Authentic

Keep those vicarious World Fantasy experiences coming, people. Then, I can pretend I was there. Your anecdote can be my anecdote. In thirty years, no one’s gonna know it wasn’t me. 🙂

You guessed it. I’m getting sick. Which means I get just a little loopy. The good news is that this is the first time I’ve been ill since my illness buffet of the spring semester. That’s something like 8 months sober for me.

Today’s back of the mind pondering is a writer’s sense of authentic self. How do you know when you’ve got the work of a particular writer loaded up on your Nook/Kindle, aside from looking at the by line?

An unusual thing that begins to happen when you write a lot is that you begin to find a writer’s voice. It can be typified by the negative (could you have put any more parenthetical phrases in that sentence?) or the positive. (While the exchange between the Widow and Nick seems archaic, this is done to good comedic effect.) I’m finding that my voice intersects somewhere among formal, old-fashioned, broadly humorous, and gothic.

There are certainly things I like to write about more than other things. I don’t care for horror in real life, but I can be brutal in stories. I like to be flowery when I establish scene, but I also avoid placing the reader knee deep in adjectives as they slog through yet another ponderous description of an Australian gully (I’m talking to you, Naomi Novik!). I under-describe characters, as I don’t think that feels natural in the story telling. I hope to show you them in actions and dialogue.

I’m beginning to know myself as a writer. This is pretty spif, actually.

So. Were-humans is shaping up to be kind of romancy. There might even be sex in Were-humans. As well as brutality, yes. Can’t leave out that brutality.

For those of you who have been hanging out here for a while, and those of you at Viable Paradise, the next thing is the Klarion story that was critiqued there. I am going to be doing a lot of research, time line planning, and character sketching. My plan is to write a series of books, more or less at once. With the exception of books 3 and 4, the books stand alone generationally, so the first one to be completed is the first one to fly away to agent land. In order for the books to work as well as they need to, I have to know the WHOLE story. Then I have to choose the bits I’ll show you. By the end of this effort, I should have a definite feel of voice.

What are you working on? I know some of you just can’t say anymore. I wonder what I’ll talk about when I can’t say anymore? Well, there’s always book reviews and interviews.

Catherine

November

Phew. Made it. It’s November.

The weather is getting colder and I can feel the dread of winter just around the corner. Trying hard not to think about that, with the beautiful sunny day we’re having outside, and that we just bought a new snow blower. Hoping that the whole seasonal affected thing will leave me alone more than it has the last three years. Hoping for a little more free time than we had in October.

***

We had quite the squadron of Trick-or-Treaters last night. Bryon decorated the yard in a Japanese ghost theme. He used the tori he made for AnimeIowa, and put up fluorescent ghost balls strung above a grave yard. The kids loved it. It sounds like you all had a wonderful time at World Fantasy, but I missed this last year, the whole Halloween gig. I put on my fox ears and Japanese temple outfit, and handed out cowtails. It was good. It was seasonal. It was real, a chance to connect with the real world. My town, anyway. It strikes me that it’s easy to become sort of myopic, being a writer on the Internet. That’s a lot of buzz. Tiny children taking your candy is a refreshing change of pace.

All right. Trying not to let what I suspect might be flu win. Trying to get a few evaluations in the bag today.

Catherine