Another edition of forum KES
AAAARRRGGHHH. You can’t DO cliffhangers like this!!!!
For someone who “doesn’t do cliffhangers” she’s getting darned good at it!! Grrrr!
Heh heh heh heh. Writing a blog can do very strange things to your . . . oh well let’s call it mental health. Or at least it messes with your lobes something fierce. Between learning those wretched method lines for bell ringing and this blog I am sure I have become someone else.* And the new, additionally deranged Robin McKinley really likes cliffhangers. Who knew? It’s not like I’d’ve ever discovered this buried and reprehensible propensity** if I hadn’t started writing a blog and then had the really over the edge*** idea of writing serial fiction for it.
I tend to write episodes ep by ep. I keep an eye on how long this one’s getting and then start looking for a good place to break it off. If there’s a cliffhanger option of course I’m going to take it. But that’s just Storytelling 101. You want them to keep turning pages.† But I’ve just been writing a one-ep scene that is three so far and looks like it’s going for four††, and as I’m going back to find places to break it I discover that I’m thinking, okay, I can change that line there and make it a cliffhanger. . . .
But as I’ve also said, the way I do it, because it’s the way I can do it, this blog is a lot of work. Cliffhangers are fun. I get to have fun. And it’s not like you have to wait more than a few days.††† Mind you the cries of the anguished are highly enjoyable. Please continue.
I’ve never read Lovecraft, and I’ve been missing out on Cthulu jokes and the like for years. Can anyone recommend a good place to start?
I’d say honestly that HPL’s short stories are the best place to start; there are a lot of anthologies of those available at your local library from Arkham House publishing. (I say library because some of them are Out of Print, I think.) “The Call of Cthulhu” itself is quite good, but tedious in spots–the nice thing about his short stories is that they give you the flavor of his writing and 1920′s pulp horror genre without bogging down. Then if you really like it, try out some of his longer stuff like The Call of Cthulhu or At the Mountains of Madness.
I agree with Black Bear that you want to start with the short stories. I had what I remember as an old Modern Library—can Modern Library have done Lovecraft?—anthology culminating in The Dunwich Horror, which remained my favourite, and my touchstone Lovecraft, for many years. It has all the crucial Lovecraft elements—horrible secrets, nameless perversions, dysfunctional families . . . REALLY GREAT MONSTERS. And silliness. Which is the warning I want to extend. Lovecraft is very silly, and therefore perfect for my purposes in KES. His stuff is creepy and weird and sometimes genuinely scary—perhaps especially if you’re a somewhat emotionally retarded thirteen-year-old—but it’s also WAAAAAAY over the top—scenery-gnawing, hysterical and ludicrous, and perhaps especially painful for those of us who were feminists from an early age, notably short on women.‡ There are classic horror writers who are ‘better’—M R James, for example, Arthur Machen, Oliver Onions—E Nesbit!—Edgar Allan Poe, Arthur Conan Doyle.‡‡ But only Lovecraft can do the Lovecraft atmosphere, which to those of us who are fans, sometimes against our own better judgement, is worth the price of admission (your brain at the door). He is a trifle sui generis, and not to everyone’s taste, even people who like classic horror.
There’s also a lot of Lovecraft on line, if you like reading electronically, much of it (I believe legitimately) free or near-free, and some of it not unreadably full of typos. I’ve got a cheap ed from amazon on my iPad.
Kes has deinonychus on the brain! Has she been reading XKCD too much?
Harrumph. When JURASSIC PARK first came out everyone was velociraptor mad, but some of us, who had adored dinosaurs since we were about four and old enough to make specialised book requests for birthday presents, suffered a vague sense of unease . . . weren’t velociraptors, you know, small? Now my memory is not what it was and, in fact, never was even when it should have been, but when I wanted medium-sized carnivorous dinosaurs under Kes’ porch I retained a faint recollection that velociraptors was not what I wanted. http://dinosaurs.about.com/od/carnivorousdinosaurs/p/velociraptor.htm
I’ll take your word for it that xkcd likes deinonychus too. I didn’t know.
