On, Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse
  • The Floating Admiral by the Detection Club, including Christie, Sayers, Chesterton, etc.
  • Brief Lives, Sandman 8 by Neil Gaiman
  • Liza of Lambeth by Somerset Maugham
  • The Mapmaker's Daughter by Laurel Corona (I give up on finishing this; skimmed to the end)
  • Childe Harold by Lord Byron (listened to the parts of it set in Switzerland read aloud)
  • Written in My Own Heart's Blood by Diana Gabaldon
  • My Dancing Bear by Helene de Klerk
  • The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith
  • The Silver Sword by Ian Serraillier
  • Jane of Lantern Hill by L. M. Montgomery
  • Tu Vas Naitre by Sylvia Kitzinger
  • Goodbye To All That by Robert Graves
  • secret beta read 2!
  • Trust Your Eyes by Linwood Barclay
  • The Caliph's Vacation by Goscinny (Iznogoud series; Canadian translation) (reread)
  • Neither Here Nor There by Bill Bryson
  • Le Tresor de Rackham le Rouge by Herge (Tintin series) (reread)
  • Le Secret de la Licorne by Herge (Tintin series) (reread)
  • L'Affaire Tournesol by Herge (Tintin series) (reread)
  • The Bum by Somerset Maugham (short story)
  • The Colour of Magic, Discworld 1 by Terry Pratchett
  • Fables and Reflections Sandman 6 by Neil Gaiman
  • Doctor Fischer of Geneva or The Bomb Party by Graham Greene
  • Once Upon an Heirloom by Kait Nolan (novella)
  • The No-Kids Club by Talli Roland
  • Snip, Snip Revenge by Medeia Sharif
  • Journey to an 800 Number by E. L. Konigsburg
  • various Neil Gaiman short stories on the An Evening With Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer album (reread (well, this time in audio))
  • And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie (reread; actually this was an older edition, published under the original title of Ten Little N******)
  • Dumb Witness by Agatha Christie (reread)
  • Never Saw It Coming by Linwood Barclay
  • How To Fall In Love by Cecelia Ahern
  • biographical note on Lord Peter Wimsey in reissue of Clouds of Witness by Dorothy Sayers (on Gutenberg)
  • One Hundred Names by Cecelia Ahern
  • Notwithstanding by Louis de Bernieres
  • The Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King
  • Temptation by Sandy Loyd
  • The Incorrigible Mr. Lumley by Aileen Fish
  • Effie's Outlaw by Karen Lopp
  • Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler
  • The Christmas Crossing by Bev Petterson (short story)
  • secret beta read!
  • An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield
  • Forgotten by Catherine McKenzie
  • Arranged by Catherine McKenzie
  • Emil In the Soup Tureen by Astrid Lindgren
  • Whales by Jacques Cousteau (excerpt essay from his book)
  • Tutankhamen's Tomb by Howard Carter (excerpt essay from his book)
  • Ice Dogs by Terry Lynn Johnson
  • Everything's Eventual by Stephen King
  • Go the F*^$ To Sleep (board book)
  • Green Eggs and Ham by Dr Seuss (reread) (brought to you by Neil Gaiman: http://www.worldbuilders.org/our-next-stretch-goal-unlocks-at/neil-gaiman-reads-green-eggs-and-ham)
  • The Sagan Diary by John Scalzi
  • mini Twitter stories by Talli Roland (available here: http://advice.uk.match.com/dating-advice/enjoy-valentine%E2%80%99s-day-and-get-mentallydating?utm_expid=55691082-15.2L0G0ictTcSJ4BI9Srh77A.0&utm_referrer=http%3A%2F%2Fadvice.uk.match.com%2Fdating-advice)
  • The Book of Jane by Anne Dayton and May Vanderbilt
  • Chicken Soup for the Soul: O Canada The Wonders of Winter
  • Beloved Demons by Anthony Martignetti
  • Hands-on Therapy by T L Watson
  • Let Me Make Myself Plain by Catherine Cookson
  • The Razor's Edge by Somerset Maugham
  • Mystery of the Fat Cat by Frank Bonham
  • Spin by Catherine Mckenzie
  • Virgins by Diana Gabaldon
  • The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen (reread)
  • The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs
  • The Ghost in the Window by Betty Ren Wright
  • The Progress of Love by Alice Munro
  • The Treason of Isengard - Book 7 in the History of Middle Earth series by Christopher Tolkien and J R R Tolkien (reread)
  • The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J. K. Rowling (reread)
  • Behind the Lines (poems) by A. A. Milne
  • the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling (reread)
  • Chicken Soup for the Expectant Mother's Soul
  • 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