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2003-07-15 11:44 AM
Sometimes I hate writing.
There are days when I can sit down and four, five thousand words will come pouring out in very little need of editing or rewriting. Then there are days when I'm lucky to put five hundred words on paper, and each and every one of them seems to have picked the vocabulary of the most infantile, puerile, hackneyed writer ever to walk the face of the planet.
That's the thing, you see. It's almost impossible for a writer to judge the quality of his own fiction. You think that you're doing it right. You think that each sentence, each word has the exact bounce to it you wanted. You think that the preceeding paragraph is long enough to make your protagonist's one word statement crisp and biting.
But you never can tell. There have been pieces of my writing that I considered to be absolute garbage that other people loved. I've walked away from the computer thinking that I've just written the next Hugo or Nebula winner only to have it torn apart by my Grandma. (I'm being facetious, of course. My grandmother is dead. She took one look at the above mentioned story and fell over, her eyes bulging out of her head.)
That's why you read. Because hopefully, hopefully, after a time, you begin to see the shit in other people's writing and therefore you might begin to be able to detect it in your own. But don't county on it.
Last night, for example, I struggled over the course of two hours to write five hundred words. They sucked.
It was my second attempt at beginning that particular story. Tonight, I'm going to give it a third attempt, and if nothing bites, it's going in the drawer for a few weeks and I'm going to start work on a different story.
There is definetely a part of me that wants to sit down and write a fantasy novel. And when I say fantasy I mean Tolkien-esque High fantasy here. But I'm still a little embarrassed to write one, the genre being so trashed by the critics and elitists of the Science Fiction and Fantasy community.
You know what? Screw them. Robert Jordan is making a fucking killing in that genre.
I'm telling you, this writing thing is a bitch. But, I've always liked things that bit back.
Joseph Haines, signing off from The Edge of The Abyss.
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