Monday, February 20, 2012

The Rabbit Was Yummy and Other Great Plots

I get blogger’s block. I do. Weeks go by and I have not a thing I want to say here. This is odd. I don’t get writer’s block. Or rather, I’m never short on ideas for stories. I’ve got stories aplenty. So many stories.

Here’s something: I just finished A Dance With Dragons, the most recent installment in George R.R. Martin’s sword-and-sorcery epic. I take those books in with a mindsweep. I unlock my literary jaws and consume them python style. My limbic system gets so juiced that my critical-reading faculties give up and go hang out at the bar until I’m done. Seriously. I cannot comment one way or the other on the series’ literary merit. Ask me to write a review of Martin’s series and you’d get: “ohmygod, ohmygod, ohmygod.”

One of the first books I remember loving was called Experiment in Terror. It was a YA title, I think. It was about aliens who grow up as humans and don’t know they’re aliens until their bodies start changing. Come to think of it, it must have been a puberty analogy. Experiment in terror, indeed.

Point being: I’ve always had an affinity for what’s usually called genre.

The novel I’m working on now has aspects of sci-fi. But it has far fewer aspects of sci-fi than did my first attempt at this story. I found that all the sci-fi I was including was absorbing too much of the story’s energy, pulling the gravity away from the characters. I have more tolerance for “big plots” in the stuff I read. I have very little tolerance for “big plots” in my own stuff. Everything always ends up feeling forced. A forgery.

Speaking of plots, about time for The Walking Dead to find one. Come on, guys. Can’t spend the entire show sitting around a farm waiting for Shane to kill or be killed. A little momentum is not a bad thing.

A Dance With Dragons has pounds of plot. You could use the plot to calculate the density of the sun.

The plot of the novel I’m writing revolves around the finding or not finding of a mythical city. Kinda. It’s also about love tearing the world in half. Perhaps I should add in something about aliens experiencing puberty. And throw in a few zombies and dragons, too. I bet a teenage alien zombie dragon novel would sell. Thing writes itself.

I guess the plot of this post is plots. Although, when I started, I intended on mentioning my successful preparation of rabbit. On Wednesday of last week, I decided I wanted rabbit for dinner that coming Saturday. I made this happen. The plot was: Alan wants to eat a bunny. It was a very linear story progressing to a happy ending. No genre elements in sight.

Friday, February 3, 2012

A Political Rant of Sorts

We are the language of propaganda. We use words like “abomination” and “unconscionable” and “unforgivable” to describe what is really just “unpleasant” and “concerning” and “imprudent.” We choose anger because anger is simple. Or we choose to be oblivious because oblivion requires nothing in return. When we gather, we do so in tribes, and we do so with chants, and we mistake our camaraderie for morality and our obsessions for principles. The other tribes we see only from afar and only in the shadows cast by their fires. We paint those shadows in all their deformities and we call what we see an abomination. “They will destroy us,” we say. And we believe the words. For the words are we.