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(Fark)   "I had a dream, which was not all a dream. / The bright sun was extinguish'd, and the stars / Did wander darkling in the eternal space" --Lord Byron, Darkness. This is your Fark Writer's Thread, wandering edition   (fark.com) divider line
    More: CSB, Frankenstein, Goldman Sachs, Idea, IDeaS, Business, lot of partial ideas, paid TotalFark subscriber, Discussion  
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304 clicks; posted to Main » and Discussion » on 27 Jan 2021 at 4:00 PM (4 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2021-01-27 2:40:03 PM  
I have a lot of partial ideas that are either stubbed out, half-written, or just listed out in an 'Ideas.docx' file.  Some of them have promise, but one idea by itself isn't usually enough for me to find it compelling; it's the intersection of different ideas that I think is where the story is.  My first (ostensibly publishable) novel was the cross between two questions:

--Lovecraftian horror often ends with the protagonist learning about the mythos, and going insane from the knowledge.  What happens if they're already broken at the start?
--How would magic actually work, if it were real, and how would someone learn it?

(I also started with the mental image of a demonic eye-spider crawling out of someone's head like a horrific botfly of some kind, but that was just a gross bonus)

This week, I had a massive kick from my muse or my subconscious, or I guess just the fact that I was watching something related on television.  One of my ideas involves a group of starving villagers trudging through snow and being attacked by a 'melting wolf' of some kind.  The monster idea, I like-it's something that's unexplained, and the unexplained is the most terrifying thing there is-but there were enough other questions still open that I couldn't do anything with it.  Why were they there?  Where were they going?  And then I caught a documentary about 'The Year Without a Summer' when a series of volcanic eruptions basically blotted out the sun for a year.  For a starting point for horror, it's not bad; it basically gave us Frankenstein and Dracula.

Not only does this satisfy the "The unknown is terrifying" idea, it gives a background to the trudging villagers.  Spring never came, summer never came, there were no crops, animals were starving, maybe their neighbors turned cannibal.  Hey, it happens.  And off they go into the wild, and run into . . . a thing.

First pass at the opening:

The explosions had darkened the sky last fall, and spring never came; the survivors of the village crossed the pass into the cursed lands beyond in the howling snow of summer.  They had been nearly six score strong when they had fled their lands in the plains below and now less than eighty remained alive.  The crossing of the mountain pass into the unknown beyond had taken twelve lives by itself; the living that remained were hollow and haggard as they made their way down the glacial slopes towards lands none of them had ever seen.

Eh, it's no Modern Prometheus, but it's a start.

Question of the week:

We'll be gearing up for this year's Fark Fiction Anthology soon.  For those of you who've been involved in the past years, what do you think should be done differently?  How could we improve the process? What would you like to see out of this year's anthology?
 
2021-01-27 4:02:47 PM  
his one dimensional man


yesterday died a slow death
a fist unclenched
a yellow balloon circled the sun.

every thought
came forward to
ask for forgiveness.

    no city makes you feel
less alone.
   your sister got the sleeping sickness
and tied her blanket into knots.

  futurism espoused
the rejection of the past
   a celebration of speed.
    machinery, violence, youth.

the villagers want nothing from science.
they have the forest
dark bread and cucumber
rabbit stew.
they cannot sniff
the parishioners of progress
downwind and narrow eyed
waiting
for the snapped finger of history.
 
2021-01-27 4:10:02 PM  
So, Facebook's algorithm thinks I need to be friends with Neil Gaiman.

I had retired my Facebook account before the 2016 election, but started another one just for social media for my writing. I published an ebook with my online interview with Michael Moorcock, and about 5 days later I got a Facebook friend request from him. Over the years I got one Like, for my article about Christmas Dinner for the homeless, which I am sure is more for the gesture than my literary achievements. But it was an awesome article...

Anyway, after a couple years of no new friends from the locals, Facebook has started pulling people off Michael Moorcock's friends list for me. "You have one friend in common" is seriously the best its algorithm can come up with for me. So it goes.

And I just found out last night Gaiman used to live in Woodstock for 5 years, the town I was born, teaching at Bard College. Small world.
 
2021-01-27 4:10:29 PM  

toraque: I have a lot of partial ideas that are either stubbed out, half-written, or just listed out in an 'Ideas.docx' file.  Some of them have promise, but one idea by itself isn't usually enough for me to find it compelling; it's the intersection of different ideas that I think is where the story is.  My first (ostensibly publishable) novel was the cross between two questions:

--Lovecraftian horror often ends with the protagonist learning about the mythos, and going insane from the knowledge.  What happens if they're already broken at the start?
--How would magic actually work, if it were real, and how would someone learn it?

