Insane optimism

25, July,2007

My MP3 player temporaily died leading to a  sudden burst of writing.  Instead of sitting on the train listening to podcasts about writing I found myself actually writing.

I started considering what would happen if this mass of loosely connected gags and mime jokes (and who doesn’t like putting the boot into a mime) ever got published.

Obviously, the first thing to consider is an affectation.  Pratchett has his hat, Byron had his bad boy image and pirate shirts, Robert Rankin – loud shirts and beer.  Barbra Cartland had that whole zombie look (I really hope Stephen King’s look is an affectation).

I’ve got a dicky knee from an Australian Rules football injury so I’m leaning toward a cane.  Something in an Australian blackwood with the Phantom’s head on top (should it be in silver or purple? I can’t decide), oh, and a sword inside, which I could brandish drunkenly at the paparazzi in my sad declining years.

There’s a fairly well established tradition amongst Australian celebs for taking on foriegn accents  (Kylie Minogue, Elle McPhearson, Mel Gibson etc)  so I might give that a go.  Perhaps a Dick van Dyke style cockney (if you’re too young to get that gag, go rent Mary Poppins).

I’m also considering Red shoes, but only for radio interviews, and if anyone asks why I’ll get stroppy and storm out.

It doesn’t hurt to be prepared.

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People Like Us

4, July,2007

I’d like to collect a list of blogs for my blogroll category ‘People Like Us’, that is writers documenting their journey toward publication.   I know there are hundreds out there, but which ones are worth reading?

My preference is for smart and/or funny.  (You’re allowed to suggest yourself, I appreciate a healthy ego).

Any suggestions?

There is a joke. Why do dogs lick their balls?…Because they can.

What has this got to do with writing and research? Well, recently I abandoned a book I was reading and I’m a bit annoyed about it. I feel cheated. I was quite enjoying the story.

It thought it was going to be a medieval fantasy with a slight historical leaning; it turned out to be more of a historical novel with a slight fantasy leaning. Not a big problem, lots of action, the characters were shaping up nicely.

Then the historical accuracies started to intrude.

You know, I really don’t care what they called a horse brush in 16th century France. And the Samurai – I know he’s Japanese, he’s a Samurai. I don’t need the the pace bogged down by him not understanding English and Western Culture. Set up the character, make the point and move on.

The point I’m trying to make is, the reader should not be aware of how much research you have done. A work of fiction is allowed to gloss over some things to keep the story moving.

So the message – Just because you can, it doesn’t mean you should.