Can't wait to see who starts the poking.
But I'm sure you aren't going to start poking. Mostly I'm sure of this because I'm over here and you're waaaaaaayyy over there. Makes for better neighbors than fences, distance does.
Sharon is a writing buddy and we used to be in the same critique group before she moved on to bigger, better and, frankly, paying things. I always enjoy reading what she's got to say. Although the seething teeth-gnashing of jealousy isn't a becoming look for me, it seems to be my default appearance whenever I've got a new Reamer book in hand.
If you've only happened to stumble on here and haven't read Sharon's wonderful contribution to this Big Time Frog Hop, then please go here and enjoy yourself. I'll wait until you get back.
I thought they'd never leave. Now that those folks are gone, let's talk, you and me.
Today's challenge is to come up with three things I write about and three things I don't write about. I considered discussing -- at length -- my fascination with co-morbidity set problems in relation to long-term economic and motility forecasts, but decided against it. So let's rub our hands together, hunch our shoulders and cackle gleefully as we discuss fiction.
Three Things About Which I Write
Don't look at me that way. My mom was an English teacher and would have skinned me alive were she to have seen me end that above title with a preposition.
I love to write about the intersection of the fantastic and the mundane. That is, I'm not big on all-out unicorn-riding, quest-fulfilling, ring-bearing, sword-swinging, dragon-baiting fantasy of the Tolkein variety. In fact, I find most of that to be exquisitely boring.
My favorite kind of writing is the kind where our world becomes infected with things unknown, or intersects with places only dreamed of before. In other words, I love urban fantasy and that tends to be what I write about. I like to read about and write stories where society progresses, rather than stagnates at the feudal level and then never advances, even over the course of thousands of years.
Which is why I've always wanted to write a science-fiction story that takes place in a fantasy universe. That is, what does the future look like when societies are allowed to evolve past the feudal stage? Will magic be technologized? What would a popular political movement look like when protesting against the Dark Lord of Niffsnarl who might have been elected thanks to some tomfoolery with the voting runes? Would dragons make good space ships? I've never seen this story before and would love to be the one to bring it out. We'll see.
Secondly, I truly enjoy writing dialogue. I certainly didn't grow up on the snappy patter in the urbane movies of the 1930's and 1940's or the pared-down noir conversations of hardboiled detective fiction, but I love them all the same. This partially is why I love movies so much, because we see the action and get to discover character through that action and through the dialogue. There's not much in the way of voiceover and description.
Some readers have said that I tend to write like a movie. I'm light on the lyrical descriptions, give only the barest of visual cues, but then tend to have action take over while a bunch of people talk to each other. I can't deny that one.
Thirdly, I love to fill my stories with humor. Well, I love trying to fill my stories with humor. There are many who say I'm not at all funny, but they're just haters. The fact that they're all related to me means nothing. Nothing, I tell you. Nothing!
My critique group recently welcomed some new members. One of our more long-term members took it upon himself to describe the writing style of the various members for clarification. He said that I would blow up the world, but only if it got a laugh. And, yeah, he's pretty much right about that one.
Things About Which I Do Not Write
Where to start? Where to start? The sex lives of paramecia? The triumphant return of disco? Dust bunny reproduction? Guys and gals, there's a lot of stuff about which I don't write. I'll do my best to try and narrow it down to only three.
I'm not big on polemics. Many of my characters have political or social opinions, but those opinions are only there to inform the characters. I don't enjoy writing that serves only to advance or push some political or social agenda.
I find these types of stories to be boring, humorless and boring.
Explicit sex scenes probably aren't going to be making an appearance in my fiction any time soon. Not that I have anything against explicit sex scenes (to which the very large file on my computer labeled "very boring do not open" will attest), but they are amazingly difficult to write.
Well, let me rephrase that last bit. Explicit sex scenes are easy to write. They're just damn hard (no pun intended) to write well. Poorly written scenes of explicit sex will throw readers out of a book so quickly most won't even have time to blink.
I stand in awe of people who can write good sex scenes. It's more than mechanics (insert tab A into slot B) and description. Good erotic writing appeals to both the physical side and the emotional side. I wish I could do a better job with it.
Finally, I won't write about sparkly vampires. I really don't like the relatively recent trend toward seeing vampires as sexy. They're not. Vampires are alpha predators who use humans as food. They are not cuddly. They are not sexy. They do not go about in the sun and stalk pretty, little teenagers and force them to listen to limpid love poetry.
Vampires should be horrifying. They should be scary. Vampirism isn't a shortcut to becoming a superhero, only with an allergy to sunlight and garlic. Becoming a vampire isn't and never should be a good thing.
Sparkling or not, the only thing that looks good with a vampire is a really sharp stake.
Whew, glad I got that out of my ches-- er. . . off. Glad I got that off my chest.
Hope you made it through the word flood above, folks. Mostly because I want to make sure you see where I'm going with this one.
I'm passing the baton to a current member of my critique group who, while not quite as scary as a vampire, definitely isn't someone you would want to meet in a dark alley if you've mischief on your mind.
If you wanna taste what I've been cooking here, I've got plenty of servings for you.
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