When Will the Writing World Stop Complaining About “Twilight”?

I haven’t always been so active in the online writing community, for the longest time my writing was something I kept to myself as a personal thing. I shared it with few and I never really discussed it besides with a close friend or two.

Since I have been more open and out there about it, Twilight has been the dominating force in the world of writing, especially when you’re talking about Young Adult Paranormal Fiction. And rightfully so, it’s reached people of many ages, reached across many different cultures and has spanned a series of blockbuster films.

Before I go any further I have to admit, I’ve never read the books. I have seen the movies though and found them to be entertaining, not heart stopping but definitely not the worst things I’ve seen.

My question has less to do with the movies, seeing as how I am talking about writing here. But why is it that every forum post, every blog, everything from writers out there is a complaint about Twilight? People devote movements to hating it, they pay money to attend the movie and mock it…

So much of the talking seems to stem from anger and jealousy over the success of Meyers. I think that some of the writers out there haven’t gotten over the fact that by and large, the industry isn’t looking for the most verbose, well written thing possible.

It’s looking for decent stories and plot that are relatable and immersive. Guess what? Writing isn’t the only form of readily available entertainment and your average reader isn’t going to spend their life in a book. You can’t get mad because people don’t want to read thousands of pages of description and what’s considered more literary. Books like Twilight aren’t the enemy, they’re apparently where the market is and whether you like it or not, as a writer you’re going to have to contend in that market.

So do yourself a favor and use the time you’re complaining with to better improve your own craft.

Halloween Story Excerpt

Hours before the sun dropped behind the skyline the first sign that Lewis had called Holly’s bluff appeared on her door knob with a knock. Part of her wondered if he had somehow planned this from the start. She’d played into his hands, that much was apparent. When she innocently asked him what he was being for Halloween, Holly hadn’t known what to expect.

Of course he was going to say nothing, grown up don’t do Halloween. Men like Lewis especially don’t do Halloween.

And she had pestered him, really laid into him about it. Before it was over she had agreed to let him pick three costumes for her while she did the same for him. There were no rules or guidelines—that was her first mistake. The second was that he had until four in the afternoon to get them to her, there was no time for her to finagle her way out of the deal.

Holly glanced over to her tucked and tightened comforter that covered the bed. The three costumes stared back at her through their thin plastic wrapping. Her stomach knotted, flipped and turned. Lewis was an evil mastermind.

He was Verbal Kent.

He was fucking Iago.

In the Mean Time

What does one do in the times between big projects when they’re waiting for something to cool down so they can edit.

Right now I am thinking about doing something short and just sort of fun, possibly experimental too. Part of me likes the idea of a bunch of short tales with established characters or in an established world.

We’ll see how it goes and some of might even get posted on here.

Good Omens

I’d have to say I am waiting to cast judgment on this book. I know both authors are widely liked. I love Neil Gaiman, I just don’t know about the style its written in. I guess I’ll have to continue reading it. Already I like Anansi Boys better, and I definitely like American Gods more than both.

Problem with Prologues?

There seems to be some feeling out there that the prologue is not necessarily there to be read and that it can be totally disregarded when reading a novel. This kind of irked me considering that both of my current works begin with a prologue. Though I think that people confuse prologue with a long, drawn out thing at the beginning speaking in lofty tones about events before the story.

A prologue can have action.

A prologue can contain suspense.

Both of mine feature death, one of them is written in a very different narrative voice from my normal one. Which brings up another point. Someone called prologues “deceptive” citing that they are to rope someone in with a different tone and then switch it up.

What’s wrong with roping someone in if something is worth the read? What’s wrong with a different tone? That’s part of what a prologue is. If they weren’t really necessary the editor would have usually pulled them. A whole go nowhere section is pretty damning.

Point being, if you’re skipping a prologue in a good book, which people claim to have done, then you’re probably missing out. And if its bad and you’re skipping it, what will make the rest of the book better?

A Word About Word Counts And Drafts

When I first started writing I was all about the page count. I was young and didn’t grasp that the font size, spacing, and margins played into all of this. I would happily skip off to Juliet, from whom I learned to write, and talk about the ten pages I did that day. To me that was so much and it seemed impossible to ever get to any higher a rate.

She would ask me, “How many words?”

I’d never even know what to say our how to check. I was a kid back then and as far as mentors go she taught me a lot. Still it wasn’t as if I knew well enough to listen

Now I’m wanting to scale back this draft. It’s too big, everything I read says agents don’t like huge books from beginners and I’m throwing my weight around with one hundred and six thousand words, actually closing in on the one o’ seven mark.

Then I realized something…as Tacia and Rickey tear through this draft, and as messy as drafts are, there’s going to be a word count reduction.

There’s a tendency to get ahead of oneself. I have it too, I want to think what this thing will look like in print and if it will be too long or too short to get across correctly. Then I remember that before any of that, comes these edits and that’s what this is for.

I used to want to get as much done as I could, pump out some huge beast of a novel. Now I kind of want to slim it down and I’m sure that will happen.

Just remember the things about “murdering your darlings” and “Draft-10% = Second Draft”. They seem a bit dismal to someone who poured their heart into something, but you have to remember, you’re just telling the story. It’s not all about you.

Texas Toast—An Excerpt

Lewis combed his fingers through brown locks of Holly’s hair. “How are you holding up?” he asked.

“How is it we’re doing a shit case like this?” she asked. “I don’t even know why that body got to me, I’ve honestly seen worse…” Holly turned to glance up at him.

He edged the chair out with his foot. “Maybe you’re just stressed. You’re always on the go,” as Lewis spoke he caught a glimpse of her eyes, they were bloodshot and her eye shadow was smeared.

Holly exhaled roughly, “Does our victim have a name yet?”

“Didn’t think to ask,” Lewis said.

“I see,” Holly pushed her bistre tendrils out of her face.

The coke and toast were delivered and the moment the waitress was gone Lewis bit a chunk out of the bread and drank a huge hurried set of gulps. “You really ought to try this,” he said through a full mouth.

“It’s garlic bread. I’ve had garlic bread.”

“Nope, Texas Toast,” Lewis shook his head.

“I’m quite capable of reading the menu,” she sighed. “Don’t you find it the least bit odd that this state seems obsessed with including its name in front of foods that already existed? No one else does that sort of thing.”

Lewis took another drink from his soda. “What about: Turkish Coffee, Rocky Mountain Oysters, French Fries and English Muffins—,“ he rambled the list out as if he had prepared it.

“But most of those were—I mean one of them’s just a euphemism—bugger, never mind,” Holly sat in silence and finished her tea as he ate and drank.

“That hit the spot. Sorry for taking so long—I missed breakfast.”

“Don’t suppose we should try and scrap up some evidence, you know do some investigating?” she asked as she stood up and gathered her coat.

In the Beginning…

Welcome to Pulp & Fiction (the title’s something we’re trying out),

This is the very first post in what I hope will be a long line of posts concerning my writing, my journey to publication and everything thereafter.

I’m hoping to connect to other writers, learn a little more about the process that goes into this and even possibly teach a little bit about what I put into my own work here. From time to time I might post little excerpts or re-blog other posts from around.

Mostly, this is a point of entry for me to get out there and get acquainted with other writers and readers alike.

So here’s where I am, I’ve finished a second draft of the as of yet to be titled novel I’ve worked on for a little over a year now and I’m in the process of starting the second book and editing the first one.

-Justin