Thursday, September 27, 2012

Cthulhu and the Crazies

I love Lovecraftian horror.

(That's a really awkward thing to write.  I went back and forth on it a few times, but "I like Lovecraftian horror" was just too weak.)

They're great, though.  I mean, Lovecraft is pretty much the go-to on that, obviously.  (It's got his name right in the genre!)  At the Mountains of Madness, The Call of Cthulhu, The Shadow Over Innsmouth, The Dunwich Horror, Pickman's Model, and The Shadow out of Time are all really amazing stories about the unknown.  With the partial exception of The Dunwich Horror, they all tell stories of an unfathomable universe of which humanity is a completely insignificant part.  We have no chance to fight back.  We cannot hope to defend against the alien things that exist alongside us.  We cannot hope to even understand them.  They are as beyond us as we are beyond ants.

There's one recurring element to Lovecraftian fiction that always jolts my suspension of disbelief, just a little.  The slightest thing out of the ordinary will drive everyone completely insane.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

When to Give Up (For Now)

I've read a lot of advice telling aspiring writers to never give up on a story.  I understand this advice, and generally it's pretty good.  It's easy to get bored while writing something, especially if it's a long work like a novel.  No matter how awesome your idea is, no matter how exciting your plot is, after awhile you're just going to get bored and want to do something else.

Ideas don't stop coming just because you're writing.  Hell, if anything, ideas come faster when you're writing.  It's extremely easy to lose track of what you're working on, simply because it's less interesting than the great new idea you just had.

Of course, the story you're working on was a great new idea last week, wasn't it?  When you first had it?  The idea just popped into your head, and you fell in absolute love with it.  Maybe you even stopped writing what you were working on at the time to give this great new idea the attention it deserved!  But now that you're a few days into writing it (or a few weeks, or a few months), you've started to run  head-on into the part that's called "hard work."  That part's not as exciting.

This brand new idea, though, wow!  You can already tell that one will just flow right out of you!  You'll probably be able to bang out a first draft in a day!

Is that possible?  Enh.  Technically.