(I also started with the mental image of a demonic eye-spider crawling out of someone's head like a horrific botfly of some kind, but that was just a gross bonus)

This week, I had a massive kick from my muse or my subconscious, or I guess just the fact that I was watching something related on television.  One of my ideas involves a group of starving villagers trudging through snow and being attacked by a 'melting wolf' of some kind.  The monster idea, I like-it's something that's unexplained, and the unexplained is the most terrifying thing there is-but there were enough other questions still open that I couldn't do anything with it.  Why were they there?  Where were they going?  And then I caught a documentary about 'The Year Without a Summer' when a series of volcanic eruptions basically blotted out the sun for a year.  For a starting point for horror, it's not bad; it basically gave us Frankenstein and Dracula.

Not only does this satisfy the "The unknown is terrifying" idea, it gives a background to the trudging villagers.  Spring never came, summer never came, there were no crops, animals were starving, maybe their neighbors turned cannibal.  Hey, it happens.  And off they go into the wild, and run into . . . a thing.

First pass at the opening:

The explosions had darkened the sky last fall, and spring never came; the survivors of the village crossed the pass into the cursed lands beyond in the howling snow of summer.  They had been nearly six score strong when they had fled their lands in the plains below and now less than eighty remained alive.  The crossing of the mountain pass into the unknown beyond had taken twelve lives by itself; the living that remained were hollow and haggard as they made their way down the glacial slopes towards lands none of them had ever seen.

Eh, it's no Modern Prometheus, but it's a start.

Question of the week:

We'll be gearing up for this year's Fark Fiction Anthology soon.  For those of you who've been involved in the past years, what do you think should be done differently?  How could we improve the process? What would you like to see out of this year's anthology?


I helped out with the first couple of these.

Instead of a blind slush pile, why don't you have a thread where writers give an elevator pitch. Any interested editor could claim that entry and start working with them.
 
2021-01-27 4:13:02 PM  
I wrote a book in jail but I lost it during a shakedown. I have tried to recreate it but I just can't. It was about a group of heroin addicts in the midst of a zombie apocalypse trying to get to the Fentanyl factory.  Best thing I've ever written, despite the worn out zombie trope. When the zombie apocalypse is but a secondary issue you've got great drama.
 
2021-01-27 4:33:14 PM  
ABBA - I HAVE A DREAM
Youtube UP4N0irJ-gM
 
2021-01-27 4:49:25 PM  

toraque: I have a lot of partial ideas that are either stubbed out, half-written, or just listed out in an 'Ideas.docx' file.  Some of them have promise...


That's where "Hargis" came from, a partial idea. But to make it into a story, I found that I had to think of a beginning and then write it to the end.

I just started writing a series of short mystery stories. Now I start writing the beginning without any idea at all and let the ideas come out as I write, sometimes like a revelation. (I have a slightly flawed but somewhat edited version of the first one on my website. In the first version I put there, I spelled the name of the main character two different ways. Friends caught it for me.) I am writing about one every week or week and a half.  I move to the next one without polishing up the previous one, except to fill in obvious plot holes. I'll get to the polishing later.

I think if I wrote down partial ideas I'd never get any stories done. Certainly if I outlined or had the whole plot in mind before I started, I'd never write it. I sometimes have the idea that I 'm doing it wrong, although it's working so far.

I don't know much about the process that you use to select the stories, but I understand that you have several judges and you reach a consensus. It seems to me that is the way to do it. I have no suggestions about what to put in there, that's up to you guys.
 
2021-01-27 5:36:51 PM  
My suggestion for the anthology is (if there isn't such a thing already) a forum in which the contributors can critique each other. With the better writers coaching the average writers, the quality level is bound to improve.

Deflection Point 25 is done! Installment 26 will be one story, but it will happen to a rotating cast of characters. It will be tricky, but I'll have Tricky Dick to help me.

I have notebooks and folders and loose scraps of paper full of ideas. I keep thinking two or three will rub against each other and release a genie. It works often enough that I don't toss it all in the garbage.
 
2021-01-27 9:29:37 PM  

Russell_Secord: My suggestion for the anthology is (if there isn't such a thing already) a forum in which the contributors can critique each other. With the better writers coaching the average writers, the quality level is bound to improve.


