Slasher Prerequisites

Working on a new slasher right now, and leaning towards making it a screenplay, mainly so the form can keep it reined in for me, somewhat. Too, this time, I’m doing what I’ve never done: thinking it all through ahead of time. Which has involved a lot of re-watching, a lot of thinking. And, on the idea that reasoning from first principles (or at least memory) is somehow a pure way to get to something at least in the area of truth, I’ve been intentionall ducking Car…

I Won’t Be Back : What T3 Could Have Been

Third installments of a franchise the audience is in love with are very difficult to pull off. Nobody says Alien3 or Return of the Jedi or the third Scream are their favorites of the series, right? Even Godfather III, as good as it might be, is overshadowed by the first two. Granted, by the third installment, the success of the original and its sequel have given this latest incarnation a serious budget to work with, and all the marketing is in place, and some of the principal actors …

My Prose Comb

Was poring through some story or novel the other day, to submit it, and realized, now that the story was more or less in place, at least until somebody else jammed their hands into it, that all I was looking at were the words, the sentences. Which is nice, yeah, makes a piece feel ‘done.’ Like Carver’s supposed to have said, he knew it was time to step away from a piece when all he was doing anymore was changing commas (but yeah, look at the differences in his “…

You might be a novelist if . . .


. . . you could never*say :

  • No, please, no — my book would make a terrible movie.
  • Actually, I never thought about if this book would outlive me or not.
  • Well, I mean, that book’s obviously better than mine. That’s the only reason it’s on the best seller list.
  • Of course I would only ever talk bad about a book I’ve read.
  • Man, if the reader doesn’t get it, that’s just all my fault.
  • Really, I think my publisher may have even spent too much on mar

12 Things I Won’t Do in Horror

Man, if everybody doesn’t have a list, right? I’d guess, if I took the time to look, somebody’s already got one like this, I mean: things they’re tired enough of in horror to make a public plea that those things stop, lest the whole genre cave in or something. Or, really, those things we get tired of in our chosen reading areas (assuming we use the marketing terms [Western, Horror, Romance, Thriller, Mystery, Erotica, Historical, ‘Literary,&…

T is for Title

For a long time now I’ve gone to bed early

For a long time now I’ve been writing “title shot” in the back of every book I read, along with a/the page number. Most, anyway. All it means is that this (page) is the first time the title of the book appears in the book itself. Just something I’ve been tracking for years and years, with the idea of going back someday, synthesing all the ratios (“if a title’s to appear in a book, it’s usual

Open Letter to Publisher X

Editor Y:

In today’s trend-oriented publishing climate, you need to either be the celebrity-of-the-moment or you need to have a bulletproof plan to plug into what’s hot, what’s guaranteed, what there’s already an audience for. And, sir/madam/etc., that you don’t already know my name from the tabloids should suggest that, while not infamous for killing or raping or stalking somebody, which is pretty much the standard for literary poten

Against the Stet

Was reading over a novel I’m about to submit, and kind of just mentally ticking off the things I was going to be writing ‘stet’ by after the copy editor and proofreader have had a go at it (assuming a lot here, I know, but hope springs, all that), so figured it’d maybe just be easier to go ahead and rig up a document-type affair beforehand. Or at least a list — things I always do, things to watch for, things to let slide:

Unrevised

quickest of quick notes: new essay up at The Cult. On revision, of all unlikely things. I mean, of all unlikely things for me to be writing about. Anyway, it’s here.

and, nope, no new DEMON THEORY news in the last few, sweltering, basketball-playing, story-workshopping, dog-tying-up-only-to-have-it-chew-through-the-rope, Daily Show watching hours.

Jack Bauer for President (&etc)

and Dana Scully for surgeon general, yeah. really though, just here to post a cleaner version of that Demon Theory banner:

[ it may take a bit to load, as it looks like those prior two banners are still down at the bottom of this page, trying to load as well. well, still down there as long as this is the top post, I think ]

really, though, what all this banner-stuff has put me in mind of is revision. or, I should say, “Revision.” that which I never teach but always say is a pret…