Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Friend Pimping

So I haven't done this before, but I figure I ought to start. One of the members of my writing group has a new story up on The Edge of Propinquity, and it's a really good read. So follow the link and read "The End of Memory" by Amanda A. Gannon.

I just finished reading another superhero book, and it has left me pretty energized to get back to work on Hero Go Home. On the one hand, I think his is a lot better than mine in a lot of ways. On the other hand, mine is trying to accomplish different things, and I think I'll have enough coolness in there to satisfy most readers. The coolest thing is, his book is giving me ideas I can use in mine without making me feel like I'm stealing, because unless you knew which parts of mine were inspired by his, you wouldn't know. It's going to be that different.

Here's the big secret about writing that good writers know, and wanna-be writers don't: Ideas are cheap. Execution is everything. Give two really good writers the same idea, and they're likely to write two completely different stories. The idea has to filter through each person's unique mind and voice and experiences and interests. Each writer will have a different goal and a different approach to character and dialogue. Some writers plan carefully and rewrite extensively; others just sit and let it flow.

Which is not to brag that I'm a really good writer, but I am pretty good one, good enough to have learned this lesson, anyway. So I can steal shamelessly from Sargon, and no one will ever know but me and him, and maybe just me.

Then again, I can come up with stuff completely independently and look as if I'm stealing. Example: his book has a superhero who is embarrassed by his real name and goes by his superhero name, which is often shortened to Van. My book has a superhero who is embarrassed by her real name and goes by her superhero name, which is usually shortened to Val. Looks like a total rip-off, but it's not.

Anyway, the point is, I'm excited again. And go read Amanda's story. Not thrilled with the 'zine's name, but the story is really good.

1 comment:

Naamah Darling said...

Thanks for the plug!

Execution is everything; it's the difference between a rip-off and an homage.

If it means bugger-all to you, Sargon thinks it is the coolest thing ever that there's homage-ing going on.