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

  • Alexandria by Monica Byrne (short story)
  • Testament of Experience by Vera Brittain
  • Zoom sur Plainpalais by Corinne Jaquet
  • Sophie's Choice by William Styron
  • ***Reading At Intervals***
  • The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
  • Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  • The Young Lions by Irwin Shaw
  • Burning Sky by Lori Benton
  • 12 Anne and Avonlea books by L. M. Montgomery (skimming/reread (this was free on Kindle!))
  • Parade's End by Ford Madox Ford
  • Istanbul Noir (Akashic Books anthology)
  • The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien manuscripts edited by J. D. Rateliff
  • The Jerusalem Bible
  • ***Finished Books***
  • Hermit Crab by Peter Porter (poem)
  • The Hidden Land by Private Irving (poem; http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.ch/2017/02/bits-n-pieces-writers-houseparty.html)
  • The Little Turtle by Vachel Lindsay (poem; reread)
  • Dear Mr Henshaw by Beverly Cleary
  • My Own Two Feet by Beverly Cleary
  • Managed by Kristen Callihan
  • beta read! (JB)
  • The Making of Outlander by Tara Bennett
  • The Children of Men by P. D. James
  • A Daughter's A Daughter by Mary Westmacott (Agatha Christie)
  • A Girl From Yamhill by Beverly Cleary
  • Sunlight by Margaret Rucker (poem; floating in a cocktail glass)
  • Save the Cat by Blake Snyder
  • Preface to The Hobbit, by Christopher Tolkien
  • Ilk Defa... by Beste Barki (essays)
  • Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers (essay)
  • The Moon and I by Betsy Byars
  • The Road to Little Dribbling by Bill Bryson
  • Rogue Warrior by Regan Walker
  • Beauty and the Beast by Villeneuve
  • Black (what was this? I don't remember!)
  • Dance of the Jakaranda by Peter Kimani
  • Thomas the Tank Engine by Rev. Awry (26 book collection)
  • beta read (Born to Run by RB)
  • The Little Turtle by Vachel Lindsay (poem; reread)
  • The Kraken by Alfred Lord Tennyson (poem)
  • Android's Dream by John Scalzi
  • The Mysterious Tadpole by Stephen Kellogg (reread)
  • Yashim Cooks Istanbul by Jason Goodwin
  • Miniatures by John Scalzi
  • Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain
  • Kitty-in-Boots by Beatrix Potter (illustrated by Quentin Blake)
  • All or Nothing by Rose Lerner (short story)
  • Merry Christmas, Emily (board book)
  • Extra Yarn by __ and Jan Klassen
  • Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  • The Outlandish Companion II by Diana Gabaldon
  • The Outlandish Companion I, Revised by Diana Gabaldon
  • MacHinery and the Cauliflowers by Alistair MacLean (short story)
  • The Dileas by Alistair MacLean (short story)
  • The Gold Watch by Alistair MacLean (short story)
  • betty, butter, sun by Monica Byrne (short story)
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them screenplay by J.K. Rowling
  • The Very Cranky Bear (Scholastic)
  • various haiku by R. Wodaski
  • ongoing rereads of most board books listed last year!
  • see the 2016 list and statistics at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.ch/2016/12/annual-books-read-statistics-2016.html
  • 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