Wednesday, April 26, 2006

King Arthur and the Goblet of Fire

Personally, I’m convinced that the legends of the Holy Grail are fanfic about the Eucharist.

That statement pretty well sums up my approach to writing.
There's a great post on fan fiction from Patrick and Terese Nielson's blog Making Light (gleaned from boingboing). Terese makes the point that fan fiction has been with us since writing began, and that the label "fan fiction" is an artifact of our copyright laws. Here's a great quotation:
The Pulitzer Prize for Fiction this year went to March, a novel by Geraldine Brooks, published by Viking. It’s a re-imagining of the life of the father of the four March girls in Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. Can you see a particle of difference between that and a work of declared fanfiction?

As far as I'm concerned, this nails it. Writers have to follow their inspiration, not a culturally conditioned notion of what a writer's proper work is. Maybe for a bunch of writers this means being the "solitary genius" or whatever we're calling our romantic heroes these days, but for most it means being vaguely ridiculous in public.

Mind you, War of the Gyro isn't technically a fanfic, since it was conceived in conversation with an actual publisher with the actual capability to publish a novel under the Talislanta license, it's actually a spin-off. The fact that the publisher is no longer publishing Talislanta materials is only a minor setback.

But at this point, I'm dedicated to finishing War of the Gyro just for myself and the half dozen people who visit this page every day looking for a new chapter (yes, I know you're out there). Why? Because fan fiction is fun, and because I believe it can occasionally be really great. If you don't beleive me, pick up the latest by Dan Abnett or Robin Laws.

While I'm ranting, maybe you're wondering where the latest chapter went. There's a simple answer for that. I've had it for ages, but I'm sitting on it because I'm not satisfied with it. This is obviously my internal editor holding me back, so I'm going to go ahead and publish it within the next few days.

Monday, April 17, 2006

A Really Good Hockey Player

There was this guy in my home town who was a really good hockey player. Back where I grew up, that was kind of a big deal. This guy was really good, better than anybody else in town. He was a sort of a local hero. He eventually got picked up by one of the farm team systems. He may even have played as a bench warmer in the NHL for a while. My point is that there are tons of guys playing professional and semi-professional sports who are better at what they do than you or anybody you've played with.

Lately I've come to realize that I'm not the writer for a generation. It sounds silly, but I've had this persistent voice in the back of my mind telling me over and over again that I just need that one little push, and I'll emerge as one of the great voices of my age. But I'm not.

There's nothing wrong with delusions of grandeur, as long as they help you write. They don't help me. I get all knotted up like a handkerchief wrapped around a lawnmower blade.

Writings really about sitting down and telling a story with your pen. It's a commonplace workday kind of thing that every now and then gives me a huge thrill. It's time to sit at the table. Maybe it'll be great, and maybe it'll just be done, but it'll be mine.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Chapter 25 - Tamohara Dreams

It's quite possible that this post will eventually find it's way into the "special features - deleted scenes" bin. It's one of those little background bits that you love when you write it, but you're not sure anyone gives a damn about. But then again, this is my novel and I can include anything I want.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Chapter 24 - Tamohara and Krathe

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