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Monday, 7 April 2014

EMERGENCY BLOG POST NUMBER THREE. DIVE, DIVE, DIVE! TORPEDOED BY KACEY VANDERKARR: A REPORT FROM A FUGITIVE.

I just discovered that I've been booted out of an aeroplane into clear blue sky. The rest of this blog post will be spent checking for a parachute.
   Who did this to me? Kacey (insert expletives here) Vanderkarr. She just blogged about me, and left me flapping in the breeze. I'll do something a bit different...
   Yes. I'll publish this post now, and continue writing. Kacey is part of some cult called a blog hop. At the last second, she ambushed me with kindness and praise and all that evil stuff.
   Readers of her blog have been steered to my café, in anticipation of GOOD EATS. (See any Harold Lloyd film for details.) I must now frantically scramble literary eggs.
   Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain. Abnormal service will be resumed shortly.

*

Well, this is a first. Publishing the blog - going live - and then publishing more of the blog post as the world turned. Readers who came late to the show, you'll just have to take my word for it. That asterisk was your signpost of events in the dim and distant.
   Onward.
   Must be a change in the weather. I’ve been bombarded from all sides by people telling me how nice I am. Maybe someone will come along and accuse me of being a grumpy bastard.
   Take Kacey Vanderkarr, for example. If you were steered here from her blog, you'll know that I am Scottish. How Scottish? Really grumpily Scottish.
   It is never difficult to distinguish between a Scotsman with a grievance and a ray of sunshine.
   P.G. Wodehouse was not wrong.
   I am grumpy. A professional curmudgeon. Kacey Vanderkarr would have you believe otherwise. (Insert expletives here.) Apparently, I drive her crazy with this whole writing nonsense nonsense.
   Why? How? Oh, I do outrageous things.
   For example. I tell her she can write, and that she has to publish her work - just in case she's swept up in a Zombie Apocalypse. That drives her crazy. How crazy?
   Crazy enough to publish. Here's a link.
   KACEY'S FIRST BOOK.
   Is that crazy enough? No. She likes to embarrass me, she says. How? Oh, by throwing a dedication my way. Here's a link.
   KACEY'S SECOND BOOK.
   On her blog, Kacey says I teach her things about writing. As authors, we are in this business to learn stuff. We'll learn by looking out the window, or staring inward to the heart of darkness.
   And we'll learn stuff by researching. Reading books. Trawling websites. Talking to other authors. I learn from Kacey, from Missy, and other writer contacts too numerous to bribe.
   Writers are not rivals.

*

Ow.
   I've been sapped over the head and dumped into this blog hop. Which means answering four questions. Is there no end to the torture?

1. What am I working on?

More than one book at once, as usual. I'm dividing my time between JAPANESE MONSTERS and many other things.
   JAPANESE MONSTERS is a tale of demonic possession, betrayal, and supernatural spookiness in Old Japan. Expect a dash of Lafcadio Hearn, a hint of Akutagawa, and a hefty dose of Kurosawa. What's not to love?




2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I don't know, for a rather obvious reason. To write in a genre, read outside the genre. (This is what Kacey means when she says that I drive her crazy with writing help.)
   If you've never had this advice handed to you before, here it is. On a plate. With yummy sprinkles. Get stuck in. Read outside your chosen area.

3. Why do I write what I write?

I must write. Writing is breathing for scribblers.

4. How does my writing process work?

I could stop to analyse that. Hmm. I'm sure the process would fall apart if I tried to dissect it. However, as you are here looking for substance...
   Come up with an idea. Write it down. Worry about fixing things later. Right now, let the words flow like molten lava. There's a time for editing. A special time. Called LATER. That's a technical term. Remember it.
   Editing? Look for typos, formatting glitches, gremlins, continuity errors, and holes in the plot. Fix all that stuff. Don't rewrite your story. Trust to your gut. Stick with that instinct.
   Endless rewriting leads to endless rewriting. Skip that madness. Develop the ability to cut loose of your story. Wave it goodbye. Treat it like a cake in the oven. Cook it. Remove it from the oven. Slice and serve. Write another tale.

*

At this point, I'm supposed to hand the hopping blog over to some people. They were too busy to participate. But you can still visit places on the internet.
   Try here. E.B. Black. She just moved house, and is about to get married. Which is why she won't be answering the four questions above. E.B. BLACK.
   Or here. Chris McMullen. He's teaching physics as I speak. The founder of READ TUESDAY has been putting out valuable blogs on the writing game. CHRIS MCMULLEN.
   No blog for this next one. Instead, there's a video station, broadcasting to the world. Melissa C. Water is a mental health activist on YouTube. MELISSA C. WATER.

*

It remains only to invite writers reading this to mention Kacey Vanderkarr and drop links back the way, if you feel like answering those four questions. Here they are again, for ease of copying and pasting...

1. What am I working on?

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

3. Why do I write what I write?

4. How does my writing process work?

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