Like an online writers' group? Benefit is we get to know each other better and the group is stronger.  Drawback is we lose the " edit whenever you have time " aspect, as coordinating a meeting time can be difficult, and that might limit participation.   I'm open to trying. Mostly it has to be something that suits Toraque who has been doing the monster's share of the work so far.
 
2021-01-27 10:42:14 PM  

claudius: Russell_Secord: My suggestion for the anthology is (if there isn't such a thing already) a forum in which the contributors can critique each other. With the better writers coaching the average writers, the quality level is bound to improve.

Like an online writers' group? Benefit is we get to know each other better and the group is stronger.  Drawback is we lose the " edit whenever you have time " aspect, as coordinating a meeting time can be difficult, and that might limit participation.   I'm open to trying. Mostly it has to be something that suits Toraque who has been doing the monster's share of the work so far.


I think this would be a great idea in general, but not necessarily tied in to the anthology.
 
2021-01-28 12:44:39 PM  
Speaking of dreams...

In April is was in lockdown in a homeless shelter, 375 humanoids in an events center. And some obnoxious loudmouth woke me up from the coolest dream.

I sometimes have these very intense realistic, boring dreams. Like, nothing so bizarre that I think, "Hey this is just a dream," and wake up or whatever, it just seems super normal until you wake up and think, "Hey, David Bowie wasn't one of the partners at that legal cannabis farm I worked at..."

So i was dreaming i was living on a beautiful cannabis farm which i dream-knew was on a mountain, sort of a valley, an idealized version of a cool place that ripped me off. There were vegetable gardens too, and chickens, much like the my uncle's ranch near Osiris, UT where I spent summers as a yoot.

So in my dream I went into the main house, end of my work day, turns the corner and this small room is packed with guests and David Bowie is welcoming everyone with a huge smile on his face. Oh yeah, he lives here. In the dream he wasn't the "owner" of the ranch, but he was part of it. His sudden appearance was as somebody i was used to seeing all the time, so not "surprised" to see David Bowie in my house welcoming everyone to the party.

As he looked around the room he made a point of making eye contact with each person in the room, a good host, and as he looked around the room with this amazing smile his glance passed over me and he welcomed the people on either side of me. But it the dream, I didn't feel "ignored" because he was greeting the guests that way - and I wasn't a guest, we both lived there. So ignoring me was a way of acknowledging that he recognized me, in that weird dream-logic.

Then he said, "So if anybody wants to smoke some really great pot, come outside with me!' and everybody cheered and they egressed. I realized my shirt was frosted with garden grime and though, "I can't smoke pot with David Bowie in my dirty work shirt," so I went to my room and grabbed one out of my clean shirts, and it said "You're never to old to rock & roll". I thought, the perfect one. Then some jackass woke up everyone in the room yelling stupid stuff.

I wrote the dream down in my pandemic journal, and kept wondering why David Bowie was on that farm. A dozen other musicians would make more sense. I never had a Bowie "phase" and Hendrix had a connection to Woodstock. He apparently rented a house to practice with his new band before the famous concert, whether for just days, which leads to widely varying claims that St Jimi had "lived" there... within a few miles of my childhood home. Bob Dylan's room above the coffee shop was less than a mile from my crib. Why, I can still remember what he said to me: "Mumble mumble mumble!"

But that dream really stuck in my head. The Never Too Old shirt reminded me of a long-forgotten dream of an 80s cover band with a multimedia stage show, and I've been slowly assembling lighting and music equipment. My main piece of gear still out of stock after 2 months... hot item.

Then a couple nights ago, doing research for an article about Jack London, and how my life entwined with his in Sonoma County, I looked up famous folks from Woodstock. I was looking for folks born there, like me, and the are quite a few for a town of 6000, but the amount of famous people who lived there is astounding. Joseph Campbell lived there 1929-34 in a shack reading all day, which became the foundation of all his later work. Neil Gaiman lived there 2014-19 while teaching at Bard College.

And David Bowie bought 64 acres on top of a mountain (but within the boundaries of Woodstock township) and spent the last five years of his life there. Within 10 miles of my old house, maybe closer but I dont know exactly where his house is. He was in Labyrinth with Jennifer Connelly who moved to Woodstock in 1976. I would've been a grade ahead of her, along with Uma Thurman a few years later.

So now I understand why David Bowie was in that dream where we were neighbors, the one that reminded me that I'm not too old to rock & roll.

Now, get off my lawn.
 
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