Sunday, September 24, 2006

More Synchronicity

So I'm in the middle of a long weekend, and my main goal has been to write the first draft of a new short story I agreed to write as part of a contest. Part of the research I've done for the story over the last two days has been refresher reading on the Lesser Key of Solomon, a rather famous (or perhaps infamous) text on magic and demon summoning.

Now on Thursday, I wasn't sure if the new season of Smallville was starting or not, so I recorded it, and while I was at it, I also recorded another show I've been hearing good things about, but never watched. That show is Supernatural. Turns out, the shows I recorded weren't the new season openers, but the season finales from May.

So I spent much of this afternoon and evening writing the story, with frequent references to the Lesser Key of Solomon. Then I came home and watched the shows I recorded on Thursday. Guess which magical text plays a major role in the finale of Supernatural?

The show itself was okay, although the grim and gritty got a little over-the-top after a while. Plus, the dialogue could use some work. The characters say each other's names way too much.

"Don't do this, Dean!"
"I have to, Sam!"
"No you don't, Dean!"
"Yes I do, Sam! Our lives depend on it!"
"No they don't, Dean!"*

As for the story I'm writing, I'm about two-thirds of the way through it. I'm sort of happy with it as far as it goes, although I think the plot plays out a little too conventionally. I recently read an essay about fantasy relying too much on quest plots, because so many fantasy writers are stuck in Tolkien imitation mode. I think the same is true of horror stories, where so many of them are about a guy encountering forces beyond his control and trying to beat them, only to discover at the end that his efforts were at best futile, at worst playing right into the malevolent creature's designs. Between this and the poetic justice story, you've got well over half the horror field covered, I think.

I don't want to play to cliche, and yet that's exactly where I'm headed right now, unless some brilliant inspiration strikes me in the next 2000 words.

*not real dialogue from the show, but you get the idea

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