“An author would much rather see a book that’s been carried around for luck and dropped in the bath than the pristine copy that lives on a shelf,” I said. “We’re vain, you know. We like the idea that our stuff is appreciated.”
Oh, Ms McKinley would adore my collection, then. The hardbacks are okay. The paperbacks… Most of them have the front cover as the bookmark.
::Beams:: That, by the way, would be my first paperback edition of THE LORD OF THE RINGS. FELLOWSHIP eventually disintegrated entirely and was joyfully replaced in a still-usable but desirably dilapidated form from the 25-cent table at the late lamented Brattle Bookshop‡‡‡.
I was expecting something quite different — something, well, alive, for a start,
Mwa ha ha ha ha ha. You maybe want to be a little careful about your assumptions. This is fantasy, you know, even if it’s taking a hellgoddess’ own time to get onto it.
and probably malignant. This is much better! And I’m beginning to quite like Hayley.
If she can like good literature and be an awestruck fangirl and be savage about inventories – and not kill herself in 4-inch heels – then she’s a keeper!
I like people who surprise you. I’m hoping we’ll see more of Hayley. NO. I DON’T KNOW. I OFTEN DON’T KNOW STUFF ABOUT MY STORIES. And I’m in a horribly exposed and betraying situation publicly posting only a few thousand words behind where I am still writing the thing.
And I cannot tell you how glad I was to find a new episode of Kes tonight when I got home from work. Why is it that the howling masses in general treat you as less than human if you work in food service?
My experience of crap level jobs (which I’m leaping to the conclusion this is) is that whatever your crap level job is, you will be treated as less than human. Sometimes it’s worth it (in my case, I was going home to write stories having not wasted a lot of brain on my job). Sometimes it’s just what you can get. Good luck.
SO not a good day. Kes makes things better.
::Beams:: ::Beams more::
Having Kes face down a monster coal & wood stove…perfect.
Having Hayley annoyed….perfect.
Oh, but—! Remember that she’s about . . . oh, 22 or so. Who among us was not a bit of an assho—er, a bit unfinished and still looking for a persona that fit comfortably at that age? Hayley is hot to be doing something, and at the moment it’s coming out in four inch heels, blue blazers, and real estate. She gets points for trying. With respect to any 22-year-olds reading this who are already perfectly and wholly themselves and comfortable with it.§ I like Hayley.
I like Hayley so much.
Oh good. You not-yet-thirty-year-old person, you.
* * *
* It’s probably just menopause. Hey, when does embracing the inner crone and having fun begin?
** AT THE SPEED I WRITE (REAL) BOOKS? NOOOOOOO. I AM NOT GOING TO WRITE CLIFFHANGERS. NOT. BESIDES, I NEVER WRITE SEQUELS. EVER.^
^Pegasus? Oh, he’s a winged horse out of Greek mythology, isn’t he? Perseus rides him, I think. Of course I’ve always thought it was kind of a waste of a good idea just to make him a winged horse, and that there’s only one of him, and . . .
::sets up a large trampoline at the bottom of Robin’s cliff to catch unwary blog readers as they plummet over the edge…..::
† So to speak.
†† SIIIIIGH. I can’t even write serial blog fiction in 800+ -word chunks short.
††† You guys have a real fixation on this Pegasus idea, don’t you?
‡ And fairly universally politically incorrect. I can almost roll with the misogyny because it’s so of its time, but his racism, for example, is beyond merely of its time and into the seriously offensive.
‡‡ And Mary Shelley and Bram Stoker. Although I have to say that Bram Stoker is pretty far into the scenery-gnawing, hysterical and ludicrous most of the time. I adore DRACULA but it also makes me giggle, and (say) LAIR OF THE WHITE WORM? Approach warily, with tongs.
‡‡‡ Which rose phoenix-like from its own ashes not long after the fire, I believe. But I was one of the long-standing clients who went round while the embers were still pretty much smoking to mourn. http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=2209&dat=19800202&id=y50rAAAAIBAJ&sjid=KvwFAAAAIBAJ&pg=5532,343526
§ Also, I hate you. You’re not allowed to have it nailed at twenty-two. It’s too depressing for those of us who are still a little crumbly around the edges decades after twenty-two. Arrrgh.
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