Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A Writing Survey. Fun.

I stole this from Lori, ignoring the questions I can't answer because the publishing world has yet to acknowledge my obvious genius.

Open cheek. Insert tongue. Wait. That didn't come out right.

How does that go again?


What makes a good book to you? Story? Characters? Exotic locations?

Good writing. Really. People say a good story trumps all. But for me it doesn't. I want good writing. The best writing can make the most boring, everyday situation interesting. That's a writer's job. Everybody can come up with a half-decent story. Plots are a dime-a-dozen. Writing is what changes a simple story from a cheap knock-off of a million other two-thousand-times-told tales into a masterpiece that could last forever. Shakespeare was hardly original. Almost every play he wrote was a rip-off. So why do we remember him? Through his writing, he made the works his own.

A good writer isn't just the one who can come up with the best story. It's the one who can write it right. A good writer is the one who can give me something I've seen or heard or imagined a million times before and think "Damn, I never thought of it that way before." A good writer can make even the most boring, the most everyday, the most mundane minutiae of the dull moments of ordinariness into a kind of mindfuck madness of metaphysical enlightenment.

What's your favorite pizza toppings?

Noble Roman's monster-style with ham, pineapple, and extra cheese.

What´s the worst thing you´ve ever done to one of your characters?

Oh god. Too many things to list. I'm not sure I can think of a "worst." Do you really want me to tell you? Do you? Do you really?

Well fine.

Let's see.

I've forced a medical student into selling drugs to pay for his and his girlfriend's tuition before the dealer slash gang leader he was selling for kidnaps his girlfriend to blackmail him into becoming an assassin for him.

I've killed off a character who thinks the girl he loves doesn't love him just as the girl realizes she does love him after all.

I've made a character believe her love is alive again before realizing he is a hallucination and he's been dead a long time.

I've killed off a character's wife in childbirth.

I've killed off a character's stalker just as she realizes however creepy he is, he's the only person who's ever loved her.

I . . . well this one I can't even give away, it's just too good.

I've let an ex-pedophile kill himself when he realizes his platonic love for a boy might be something more and the boy is left to wonder what happened to the kind old man who taught him how to play the guitar.

Don't tell Scarlett, but I've given a character cluster headaches coupled with flashbacks to the violent murder of his wife. I'll let you figure out who the murderer is. It's someone in this list.

And this one . . . well this one is also too good to say here where everyone can see. You'll have to wait until I'm published, dammit. Yes, I'm cruel to my characters, and I can be cruel to you, too.

Which of your stories contains the sexiest love scene?

Good question. I don't know.

Depends how you define "sexiest."

"Phantom Pain . . ." has probably the most intimate love scene I've ever written, though I doubt those who've read it would consider a murder terribly sexy.

"Trains" has some violent sex. Too violent for most, probably, but again, very intimate.

My work-in-progress, As I Hug the Dusk, probably contains the sexiest so far. Just finished the scene today, actually.

Which of your stories was the easiest to write? The hardest?

The easiest? The second half of my first (unpublished so far) novel, Pale Girls Shaped Like Crucifixes.

I wrote the first 45,000 words in a span of about four months. I wrote the last 30,000 words in the course of four days. I still don't know how that happened.

The hardest? "Phantom Pain . . ." by far. That one left me shaking and shivering in the dark for a half hour after I wrote the ending for it. I think I wrote myself into a panic attack with it, actually.

If you could meet any character from any book, who would it be, what would you do and why?

Joelle van Dyne. I'd do her, veil and all.

That's all for now, everyone.


  1. You're twisted.

    That's why I love you.

    Never change.

  2. Hey, are you on Facebook?

    Lolz to both of us for not being all published-like, like Lori.