Saturday, November 21, 2009

I write this, even knowing there's a slight chance he'll read it...

OK, for those of you who are unaware of why November's posting has been more anemic than usual, it's because November is NaNoWriMo. Almost all of my wordingyness is dedicated to that; I go elsewhere only when my hands hurt, or I'm so tired my brain won't fire right to type. Since essaying takes more than knee jerk reactions, I can't really do any in November. Well, unless someone asks really, really nicely.

However, as noted with my last post, sometimes something just HAS to come out.

Now, on top of NaNo, which makes sure I put out at least 50,000 new words once a year (inertia usually gets me another 50K before I slow down and start editing) I'm at Philcon due to the kindness of a friend. It's a very good opportunity to meet people in the publishing industry, which is a Good Thing for a variety of reasons I'll not go into here. Because a geek button got pushed. Which is odd, because I don't HAVE many, y'see.

So, I go to a panel for sci-fi newbies, because there are huge swaths of 'classic, everyone must read this' sci fi and fantasy that I've never read. My entry point into sci fi, y'see, was not magazines with stories, nor novels, nor even the considered-slightly-different TV shows of Star Trek and Doctor Who. Most authors who are my age write one of those as their entry point. My entry point into Sci Fi, y'see, was slightly different. It had Russian music and Japanese Animation and a really bad English script. Yes, I'm talking about Star Blazers. I watched it while reading Tolkien, back when my sister was still a baby and Carter was still president.

So it's not real surprising that my writing reminds some of Kurosawa does Anime. However, this is all a massive digression, because my geek out is embarrassing me. Ok, last person on the panel is Michael Swanwick. Now, I link to that list for an important reason, which I shall get to when my geeking out level drops a bit. Mr. Swanwick mentioned one of his books during the panel, but I'd not read the one mentioned. When I saw him, I remembered him from the "Where I Write" project.

Well, I talked with him a bit after the panel, mostly about being from an odd sci-fi entry point. He thought that was kind of neat, and a bit later during a "meet the pros" mixer I met Kyle Cassidy, who is the guy doing Where I Write, which is cool. Mr. Swanwick was there again, and had some very encouraging things to say about the feedback I've gotten from publishers and agents, as well as giving me some satori-moment-inducing advice on writing and pruning.

OK, I'm stalling again. In my defense, and since he said he has the same problem, perhaps he'll understand. I don't remember names. I took a notebook to Philcon with me specifically to write down names in, because I don't rememeber them.

The whole point here - I recall exactly ONE book I've read cover to cover twice in a row. I'll get to that in a bit. I know, I'm stalling. I'm Syndrome at the moment, ok?

Anyhow, I get home, sit down to write a little, and decide "y'know, I ought go look him up; perhaps I've read something of his and don't remember. He sounded very cool, perhaps I ought try out his writing; I'll certainly be trying the books he recommended." I go to his website. I go to his bibliography. Bones of the Earth, new one he mentioned during the panel, haven't read. Griffin's Egg, I've heard of, but don't think I read. In The Drift, don't remember the title, and book titles I remember (go figure, I forget my own name at times, but I can remember titles).

Iron Dragon's Daughter.

HOLY . There are authors I would like to and think I can someday match style-and-quality wise. Adams, Ringo, Jordan. There are authors I've been compared to, who I like, so I don't mind if I wind up more like them when I hone my skill to publishable levels (Cherryh). But Iron Dragon's Daughter is just way beyond anything I could write. I can't write that well. I just... I don't think I can. I mean, in part it's the prose, which is beautiful while still flowing quickly, but in part it's the story. When I try to do '10 words or less' on Iron Dragon's Daughter my brain just kinda short circuits. Um... OK, I just tried, and I can't name all the major components of the story in 10 words, and it's ALL 'surprising yet inevitable'.

And I got advice from him. And he gave me encouragement.

Definite Syndrome moment. "I'm still geekin' out about it!"

No comments:

Post a Comment